Kid Friendly MMOs

Kids. They’re small, hyperactive and easily distracted by colorful bits of plastic. There’s no doubt that if you own one of these little tykes then you probably show some emotion towards them, maybe even love them, so you may want to introduce them to the things that you love doing; like playing MMOs. It’s likely that alarm bells go off in your head when you think about your ankle biters interacting with a bunch of strangers, as if they are toddling into the Mos Eisley cantina from Star Wars and asking if anyone wants to play hide and seek. There’s also the problem with the amount of violence involved in most MMOs. The majority of the time combat in such games isn’t a bloody affair, with bits of flesh being hewn off, but you still may not want to subject your little dears to games with too much fighting.

Fortunately, MMOs aimed at a young audience aren’t exactly rare. In fact, a study by VentureBeat showed that the most popular games are child oriented, such as Wizard101, Club Penguin and Free Realms – so you shouldn’t be pushed for choice when choosing a suitable game that they will enjoy.

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Club Penguin – A Popular Kids MMO

It’s a Kind of Magic

Like most kids, yours probably likes the Harry Potter books, so it’s easy to assume that they would like to play a game that has the same theme. Wizard101 is a free-to-play MMO with the option to pay for more stuff, and it’s very much inspired by Harry Potter. You play as a student in a school for wizards called the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts, where you enrol in a specific school of magic such as fire, ice and balance. The big difference between this game and most other MMOs out there is the combat, which uses a collectible card system to allow you to cast spells on your opponent. This removes any realistic violence from the game, as you’re not going at each other with axes and swords, but instead flinging magical energy at your opponent which makes things much less visceral. The chat system can be limited to preset phrases and parents can set the game so that only trusted friends can freely communicate with your kid.

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Wizard101 – Popular Harry Potter style Wizard themed MMORPG

Running Free

If Harry Potter isn’t their thing, or if you can’t stand it yourself, then Sony Online Entertainment’s Free Realms offers an experience more akin to ‘grown-up’ titles like World of Warcraft but with the child-friendly goodness. This fantasy themed MMO is great for kids as you don’t have to engage in combat at all. Instead, your little angel can focus on exploration, mini-games, house-building or just hanging out. Again, you are able to change the chat settings to presets and due to the social networking aspect of the game, like being able to exchange pictures and videos, you have the option to limit what little Timmy can send or receive.

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Free Realms – Extremely Popular Kids friendly game. Fun for older audiences too!

Lots of Mini-games There Are

SOE also created the Clone Wars Adventures MMO, which allows your kid to become a character in the Star Wars universe, more specifically the Clone Wars cartoon series. Players get to interact with all their favourite characters (which would be the least favourite to older folk like myself) by playing mini-games like lightsaber duels and taking part in fun events such as costume contests. Both this and Free Realms are free to play with the option of purchasing memberships for extra goodies.

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Clone Wars Adventures – A Star Wars Themed MMO Filled with Mini Games

There are absolutely loads of kid-friendly MMOs to pick from, but these are some of the best. They feel more like traditional MMOs than social games like Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters but they still retain the same charm and appeal that kids love.

Do you have any good suggestions for kid-friendly MMOs? Let us know.

By, Scott Malthouse

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