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Thread: VMK and Kids

  1. #1

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    Question VMK and Kids

    My daughter has just started getting into playing VMK. I've never played so I'm learning about it through her. I'm kind of concerned about the chat feature in VMK, though.

    Last night she came to me freaked out that someone asked her to be his girlfriend, and she didn't know what to do. I'm really concerned that this kind of talk is going on at a Disney site. Yeah, I'm a little over protective, but my daughter is only 9! It could be some 50 year old guy talking to her!

    I've taught her to be very responsible on the computer, she knows not to give any personal info out, not go to any sites that I haven't pre-approved, etc. I know that VMK has certain words blocked out so you can't discuss really personal things, but there are always ways around that if you're creative enough. I'm really worried about this.

    What do you guys think? Is VMK safe enough for my daughter to chat on? Am I WAY overreacting? Should I sit WITH her and watch every time she plays VMK?

    I appreciate your advice!

  2. #2

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    Your daughter sounds like a very responsible young lady. She wasn't sure how to handle it so she asked you. That says so much! She trusts you and has listened when you've advised her to be cautious. You obviously have a wonderful relationship with her.

    You are absolutely right not to trust the people she's meeting on VMK or any other web group. The fact that it's a disney site makes no difference. I recommend that you ask her for her ideas on how to handle this person. Hopefully she'll choose to let them know that she's not interested and then block their chat messages.

    I wouldn't sit over her. It might give the message that SHE can't be trusted to do the right thing. Thank her for letting you know, help her handle it, and ask her to let you know every time something like this happens (even if she feels comfortable handling it herself). Let her know that you will contact the moderators on her behalf if she would like you to.

  3. #3

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Leap for Joy
    Your daughter sounds like a very responsible young lady. She wasn't sure how to handle it so she asked you. That says so much! She trusts you and has listened when you've advised her to be cautious. You obviously have a wonderful relationship with her.

    You are absolutely right not to trust the people she's meeting on VMK or any other web group. The fact that it's a disney site makes no difference. I recommend that you ask her for her ideas on how to handle this person. Hopefully she'll choose to let them know that she's not interested and then block their chat messages.

    I wouldn't sit over her. It might give the message that SHE can't be trusted to do the right thing. Thank her for letting you know, help her handle it, and ask her to let you know every time something like this happens (even if she feels comfortable handling it herself). Let her know that you will contact the moderators on her behalf if she would like you to.

    Those are great suggestions, thank you!

    When it happened last night, I sat down and typed a polite but firm response for her. She's grounded from the computer (for a nail polish on the mouse incident this morning, LOL), and I'll take that time to discuss the situation with her in more depth.

    I'm glad to know I'm not overreacting to these things. Parenting gets harder the older they get!

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by a_hyperbole

    Last night she came to me freaked out that someone asked her to be his girlfriend, and she didn't know what to do. I'm really concerned that this kind of talk is going on at a Disney site. Yeah, I'm a little over protective, but my daughter is only 9! It could be some 50 year old guy talking to her!
    This same exact thing happend to our daughter yesterday. I was watching tv and she looked at me with a weird look on her face and told me that some "boy" asked if she wanted to be his girlfriend. And shes only 7! I thanked her letting me know that someone asked her something like that. Such a smart kid!



    Quote Originally Posted by a_hyperbole
    What do you guys think? Is VMK safe enough for my daughter to chat on?
    I don't know about these situations. But a few months ago I was playing the game. And I recognized a name that I thought could have been someone from Mice Chat. So I started telling this person my SN here and a message from a Cast Member popped up telling me that " you are not allowed to discuss SN's or message boards in the game". So I don't know if they allow "kids" asking "kids" to be their boy/girlfriend or not. I'd be surprised if they did.

  5. #5

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by 100th Dalmation
    a message from a Cast Member popped up telling me that " you are not allowed to discuss SN's or message boards in the game". So I don't know if they allow "kids" asking "kids" to be their boy/girlfriend or not.
    That's good to know! Its comforting to know that CM's are monitoring things. Still, I had a good conversation with my daughter last night, taking Leap for Joy's suggestions. I'm just going to play it by ear for now.

