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What is your opinion on 16+ pet sites.

Discussion in 'Virtual Pets Chat' started by Ollie, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Ollie

    Ollie Supporter VPL Supporter VPL Member

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    It seems as of recent a lot more sites are going for the 16+ age group to attract a more mature member base.

    I can see a positive and negative in this.

    Positive - The rules are more lax, swearing is allowed if indirect, and you generally have a much nicer community.

    Negative - You are shunning out the biggest target market a petsite has. Children.

    What are your opinions?
     
  2. DragonSpeaker

    DragonSpeaker New Member VPL Member

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    Re: What is your opinion on 16+ sites.

    16+ users have more disposable income to use at their own discretion. They are more likely to have their own jobs, credit cards, bank accounts, or at the very least, allowances. They are not subject to so many legal snags as younger users, especially the 13 and under crowd.

    Also, as someone who grew up playing pet games and participating in cyberpet communities, I find that I've grown out of a lot of the sites targeted at younger people, such as Neopets. 16+ sites are targeting a subset of users who want a more sophisticated game and have the money to support it. There have always been plenty of games for children, but it's nice to finally have more communities where adults are allowed to be adult.
     
  3. cpvr

    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    Re: What is your opinion on 16+ sites.

    I think its a great idea - but some pet sites can target children as well - what does everyone like, less chat speak, and more mature members?
     
  4. flizab

    flizab New Member VPL Member

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    Regardless of what age limit a site sets, children will lie to join it. There would be no way to have a 16+ site.

    This doesn't really answer the question, but just wanted to comment.
     
  5. fyrkant

    fyrkant New Member VPL Member

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    Yeah, very true - I know I did that all the time until I didn't have to anymore! :p But at least the children will be the ones "at fault", and not the site, if they end up with something stupid happening to them... well.

    As for the discussion I'm personally all for it, I think you can probably be really successful with such a site if you just do it right.
     
  6. cpvr

    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    Usually when they lie to join it, they sometimes slip up and tell someone their age. What do you do then? Strip them off their account or let them play?
     
  7. Panda!

    Panda! Approved Artist Approved VPL Artist VPL Member

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    Do lots of children even still play petsites, though? I've just always had this feeling that the majority of people who play them nowadays are older members who have been playing them their whole lives. I don't know. (With the exception of places like Neopets, of course)

    I like the idea of a 16+ pet site, though
     
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  8. Dawnshadow

    Dawnshadow Approved Writer Approved Writer Approved VPL Artist VPL Member

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    Neo changes their brithdate. :3 (If they don't know your age, they'll change it to the date they caught you)

    For my site I was thinking that the youngest you can join is 13 (to still get the younger audiences) but it'll be (much) more directed to 16+. I plan on making the site difficult to understand when you first sign up to discourage younger users. >: D (a lot of big words and such. XD)
     
  9. Organic

    Organic Supporter VPL Supporter VPL Member

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    As an adult I just have zero interest in sharing my gaming experience with kids. In my experience on the internet kids have been very disrespectful to sites as a whole and beyond that I just don't feel like it's acceptable for adults to be forming friendships and having serious discussions with young kids. SO I like the 16+ audience and would prefer even a 18+ audience. There are movies for kids and adults. Games for kids and adults. Why not petsites for kids and adults? I think it's perfectly cool to cater to adults once in a while we like to have fun too.
     
  10. sunandshadow

    sunandshadow Supporter VPL Supporter Approved VPL Artist VPL Member

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    I generally prefer to play 18+ games, though I'm not sure how much that would affect a pet site since there's not much in the way of chat - it would only matter if there is a roleplaying community that needs the freedom to swear and rp romantic/sexual content.
     
  11. cpvr

    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    Of course they do, take a look at Neopets, Marapets, Powerpets, Webkinz and a few other sites. We all were kids one day!:D Then you also have other games online that allow younger players to play, and their growth can be seen quite nicely. It all depends on what you want to attract to your site, what type of users you want, etc. Basically not allowing kids to play, you're keeping out a lot of users - why? Kids have more time to play than teenagers these days, but yet, are less mature.
     
  12. Ardy

    Ardy Approved Artist Approved VPL Artist VPL Member

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    Kids also have less access to money. Parents will buy toys for their kids, but don't usually let them browse the internet with their credit card.
     
  13. Kiara

    Kiara Member Former VPL Staff VPL Member

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    Sites that cater to a more mature userbase have been my favorite. I hate, hate, hate "babyproofing" on sites especially.

    Like... you're not really going to protect kids for very long if you sensor swearing/bad words/etc. I remember seeing my first porn picture ever on neopets, lmao. It was on someone's profile. They froze them fast but still.
     
