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Is Playtime now Paytime?

There’s children Pay TV and now there are pay websites for kids, too. An article in the New York Times earlier this year reviewed some Internet sites that are making loads of money with children through ads. Though many sites have free contents, there is a trend now towards paid access.

Of course, the BarbieGirls site attracts girls with its pink, sazzy color and cool music. To get access to “hottest stuff” one needs to have a VIP subscription. Just ask one of your parents to help you sign up, the site says. Don’t forget the credit card, I’d say.

The Lego Universe, on the other hand, with its online games is definitely a hit for boys. Let’s hope they don’t go for online betting as well.

But how about pay-as-you-play sites for preschoolers?

You can for example buy Beanie Babies online. I mean the virtual ones. Or other virtual pets you meet on Webkinz World where you pay with Webkinz cash.

These are just a few examples. There are many other pay sites out there for all ages. Now, all of these sites include information for parents and guardians to read, complete with FAQs and discussion forums. Have you, parents, ever read these? And once the subscription or membership is in place, do you keep up with the updates of the site? Do you check out their “free” newsletters?

And finally, do you think paid subscriptions for such sites are worth it, even if you can afford it?


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