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Virtual Worlds News: Online Community Handipoints Creates Virtual World

Handipoints, an online community aimed at helping parents encourage good behavior in children, has launched HandiLand, a virtual world tied to the same concept of encouraging real-world action. Users earn points by completing tasks set by their parents. The points can then be used for in-world purchases like cartoons or games or for real-world rewards set by parents. Targeted at kids aged 4 to 12, HandiLand is positioning itself in the Webkinz and Club Penguin market, though aiming as much at parents as kids. The Handipoints community has over 140,000 users and the company says the beta of the world has seen 92,000 kids and 48,000 parents since its launch in November 2007. The site is currently free, but the company plans to adopt a subscription model for premium content down the road. “Club Penguin and Webkinz are great games and very fun to play, but these games provide no value to the parents and teach kids the wrong lessons about consumerism,” said Viva Chu, CEO of Handipoints. “Kids end up spending hours in these worlds playing mindless games in order to earn enough coins to buy clothing. Handipoints is completely different. In our game kids earn points by staying healthy and active in the real world.”

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Joi Podgorny has spent the better part of the past 2 decades working on the bleeding edge of the technology and entertainment industries, from content/brand development and production to leading international support, moderation, community and social teams. Most recently, Joi founded Good People Collective, a consulting agency focused on helping companies and organizations establish, assess and pivot their internal and external cultures to help maximize their potential. She and her team are currently working on an exciting new software project, combining corporate training and virtual reality.

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