  14. cpvr

    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    You're right they buy the toys, which is Webkinz is so popular, and some adults play as well. Kids should be allowed to play, but not browse forums, profiles, or messaging. I think a lot of sites are losing users - well potential users because of leaving the kids out because how big their market really is. But, I'm not too sure about that because Subeta and Aywas have been doing well without being Coppa-regulated. I guess it creates a lot more havoc for the site's staff team if they cater to kids as well.
     
  15. TheTeen

    TheTeen Member VPL Member

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    @cpvr - Don't let powerpets fool you, that site is dominated by women who are 30+! xD When I think back to a lot of the "big names" on powerpets and even many of my friends, there were sooo many mothers playing the site. I think, if I remember correctly, there was an 80+ grandmother who actively was playing the site.

    As for the topic, I think it is difficult to advertise a site as a "petsite" and not attract the younger users. Anything a child hears with virtual pet in the description immediately attracts their attention. I guess you could create a 16+ geared site, but my guess is it will still catch the eye of more 16 and under rather than 16 and over.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  16. cpvr

    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    That's crazy, I know one of them and her name is crazykathy, she's a pretty cool lady. No wonder why Powerpets sustains itself, charities and other things because they have a lot of adults playing & supporting their game. Great information though!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  17. Corzeir

    Corzeir No longer here VPL Supporter Approved VPL Artist VPL Member

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    I do not want kids on my site. The whole goal of the site was to be a more of a monster catching game for older players who love pokemon but want something more mature in age and dark in theme. You kind of get sick of all the bouncy kid friendly kawaii desuness. This way I have the freedom to create a world with things older users can relate to. A community were older players can chat comfortably about stuff kids no interest in like how we talk here. Every day stuff like health and tech and swear if they like. I'll make sure to make it clear it's targeted at teens and up.
     
  18. Eyafarev

    Eyafarev New Member VPL Member

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    =3 You can be sure to count me in! But I wonder, is it possible to create a petsite which the experience grows with the user? Like if a kid signs on at 10, then at her 13th birthday, more areas are unlocked. At 16, even more. 18, magnanimously. But perhaps that fact shouldn't be advertised because kids would be tempted to lie to get everything right away. Some kids are sooooo hooked on immediate self-gratification. It would be better perhaps if the site grew with the maturity, but that'd be hard to measure and track, wouldn't it?
     
  19. Sekioh

    Sekioh That one Dragonwolf Furry! VPL Member

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    You can make a site without COPPA, doesn't stop you, but now and days with the kids crying to mommy and getting on the news about cyber-bullying. If that kind of attention draws media/lawyers and you have no documentation of COPPA forms or legal protection or an effort made to restrict the children from the site, you can and most likely WILL be prosecuted for the damages. With COPPA, even forged or whatever, it falls on the parents through the children and you're not liable.

    Unfortunately there's no way to proove someones details. In some other countries it's illegal to even ASK for ID if you're not a government agency. Then we have COPPA as an accepted global requirement that you can't ASK a child for any details of name/address/birthdate. So you have to not store the database info of the year they put in and immediately serve up the form. Then photocopies of ID and stuff can get you in trouble in a whole 'nother field if you're trying to force detail accuracy, plus they can scan parents and you have no face-to-face proof. The whole point of photos on ID's goes out window then. Some state/country ID's have birthdates encoded in but also some are obscured in the barcode/serial number only and not a plain text field. Plus no way to lookup the typed in ID number if that's all you require, so you can't confirm/validate the details anyway.

    I've been pondering a long long time how to do a one-human=one-id verification system. Since even if some single entity/person could come up with a way and let other sites hook an API it's probably a very valuable and profitable venture. Just like sites have the "Sign in with Google" or "Login with Facebook" buttons on them? Imagine any site having a way to hook through a thirdparty and be sure nobody is farming dailies or trading with themselves or boosting their scores? It'd be infinitely invaluable. Unfortunately every country and state has their own laws and restrictions and different ID's. No way to really have a method for EVERYTHING covered.

    I myself would like more mature userbase, even the jump from 13 (minimum web age) to 16 makes a huge maturity difference, then bumping that to 18 lifts a ton more restrictions on you and moderation.
     
  20. Dawnshadow

    Dawnshadow Approved Writer Approved Writer Approved VPL Artist VPL Member

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    I now might up the min. age up to 16 or so. XD

    However, I was toying with what you said. If I opened a second site (that's much less complicated and whatnot), younger users can sign on there, and once they reached a certain age, their accounts will be transferred to the main site. :3

    My site will have a pretty steep learning curve so 16 would probably be a better age to aim for. Hm...
     
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