From FAS Virtual Worlds Almanac
|Use and Demographics|
|Graphical and Content Features|
|Management and Privacy|
|Level : Elementary, Junior High School|
Dizzywood is an online game and virtual world developed in San Francisco, California by the entertainment company Rocket Paper Scissors, LLC. It is designed for children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old and has a focus on teamwork, cooperation and collaborative play. The company received funding from well-known investors including Shelby Bonnie (co-founder and former CEO of CNET Networks) and Charles River Ventures. Dizzywood was launched into public beta in November, 2007 and has grown rapidly, reaching over 400,000 monthly global visitors. Most visitors come from the United States and other English-speaking countries. The game is a visual chat and social game application similar to Club Penguin or Habbo Hotel, with adventure and quest components similar to Runescape and other MMO games. It is currently free to play. The developers have announced that subscriptions to access premium content will be available later.
Players can select and customize an avatar upon registration and are immediately placed in-world. The avatars appear as stylized cartoon depictions of human children while many of the non-player characters (NPCs) in Dizzywood appear as anthropomorphic animals. The exploration theme of Dizzywood is immediately apparent as new avatars are equipped with hiking clothes and a backpack. A distinguishing feature of Dizzywood is that players can completely alter their appearance at any time using a feature called Change Your Look.
Players can express their thoughts and feelings via online chat or visually through the use of emotes (happy, angry, etc.) that can be sent to other players.
Dizzywood's environment ranges from forest to jungle. There is even a town in the sky and a underground hideout. Certain places have certain animals in them.
Activities and Events
There are many activities and events in Dizzywood. Most activity takes place in the form of mini-games and group events such as growing a plant or tree or finding a treasure in a rock pile. The site also produces several daily events, called Dizzy Activities, that follow short story-arcs and typically unfold over a four-day period each week. Most of the story-driven activities involve players attempting to defeat the game's arch-villain, Emperor Withering. For example, a recent story-line encouraged players to clean up pollution and fix broken machines that were destroyed by Withering's henchmen. There are also missions. From finishing a mission, you can receive a special item or coins.
Moderators are present in world to monitor chat and activity on the site. Dizzywood also uses automated chat filtering systems to provide an age-appropriate environment.
Reception and Criticism
Dizzywood has been generally well received. It has gained considerable attention from bloggers and mainstream press who have praised its safe entertainment and learning environment. It has also drawn recent attention for its pilot programs inside the classroom and with the San Francisco YMCA. In terms of general popularity, the site has grown rapidly in the past few months although it has less traffic than established competitors such as Club Penguin, Webkinz and Neopets.
- ↑ Dizzywood - About Us. Retrieved on 2008-07-25.
- ↑ CYBERFAMILIAS; Today, I Think I'll Be Hippohead. Retrieved on 2008-07-25.
- ↑ Dizzywood Takes $1 Million Series A. Retrieved on 2008-07-25.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Dizzywood Statistics from Quantcast. Retrieved on 2008-07-25.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Celebrate the Earth with Eco-friendly sites. Retrieved on 2008-02-25.