Handipoints

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Handipoints is a website with a chore chart component and an MMORPG virtual world containing a range of online games and activities, called "HandiLand". It is developed by Handipoints Inc. The purpose of Handipoints is to "Make Fun of Work" and to provide parents with printable customizable chore charts to make chores easier and more fun. Kids check off their chores on their virtual chore chart, then they earn Handipoints and Bonus Points. It is significant because it is one of the first virtual worlds that engages children in real world play and responsibilities while marrying those activities to an online experience.

Handipoints are used to buy Savings Goals from parents—physical items in the real world. Bonus Points are used to purchase virtual items in HandiLand—the virtual world.[citation needed]

HandiLand uses cartoon cats as avatars and users walk around, chat, play Flash minigames and dress up their cat avatar characters and decorate their cat avatar character’s houses.[1][broken citation]

Handipoints was launched in January 2007 [2][unreliable source?], and, after a period of beta testing, was launched officially on March 4, 2008 (2008-03-04). Free memberships are available to the site, but revenue is also raised through paid memberships.[citation needed] Memberships in the Cool Cats Club allow users to dress up their cat avatars—called Cool Cats—and decorate the homes of their cat avatars with furniture. The game is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old.[3]

History and development[edit]

Development for Handipoints began in 2007 when entrepreneur Viva Chu wanted to improve on the virtual world model for kids. He saw websites like Club Penguin and Webkinz as too consumer oriented, and he wanted a real life impact for his virtual world through chore charts. He says: "In our game kids earn points by staying healthy and active in the real world." After some time in beta testing, Handipoints was released in March 2008.[2][unreliable source?][4]

In February, 2009, Handipoints introduced the Cool Cats Club, a paid subscription service. Membership in the Cool Cats Club lets users buy clothing and furniture for their cat avatars, But now membership is free.

Business model[edit]

Handipoints is a privately owned, venture capital funded company in Northern California. That offers free membership.

Child Safety[edit]

As with any website geared towards an audience of young and old, Handipoints has two types of chat:

  • Safe chat, Users pick phrases from a list to say.
  • Free chat, Users can type what they want to say freely, and bad language is filtered out.

Memberships[edit]

Users can pay to become subscription members of the Cool Cats Club to gain benefits over non-members. Players who have paid membership can buy clothing, hair, make-up, backgrounds, and furniture.[5]

Handipoints is essentially a free site, with a membership option for users who do not subscribe to the Cool Cats Club. Free users have access to HandiLand games, movies and chat, but cannot dress up or accessorize their Cool Cat cat avatar, nor can they buy furniture for the homes of their avatar.

Environment[edit]

HandiLand is divided into rooms and distinct areas. Each destination can be reached from a map or by walking through the different rooms, most of which are linked to each other. All rooms and environments are currently open to all members. The Burbs Room has the following activities:

  • Post office
  • Cartoon Theater
  • J-Cat Clothing Store
  • Kitty’s Home Furniture Store
  • Arcade
  • Diner

The Neighborhood features a portal where users can access their own virtual house as well as the virtual houses of other users. They can vote on houses and play games. Each player is provided with a single room for a home. Users can visit the houses of other users and other users may access their house. If a user is a member of the Cool Cats Club, they can use their Bonus Points to buy furniture and decorate their house.

The School features a library where users can read virtual books, a daily trivia challenge and Flash mini-games that users can play. The Country is a place where users can play Flash mini-games. The Beach is a place where users can play Flash mini-games.[6]

Emoticons[edit]

Users can express their feelings with emoticons and actions. There are numerous emoticons, such as a happy face, a sad face, angry, etc. The emoticons appear above the avatar's head in a speech bubble. Users can also do actions such as dancing, laughing, whistling, sneezing, etc.

Items[edit]

You can use Bonus Points that they collect from doing chores to purchase various items from shops all over Handiland. Everybody can purchase clothing and furniture for their cat avatars.[5]

Reception and awards[edit]

Handipoints has been well received by parents and industry critics. Handipoints appeared both in the September 2008 issue of Parents Magazine and the September 2008 issue of Real Simple Magazine. It was ranked "Best Social Site for Kids" and "Best Parenting Website for Kids", respectively.[7][8] Handipoints was also nominated for a 2008 Webby Award in the Family/Parenting category.[9] In October 2008, Handipoints won a Gold W3 Award in the Family/Parenting category.[10]

Issues[edit]

At September 7,2011,Handipoints had faced some issues. They deleted all accounts due to attempting to migrate users. As of January 15,2013,handipoints still isnt working as of loading server by the local host. Which never continues. It is nearly impossible to wear or change rooms since they've been deleted.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • [1] Handipoints Website