National Geographic Animal Jam

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The logo of National Geographics, Animal Jam.

National Geographic Animal Jam is a massively multiplayer online game launched in 2010 by Smart Bomb Interactive, in partnership with the National Geographic Society. The game, which has experienced 500% year-over-year growth, already has millions of registered players, and is one of the fastest-growing online kids properties worldwide.[1] Animal Jam is free from outside advertising and adheres to a strict privacy policy.[2]

Animal Jam takes place in the world of Jamaa, where players can travel through various ecological environments such as prairie, rainforest and desert. Each environment features different interactive facts, games, and virtual shops. Players are represented in the game with customizable animal avatars. Players can accessorize their avatars, decorate their dens (virtual houses)and adopt virtual pets. Players interact with one another through chatting, trading/gifting, or by participating in multiplayer games and parties. Players are rewarded with achievements for collecting facts in the game, making friends, and decorating their dens. Players also earn the in-game currency, Gems, by completing games. Gems enable players to make in-game purchases of additional avatars, accessories, dens, and den items.[3]

Development[edit]

The game was developed in 2009 by Smart Bomb Interactive, and launched publicly with memberships in September 2010.[4] In May of 2011, Animal Jam announced it had surpassed 1 million registered players.[5] By August 2012, the game surpassed 6 million players worldwide.[6]


Environment[edit]

Animal Jam is divided into multiple lands and parties. Each player is provided with a den for their avatar, that can be decorated with den items (purchased with gems in the virtual shops). Members are able to upgrade their dens and purchase additional member-only den items, purchased with Gems,earned by playing games.[7]

Animals[edit]

Jammers, the name of players on Animal Jam, can purchase animals to play as. Non-members can only have 2 animals, whereas Club Members can have up to 24 animals.

   The animals of Jamaa are:              The Underwater Animals are:
Eagle (NEWEST ANIMAL AND MEMBERS ONLY)    Shark (MEMBERS ONLY)
Kangaroo   (MEMBERS ONLY)                 Dolphin (MEMBERS ONLY)
Lion (MEMBERS ONLY)                       Octopus (MEMBERS ONLY)
Arctic Wolf  (MEMBERS ONLY)               Seal        
Snow Leopard (MEMBERS ONLY)               Penguin (was member on 2012)
Cheetah (MEMBERS ONLY)                    Sea Turtle
Deer (MEMBERS ONLY) 
Seal
Wolf
Monkey (endangered in 2012)
Bunny
Penguin (was member in early 2012)
Crocodile (MEMBERS ONLY)
Panda (currently endangered)
Elephant (traveled in 2013)
Fox (MEMBERS ONLY)
Giraffe (Members Only)
Horse/Pony (MEMBERS ONLY)
Koala
Raccoon (MEMBERS ONLY)
Tiger
Rhino (traveling in 2014)

Animal jam[edit]

Players with free membership are the same as people with extra membership, however, there are additions to the game, such as a larger variety of animals and dens.

Shops[edit]

There are multiple shops throughout Jamaa where players can purchase items such as accessories for their avatars, virtual pets, and den items. The following are the shops, 2010. It's official public launch with memberships was on September 9, 2010.[8] In May 2011, Animal Jam announced it had surpassed 1 million registered players.[9] By August 2012, the game surpassed 6 million players worldwide.[10] In March 2013, the 10 million players benchmark was celebrated.[11]

The shops of Jamaa are:

Jam Mart Clothing Epic Wonders Coral Canyons den Shop New: Diamond Shop Arcade Shop Appendale Clothing Mt Shiveer Sarepia Forest Garden Shop (some people consider the "claw" games as shops. You need at least 5 gems to use.) there are new underwater shops and an new eagle shop in the coral cayons

Membership[edit]

Animal Jam has several membership offerings (1 month,3 month,6 month, or 12 month),[12] as well as various gift card options available at retailers throughout the United States. Each retailer has a special code with an exclusive type of playable animal.[13] Membership grants players access to member-only animals to play as, virtual pets to care for, additional customization options, dens to live in and customize, and more.[14] Also, keep track of the Kangaroo Memberships, Arctic Wolf membership, Snow Leopard, and Lion now released in all game gift card shops such as "Toys R Us" and "Target" online shops. Unfortunately, you need to now buy the animals instead of getting them free.

Communication and safety[edit]

There are several forms of communication in the game that are all monitored by a safety chat filter, each with a variety of parent controlled safety chat options for their child's accounts. These options can be set using the Parent Dashboard associated with the child's account. New accounts start out with Restricted Chat, which allows you to type from a preselected dictionary of words. There is a Bubble Chat option that does not allow you to type although the user can select from a limited list of sayings. The third type of chat option is Safe Chat or free chat, where the user may type their own messages. However it is still filtered through a safety chat and a warning will appear if you try to use potentially unsafe words that are not allowed. Other users will not see any message appear if your free-chat includes certain words or phrases.

You can also send Jam-A-Grams, which is the in-game mail system. Each Jam-A-Gram includes a background image selection, a stamp image selection and a list of sayings you can send. Only members can type in their own messages. Member players with safe or restricted chat can also type a message but the safety chat filter is much more strict than in-game chatting. You may also attached a gift to send to another user. However, keep in mind that non-members cannot open any jam-a-gram gifts, though they can still send them to members.

