[GAME MASTER]Kiddy Games at Game LandIf you’re the parent of a child under 12 years of age, one of the biggest dilemmas is how to determine what is good for your child and what is not.
Now, with children using computers at a very early age and with unlimited Internet access available through high-speed broadband, it is becoming extremely difficult for parents to decide what content they should allow and what should be banned.
It’s the same with games. In the case of most role-playing games, they involve slashing away at monsters or other gamers with an extremely dangerous weapon.
In some of the more graphic games, monsters will spit out disgusting fluids and there may be the blood of your team members splattered all over the room. But then again, even if you’re playing Pac Man, there is still a level of violence involved ― since you may be eaten by ghosts and die ― and the list goes on and on.
One site that you will not have to worry about, however, is Game Land, a game portal within Junior Naver.
Junior Naver is a child-friendly, kiddy version of the regular Naver portal, which is the largest in Korea. The site is continuously monitored for foul content and the games are far from violent, with some of them even having educational value as well.
Appealing to girls, there are about a 100 or so different “dress-up” games where one can choose a character and dress up for different occasions.
Starting from clothes to shoes, jewelry, wigs and makeup, these dress-up games don’t really have a point, since there is no right or wrong, no winning or losing. But anyone who has played with paper dolls or Barbie dolls as a child will understand the joys of dressing up; you can even dress up your dog.
For children who are more into arcade games, there are several dozen different variations of Tetris games, with cute icons such as chocolate bars and gingerbread men.
Although you will find all the traditional arcade games, the colors are brighter and the games contain funny characters and fun music.
But the good thing about Game Land is that there are a lot of educational games, such as practicing multiplication or playing cashier. There are also many games on a more basic level for very young children, such as identifying colors to paint a picture or learning Chinese characters. Unfortunately, the site does not include any games related to English, which is quite surprising considering how obsessed Koreans are with learning the language.
There are so many different games on the site, and even in the same category there are several games using different images, so it is bound to keep your kid occupied for several months at least. And by that time, the site will probably be updated with many more games.
The only bad thing is that there are so many activities, kids may spend too much time on the site without even noticing. Also, game scores are recorded and ranked, so anyone who has a Junior Naver ID (which is free) can participate in the rankings. This “competitive” aspect of the game is a potential cause for addiction.
Junior Naver can be accessed at http://jr.naver.com. The site is also recommended for grown-ups who are still children at heart. Some games, such as online golf, are actually pretty much the same as the “adult” version.
by Wohn Dong-hee
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