Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Extort-kinz

The saga of the Webkinz continues. (Please see Saturday's post - and, no, I'm not going to link you because I don't know how to do that, and, honestly, it's just a short scroll down. Everybody up to speed? Wonderful - let's continue.)

It turns out that not only is it your job to house, clothe and accessorize your little webkin...you actually have to "feed" and "care" for it at regular intervals.

Wait a minute...this sounds vaguely familiar. Oh, yeah, I think I already have a couple of those.

We call them CHILDREN!

Of course, if you neglect your little Webkin a virtual social service agent does not come knocking at your door with a removal order. Oh no - if only it were that simple. If you fail to tend to your little webkin, it DIES! Not only does it die, but it comes with a tiny DNR request and the only way you can play on the webkinz site again it to....any guesses? That's right - go out and buy ANOTHER Webkinz.

Somewhere, Satan and Michael Eisner are in a hot tub, drinking martinis and laughing their heads off.

3 comments:

Barbara Hibner said...

Great post - humor gets us through a lot, doesn't it. Just to dispell a rumor though, Webkinz can't die; it would be pretty awful for kids if they did. Even if you don't feed them forever, they will at worst get sick, and make you spend money for medicine (egads, the gouging of the evil kinzpharmaceutical corporations).

However, if you don't adopt another webkinz after 1 year, your webkinz will take you to custody court and divorce you forever and ever. No second chances to visit the house you so lavishly furnished complete with hottub and medieval armor.

Stop by Webkinzmom.com for another Kinz mom's thoughts.

beta mom said...

Thanks Barbara, for the update. I did check out webkinzmom.com, and wow...that's a lot of information about webkinz. Truly Alpha research.


Love your description of Webkinz custody court!

Anonymous said...

My child received a Webkinz in the mail for a birthday gift last month. It was a simple stuffed animal dog, (made in China). It looked like any other stuffed toy on the market. Little did I realize this was the latest and largest craze since Pokemon and beanie babies...with a catch. Printed on the toy's tag is an "access" code that allows the owner access to the Webkinz website. Enter some of your child's (seemingly innocuous) information and he/she has access to the site for one year. Inside, your child is allowed to "nurture" their virtual pet. But to do so, you need Webkinz money. The Webkinz money is accumulated by playing games on the site. Then the child is rewarded by getting to "buy" stuff for his/her virtual pet. If the child doesn't visit the site enough to "care for" their virtual pet...the pet doesn't "die"...it just "gets sad". Brilliant really. This is genius marketing. The advertizer - Webkinz- doesn't have to figure out how to get to your kids...because the kids come back to them after their first "hit". Over and over. And they want more...more...MORE Webkinz.

I wish parents would clue into such advertising and their negative effects. Abject mindless consumerism. "Stuff" without meaning or use.

I googled two words. "Webkinz" and "gross" together. I landed on a chat site devoted to talking about how cool Webkinz are and how many kids can collect...etc..The kids ages appeared to be somewhere between 8 and 12 years old. But the site soon got rude, then nasty, then downright pornagraphic. I opted to throw out the "access code". I explained to my daughter that she could play with the stuffed dog, but the games and site were merely a very clever advertisment designed to make kids waste their money on more and more of what they all ready have.

A few days later we went out to visit a favorite cousin. She had a friend over. They were in the basement, each sitting in front of a computer screen...(you guessed it)...playing Webkinz online. Plugged in and tuned out.

How I shudder.