Fledgling star reporters in kids’ virtual worlds

The people who help protect kids in virtual worlds have noticed an interesting trend: More and more kids are posting news, cheats (workarounds), and pictures from their favorite online worlds and games in their own blogs. “Essentially, the kids act as reporters for the virtual world by taking screenshots of parties and events in addition to reporting on various issues,” writes Chase Straight in the blog of Metaverse Mod Squad, a virtual-world moderation company. It adds that these young bloggers – who are, in effect, co-creators or -producers of these worlds – are also skilled in creating and posting videos from in-world (or “machinima”), including music videos and tutorials or how-to’s for in-world activity. “Some kid bloggers have developed such a large following that emerging virtual world sites have entered into financial partnerships with them in order to reach their fanbase. Their star power and celebrity status have inspired other children to create blogs of their own, hoping to attract the same level of readership.” [See also “Top 8 workarounds of kid virtual-world users” and our “Undercover Mom” series by NFN contributor Sharon Duke Estroff.]


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