15 – Gaia Online

Venturing out into stranger territory, there is Gaia Online (http://www.gaiaonline.com), an “online hangout” that is popular with teens. The site has a lot of anime themes – you can build your own anime type avatar, buy clothes and furniture for a little room, go walking around in little virtual towns, play games, and chat with other Gaians. You get pain virtual money for every action you take inside Gaia, even just going to a new screen. Posting a comment to a forum earns you money as well. The more you earn, the more interesting clothes and furniture you can buy to make your avatar and room more unique.

  1. Take the virtual tour (http://www.gaiaonline.com/gaia/info.php?f=NewUserTour) to get a sense of the place, and join if it looks like your kind of thing, or if you’re a librarian with a focus on Teens.
  2. If you do join, here are some tasks to get a sense of the place:
    • Get your avatar dressed.
    • Post comments on threads that interest you.
    • Start your own comment thread.
    • Buy some new clothes with the money you made.
  3. Tag the site in your del.icio.us account, create a link to your profile in your Blogroll (if you created one), and write a blog post about your impressions of the site.

UPDATE: Also check out Zwinky, Webkinz, and Club Penguin.

ANOTHER UPDATE:  Now check out Stardolls.

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