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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: Nov 19th 2008 3:19PM JohnD212 said

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I have to say..the game makers are caught in a tough spot..if they rely on the parents to monitor their children...and something bad happens...they'll be sued and probably have to shut down. They figure its easier to go too cautious and avoid having a problem...and this is also a feature they can show to parents ... after all the game is aimed towards a younger audience. It is a wonderful game with fantastic graphics too!

Posted: Nov 19th 2008 7:51PM ultimateq said

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I agree with John. W101 should keep the measures in place and play it safe. I've played the game and can honestly say that the chat filter is somewhat annoying, with no being able to use numbers. But aside from that the chat filter is completely tolerable.

It doesn't block bad words, it just only allows recognized words. So you can't say "sh!t" in place of "shit", because "sh!t" isn't a word that is in its dictionary.

There is no real way to avoid the filter, so it is very effective. There are plans to use a similar filter in FreeRealms, as I understand it.
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Posted: Nov 19th 2008 10:40PM Tipa said

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Oooo I got linked on Massively! /jumpsforjoy /happy :)

Miss you guys!

Posted: Nov 19th 2008 7:47PM (Unverified) said

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Well, the question is if parents have bought into the hysteria. Wizard 101 is in the business of giving its customers what they want.

Posted: Nov 19th 2008 8:46PM JohnD212 said

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Well I'm not a parent but I will never have children but I often put myself in the place of parents and this is what I would want. If I had a child in that age group...and he wanted to play an MMO...I woul definitely be thankful to have someone who understood my concern.

Posted: Nov 19th 2008 11:03PM (Unverified) said

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My kids play and I have no issues with the "protection" measures. I think my oldest one does but...thats life.
By the way, the article list this game as "free to play". It is not. You can play the initial area (about 10 levels) with no time restrictions, thats it. You will need to subscribe to move beyond the starter area.

Posted: Nov 20th 2008 12:53AM (Unverified) said

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Sometimes I wish there were filters on more "adult" games to filter out all the foul-mouthed teens and tweens.

Posted: Nov 20th 2008 9:51PM Tipa said

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Trust me, the children in the game are well able to abuse the text chat system to say objectionable things. There are plenty of things you can say with common, correctly spelled words, and there have been plenty of children being banned for saying them. It's like a challenge.

Posted: Nov 20th 2008 7:34AM (Unverified) said

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I haven't played since Beta but at the time I was struck by a strange incongruity: The cutesy ambience and child friendly rules suggest that W101 is aimed at kids. On the other hand the depth and complexity of the game play is far above what you would expect in a kids game. I think Kings Isle marketing badly screwed up when they positioned this game.

Club Penguin and Buildabearville are good examples of how to do a Kids mmo right. They both have strong filtering and other child friendly features. These don't prevent you playing the game however because you don't need sophisticated communication to overcome any of the challenges in these games.

Posted: Nov 20th 2008 10:03AM Scopique said

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I don't see how this can be heavy handed from a parent's perspective. Any parent, whether present during gaming sessions or not, is going to want to ensure that someone isn't launching into a pay-cable-esque diatribe about another player, game mechanic, etc.

From an older child's perspective, I can see how restrictions can be seen as obnoxious. Kids of all stripes hate limitations, and think they can deal rationally with anything that comes their way, but as John said, it really only takes ones single incident for some parent to scream loud enough, and the whole service shuts down.

Posted: Nov 21st 2008 1:47PM Ripper McGee said

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I've posted detailed comments on both the mmorpg.com review and Tipa's follow-up. In a nutshell, I agree, but have some ideas in those posts that I think would help attract and retain older, more experienced gamers while still keeping kids safe.

~Ripper

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