Another eco-minded MMO is Emerald Island (www.EmeraldIsland.com). Kids enter this virtual world as an animal avatar, tasked with fighting off the eco-destroying Pirats. The Pirats have already plundered and destroyed the other islands of this world, and only Emerald Island is left as a beautiful pristine world.
In this world, kids are provided with a home and land on which to plant a garden. As with most virtual worlds, you can change the look of your avatar, safely chat if parents approve, and decorate your crib; but the focus of this game is completing eco-themed quests and planting a garden to raise crops for sale and keep the habitat "green." One such quest involves helping an in-game character whose Aspen trees have been cut down by the Pirats. He needs your help in finding and planting new Aspen seeds.
MMOs can be confusing for kids new to this gaming experience, but Emerald Island eases this discomfort by providing cute, in-game movies that explain the game play. By playing the minigames scattered throughout the world, kids earn coins to buy things in this virtual world.
Kids can explore this world for free, but they will have a richer experience if they become a member. For example, members can buy additional seeds for their garden whereas non-members will have to go on quests to earn more seeds. Membership is $5.95 for a month, $29.95 for 6 months, and $57.95 for a year.
In honor of Earth Day, Fluid Entertainment (the creator of Emerald Island) will plant one tree through www.TreesForTheFuture.org for every child who enters the Emerald Island, and 10 trees for every paid membership.
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