This weekend, my kids came home and announced that they _had_ to have subscriptions to Disney's new Toontown Online
game. At $10/month for a subscription, it seemed wise to have them go for the 3-day free trial first, and then make a decision about the expense.
Much to my dismay, Toontown works only on a PC. Going there on my Mac gave me this:
Using a Mac?
This system is not supported by Disney's Toontown Online.
Disney's Toontown Online requires a PC running Microsoft Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, or later.
However, my kids have been using their free trials on my husband's Windows-based machine, and they're totally entranced by it. This is their first exposure to a MMORPG, and clearly Disney's done something right--from plugging it hard on the Disney Channel, to making it easy enough for my 7 and 9-year-old sons to use and enjoy.
I did some poking around today to find out how long this has been around, and what other people are saying about it. There are reviews (with screen shots, which I appreciated since my OS of choice has been shut out of game play) at GameZone.com
and Review Outpost
. Both were written in June, but I'm pretty sure the advertising campaign has just begun.
It will be interesting to see if game-makers follow suit, creating adapted versions of existing MMORPGs for the pre-teen set (G-rated Everquest, maybe? or a kid-friendly Game NeverEnding?). I hope so, because I _really_ don't want to spend $10/month per kid on a game that locks us into a platform-specific OS and browser.