  6. #6

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    It's a pretty frequent occurence. But you don't have to worry TOO much about strange topics being discussed. VMK has a strict list of words that it doesn't allow... almost too strict!

    As always, nothing beats you monitoring here first hand!

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    My son is nine also and he plays all the time. We sat down and read the entire main web site page..especially the values of vmk. He knows what not to tell poeple and exactly how to handle these types of questions. He actually finds it strange that someone would want to have a girlfreind/boyfriend on a game. Vmk is very strict about the words people use there and the way people use those words. Someone is always reading and watching everything that is said. Please go over what to do when someone is bothering her in the game....like the call for help button, also makes sure she knows she is in complete control and can exit whenever she wants to go. I think sitting down and playing the game for yourself with your own character is the best way to learn. There is always going to be that one person on the game that will try to ruin it for the others, unfortunatley.

  8. #8

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    I'm going to give it to you, ready. Okay see Disney is a resposible network they carefully review everythig that goes on.They also know about the other similar sites like Habbo Hotel(i play it sometimes).So they go and review how safe it is and revise the rules and restrictions to meet the needs of the players.

    The VMK part of the Disney company also take in consideration the poeple playing the game. Your daughter older kids 13 year olds like myself and even parents(yes you can sign up too)are most of the VMK population.Since most Disney VMK staff have children of their own who play they have an "motive" to keep it safe.

    Since there are older kids who do have online "boyfriends/girlfriends" they usually don't worry because they should be responsible to not leak out personal info (as of now that's pretty touhgh to do).But if your daughter tells you she has a problem you can either contact the VMK staff in the game or outside te game.Ususally the guys on VMK are respectful(i think its a rule) but if they keep asking that is harassment and you should contact a staff member,who will cheak the chat logs and take necessary action.SO ask you daughter if they were bothering her in that situation.
    ***But i warn you that you that if it is the same boy more than twice you should take that route of action.Otherwise try telling her to leave the same room and delete him from her buddy list if he is on it.
    (that's the longest message i've ever posted)
    Hope this helps
    VMK is da BEST
    ALL HAIL VMK!!!

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    I agree that it sounds like your daughter did the right thing by bringing you into the loop, but I would just keep a close eye on your kids on VMK. They do allow the bf/gf thing as of now, but they keep doctoring up the dictionary to take out words that can be construed as inappropriate. I have two kids on VMK and I thought I had made the rules very clear to them and kept a watch over their activity. But my daughter got banned and she's done with on-line gaming for quite some time.

    Just know that there is always a VMK cast member watching over the network to monitor conversations for violations, which is why they are only open from 7am to 10pm (PST). Of course, they can't be everywhere, but they sure try. They give out warning bans (usually from 2 to 24 hours) to tell the player to straighten up and if they violate the rules again, they're permanently banned.

    All in all, I think VMK is a safe place for kids to hang out, just keep the lines of communication open!

  10. #10

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    I just stay away from the BF/GF people. Just ignore them, stay away from their rooms and you will be fine.

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    just put "taken" in your quote area and that should fix the bf/gf people.




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    Re: VMK and Kids

    They are allowing the BF/GF thing for now.. but if it gtes out of hand and to many problems happen.. they will go even worse and remove boy and girl from the dictionary... and crack down.. like the numbers... notive how tree and tee is gone from the dictionary now...

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    I hate when people come up to me and ask if I am taken. Some people can be very rude but most will go away after you say that you are taken. I have seen some people ask if they want to get wed. I don't think that it is a huge problem yet.

    Sabrina

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    Re: VMK and Kids

    Of course you're right as a parent to be concerned about what your kids do online.

    That being said, VMK is likely one of the safest chat environments for kids, due to the examples of monitoring and dictionary control already mentioned. You might look at this as a training ground for your daughter. Eventually she'll be old enough (and, let's be honest, sneaky enough -- at least I was!) to chat in much less monitored environments. Perhaps it's best that, with your guidance, she learn how to handle herself now? The more practice she gets setting boundaries and dealing with difficult people, the more savvy and protected she'll be in the long run.

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