Over the past few weeks the kids have become obsessed with Moshi Monsters.
Players can adopt their own pet monsters and watch them grow by taking part in daily challenges. Solving the puzzles lets them earn Rox, an online currency. They can then buy things for their monsters and customise the room the monster lives in. As they progress they level up. Players can also keep in touch with their frieinds using social networking features such as essage boards and Monster blogs.
It’s safe and Mind Candy, the company behind the website, takes its responsibilites for online safety seriously. But it doesn’t hurt to review what the kids are looking at and who they’re interacting with from time to time. C claims friends from around the world as far apart as Australia and Canada, people he can’t possibly know. I guess it’s penpals for the 21st Century.
Moshi isn’t new. It’s been around now for almost three years. But it’s new to me because it has just crossed C’s radar. He easily becomes obsessed by the latest craze. Match Attax, the latest football gear and Chelsea FC all feature heavily in our lives at the moment.
My three are nine, six and two. C is always up before 06:00 and logs in almost as soon a his eyes are open. Now he’s got the girls into it to. All three of them can be found clustered around the monitor like a modern version of a 1940’s family around a Bakerlite wireless waiting for news from the front.
Limiting his time on line has become standard practice. It’s half-term this week. I would much rather he was out kicking a ball around, playing cricket with this mates, exploring on his BMX or reading than sitting indoors staring at a computer screen all day. I have no objections to the kids being on line. Indeed, it’s essential that they are. But ‘all things in moderation.’