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Barbie Girl World

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Barbie Girl on barbiegirls.com

Barbie Girl on barbiegirls.com

Mattel, Inc.

The Bottom Line

Barbiegirls.com is the Mattel entry into "Dolls 2.0"--dolls coming to life in virtual, Second Life-type worlds on the Internet. Aspects of Barbiegirls.com are wonderful--the graphics, the Barbie avatars, the look of the town. However, I find the site (so far) is much duller than similar sites like Webkinz because the "games" found in Barbie World aren't really games but more like short activities in which you earn the same amount of "B Bucks" no matter how well or badly the task is completed. The site is still in Beta and may be revamped and changed, so I hope the games are improved before the April 26th launch.

Pros

  • Barbie 2.0! Be Barbie, Live as Barbie on the Internet!
  • Design your own Barbie avatar to "be" on the site.
  • You get a fun Barbie room to decorate.
  • The graphics are fun.
  • Dress you virtual Barbie.

Cons

  • Games on site so far are lame, non-competitive and boring.
  • Safe chat is so safe that many generic words are blocked.
  • Site focuses almost exclusively on shopping and fashion.
  • You can earn B Bucks for watching commercials for Barbie products,

Description

  • It is free to play on Barbie World; the only advertising is commercials for Barbie Products and trailers for Barbie movies.
  • The commercials/trailers are an optional activity.
  • The pad consists of 2 rooms; not clear if more will be available later.
  • The generally allowed chat is safe chat with a very limited list of words.
  • Your online Barbie Girl can look like you, with choices of hair color, eyes, skin color, mouth shape and clothing.
  • You can earn B Bucks to buy furniture for your pad, a pet, clothing, and accessories for you and your pet.
  • There are virtual places you can meet other Barbie Girls such as a park and a cafe.
  • Shopping is a major activity. So far, the world definitely is aimed at younger girls.
  • Some mothers may not like the emphasis on shopping and hanging out. The motto of the site is Fashion, Fun, Friendship.
  • The world is fun and has lots of potential if Mattel doesn't underestimate todays girls.

Guide Review - Barbie Girl World

As part of a family that regularly plays in online virtual worlds such as Neopets and Webkinz, and as a collector of Barbie, I was very excited about trying out BarbieGirls.com. The site has lots of potential as an online world for girls who love Barbie (if they can bare to be away from their Webkinz pets for long).

When you register, can immediately design your Barbie avatar (basically, you in Barbie World) with customized eyes, skin, hair colors and clothing. Choices are limited, with additional choices available if you purchase a Barbie Girl doll (which I assume will be available at launch) and plug it into your computer. You also get a "pad" to decorate and $100 in B Bucks to spend for clothes, accessories, pets, and furniture.

The site is attempting to be a social networking site (like MySpace) with a Barbie flavor for girls. You can invite others to see your Barbie pad or send safe messages. You can also meet up with others in the park, cafe, etc.anc chat with them with a "safe" chat technology.

Safe chat is a fantastic way to protect children online. Unfortunately, this chat is so safe that it barred me from saying words like "fun" and "earn' and nearly anything else I tried to say except vapid things like "hi! and "this is nice." There is a way to have less restricted chat if you buy a Barbie Girl doll.

I loved the graphics and dressing my online Barbie Girl. I really was disappointed in the games, which have no competitive aspect whatsoever. In one of them; you paint a doll's nails. Doesn't matter what color you make them or anything else; you get $10 B Bucks. Same with the dress Ken "game." These are more like craft activities; there is nothing to strive for and nothing fun; girls DO love to play challenging games, as Webkinz proves. I hope that the game aspect of Barbie World is much improved by full launch on April 26th.

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