Anyone can adopt a monster, which is free of charge. They can play all sorts of games on it, but need membership to access all areas! For any type of login you do need to create a password, and my first advice is to keep the password secret from your children! That way they cannot access their monster without your help! One 7yo boy has managed to change his password, but you can access each others monsters if you are "friends" so you can still keep an eye on them!
The point of the monster is for you to feed it, entertain it and keep it happy by buying it things! The currency is Rox, and you can earn Rox by playing daily challenges, amongst other games. The daily challenges do in fact have an educational element as they are mathematical, or challenge countries flags, or ask you to choose correct spellings - there are some more challenging than those too - trust me!
You can also keep your monster happy by getting it pets, called moshlings. These can be bought from either planting the right seeds in your garden or by completing fairly challenging "missions". This does require them to read dialogue, so again there is an educational point to it. In my picture you can see a couple of my moshlings, namely "Lady Goo Goo" and "Snookums". The missions can be fairly entertaining for adults too - well me anyhow, as my last mission involved Simon Growl stealing Lady Goo Goo's voice :)
By doing all of these things, they then proceed up levels. I am currently level 5 but my children are level 7 - hmmmm - I haven't been buying as many things for my moshi's house, so am guessing that is where they are gaining on me - I'll get back to you on that!
The only potential danger I can see is where the "friends" can send each other messages, or gifts with messages. The children are adding friends without checking them out, and they are loving the "following" - sound familiar!! However they are not as discerning as an adult may be, and this is the only area where I can see where they could receive unwanted attention! So as long as you can access their messages and gifts - very simple to do as it is on their front pages, then I believe it is safe! You can also block unwanted attention and delete messages should you need to - though I haven't had to to date!
As a tweeter I feel it would be hypocritical to deny them this form of social networking! I would also say that their ICT skills are way ahead of what their school is offering them in any form of learning!
Happy to help with any further questions you may have!
|The Moshi Monster map they navigate around