The World of Webkinz

As a final project, I have decided to work with Jessica Hedrick and together we will become experts of Webkinz World. The idea to work with these cute little toys that are linked to a huge virtual world sparked when my roommate was constantly playing games online to help her little sister make more “kinzcash”. Curious about what she was doing, suddenly we all found ourselves surrounding her computer and addicted to playing the games. Suddenly I found myself curious about what made this whole virtual world so addicting.

In order to gain access into Webkinz World, you have to first go to your local gift or card shop to get your dream stuffed animal. With the stuffed animal, you get a unique secret code that allows you to gain access from www.webkinz.com. Once in the website you see your stuffed animal “pet” in the virtual world. Your pet has his own room waiting to be furnished, but furnishings just don’t appear, you need money to buy your belongings. There are tons of ways to make money, known as “kinzcash”, in Webkinz World, but the main way is through playing new versions of your favorite Internet games. The over thirty-six available games include versions Solitaire, Mahjong, Snood, Collapse, Snake and Mrs. Pac Man. The further you go in the game, the more money you make and the more stuff you can buy to treat your pet. These aspects are just one of the many reasons that Webkinz are so addicting to the people that play them.

Webkinz World’s addicting nature is related to how it incorporates many different games in a successful way. The physical stuffed animal has created a sensation much like Beanie Baby stuffed animals. But what makes Webkinz more like “Beanie Babies on Steroids” is how it links onto the Internet where you have to take care of your pet, much like the Tamagotchi and Neopets. In addition to taking care of your pet, you also get to furnish its environment and give them jobs and responsibilities much like The Sims. The real catch is how Ganz, the founding company of Webkinz, has incorporated all of these games together in an educational way. The games teach kids about math, spellings and puzzles. Jobs and everyday activities in the virtual world teach children about responsibilities like brushing your teeth, taking baths and sleeping. Webkinz surely include everything that not only children but anybody could enjoy out of a game.

To help explain all of these multiple parts to the Webkinz World, Jessica and I have decided to create a www.youtube.com video following the life of a Webkinz pet and all of the things it can do. This video will flip between screen shots of the virtual world and the physical stuffed animal sitting in one of the rooms we have created online. We are also planning on doing further research from several online newspaper articles talking about the surge Webkinz have created among young children. By becoming experts about the Webkinz World, we hope to present all of our information to the class and help inform them on why this stuffed animal stands out from all the other toys in children’s toy chests.

Published in:New Media Studies Class |on March 13th, 2008 |1 Comment »

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One Response to “The World of Webkinz”

  1. Webkinz » The World of Webkinz Says:

    […] mere wrote an interesting post today on The World of WebkinzHere’s a quick excerptAs a final project, I have decided to work with Jessica Hedrick and together we will become experts of Webkinz World. The idea to work with these cute little toys that are linked to a huge virtual world sparked when my roommate was … […]

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