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Nick Jr. Site Sending Kids to Dirty Games?

online-gamingThe Nick Jr. site is a popular one with parents – many Strollerderby writers included – so why are some parents opting out on the gaming site after watching an ABC News warning?

Because a link on top of the site could send them straight out to play mature games including a “cooking” game that includes an animated woman removing her top and one featuring a “naughty cheerleader.”

The trouble is Addicting Games, which is a sister company to Nickelodeon, has some kid-appropriate games. There’s a Madasgar penguins game, another based around the new kids movie Planet 51. But there’s also the nekkid people.

And the only sign that a game is for “mature” audiences is the word “mature” atop the game – after it’s already been opened. And we all know how keen our kids’ powers of observation are – or how easy it is to see them on the Penguin game, smile and nod because they’re safe and sound, walk away, and have them click on something else on the site.

The Nick. Jr. problem was reported to ABC News by a parent, who found their kid migrated when they clicked on the “more” tab at the top of the Nick homepage. That tab is still there, with the link to Addicting Games. For a few seconds there’s a warning that you’re leaving the Nick Jr. site, but that’s it – then it goes away, and you’re on the Addicting Games site. And with cartoony pictures across the front, that one looks fairly harmless.

Nickelodeon told ABC that the warning that you’re leaving their site is their means to keep kids safe. But Addicting Games in and of itself is set up poorly.

Parents have the ultimate responsibility over what their kids do on the net, it’s true, but should there be extra barriers for a site that markets itself specifically to kids?

Image: husin sani via flickr

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