Game economy and trading[edit]

The in-game monetary system is the use of Gems that you can earn by playing mini-games and buddy games. There are also Gem gift certificate codes that can be purchased in the Animal Jam Outfitters Shop. There is a daily gem bonus that you get during your first daily log on that you spin for a random amount which is multiplied by how recently you logged on last (x1, x2, or x3). However you earn your gems, they can be spent at the various shops throughout the lands and parties of Jamaa for den items, pets, clothing and accessories. There is no option to trade or gift gems to other players. Every two weeks or so, a game in the land is updated to 'double gems'. If you play that game, you can earn more gems than playing a regular game. There is a Gem Donation area in the Conservation Museum that you can donate any gem amount towards helping an endangered animal of your choosing. The trading system was introduced into the game in March 2011 after players petitioned the designers to create a safer way for trading items between players. The new currency is "diamonds". These are mostly for members but nonmembers can win them in the daily spin. But there is a really small chance you can get one in the daily spin.

Gem donations[edit]

The Gem donation box in the Conservation Museum is one way that Animal Jam helps support the mission of the National Geographic Society to inspire kids to care about the planet. A significant portion of all revenue Animal Jam collects goes to support National Geographic's worldwide conservation efforts. By June 2012,[15] players enabled the Animal Jam creators at Smart Bomb Interactive to contribute over $3 Million to the National Geographic Society's work. The Play Wild Fund was introduced in November 2011 to allow players to choose which animals and conservation efforts they wanted to donate to.

On April 12, 2012, monkeys went endangered in Jamaa. Players could no longer create these animals during this time. Players donated 100 million gems, to help save the endangered monkey population. The monkeys were saved and returned to Jamaa on August 30, 2012.

Codes[edit]

Every month or so, Animal Jam releases new codes to unlock free gems or special items. Players can enter these codes when logging in to play Animal Jam.[16] Most codes give players 500-1000 gems for free. Codes can only be used once by each player and expire after some time. One of the codes is "ZAMBEZI,". It has not expired yet. The code "ajbday3" is too unlock the 3rd Animal Jam birthday cake. It has not expired.

Gameplay environment[edit]

Animal Jam is divided into multiple lands, oceans, parties, and games. Each account is provided with a free basic den, which is a lockable home that can be decorated with den items. Players are able to shop for den furniture and clothing. Only members can shop for different dens. Each location in Jamaa features different habitats, shops, pets, games, journey book animals, educational videos, and reading information. There are even a few hidden areas and Easter eggs (during the time around the Easter holidays) for explorers to find. Now nonmembers can by an underwater den and another of the starter den.

Parties[edit]

In Jamaa there are many parties players can go to. Such as: Jamaaliday jam, friendship festival, jam on, dinner party, cruise ship, heat wave,trading party, wolves only, horses only,monkeys only, bunnies only, penguins only, and many others. There are parties with specific animals you must have to access, such as the horses only party.

Lands and habitats[edit]

Jamaa is the fictional world in which players interact with one another in-game. Jamaa is an ever-expanding map that includes both land and ocean based areas to explore. When you change from a land-based habitat using a land animal avatar to an ocean-based habitat, the game will switch to your last used ocean animal avatar. If you do not have an animal that can be used in the ocean, then you will not be able to explore these areas of Jamaa until you create one.

All of the main habitat locations can be found in each land in Jamaa:

Jamaa Township – by using the map. Canyon's Pathway is the only habitat location that cannot be reached via map; it can only be accessed from Coral Canyons or Crystal Sands. The Chamber of Knowledge has an indoor area with several rooms that can be accessed from the Temple of Zios, the last room of the Chamber of Knowledge includes the Mystery Emporium. However, the hidden chamber rooms include several games and reading areas. There are also several other social and educational rooms throughout Jamaa that can be reached from the main map locations such as the Pillow Room, Club Geoz, Sol Arcade, Hot Cocoa Hut, Art Studio, Brady Barr's Laboratory, Captain Melville's Juice Hut, Tierney's Aquarium, Conservation Museum and the Serepia Theatre. There are also several rooms that are primarily shops.

Lands[edit]

!! Land/Ocean !! Released Date !! Shops !! Rooms !! Games !! Fact!!

|- | Jamaa Township || BETA DAYS First|| Jam mart, Sol arcade, Diamond Shop || Former Medical Center, Pillow Room, Sol Arcade, Jam mart, Club Geoz Diamond Shop newest place || Jamaa Derby, Former River Race, Spider Zapper, Phantom Fighter || Jamaa Township is a city

|- | Temple of Zios || BETA DAYS Second || Chamber Of Knowledge || Brady's Lab, Chamber of Knowledge || Temple of Trivia , Swoopy Eagle, Falling Phantoms || Showed long time on beginning which means before Sarepia Forest

|- | Crystal Sands || BETA DAYS Third (old) 2011 (new) || None || Captain Mehvile Juice Hut, Tierney's Aquarium newest place || Overflow, Double Up || Old Crystal sands means before Appondale opens NO WATERSLIDE

|- | Adventure Base Camp || June 2013 || Adventure Shop || None || 8 Adventures || Adventures come.

|- | Phantom Vortex || October Every Year || None || None || Phantoms || October every year.

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Geographic Animal Jam surpasses 6 million young players - PRNewswire
  2. ^ Animal Jam - animaljam.com
  3. ^ Animal Jam - animaljam.com/parents
  4. ^ Young Explorers Experience Ultimate Online Playground with National Geographic Animal Jam - National Geographic Society Press Room.
  5. ^ National Geographic Animal Jam hits a million kids - VentureBeat
  6. ^ National Geographic Animal Jam surpasses 6 million young players - PRNewswire
  7. ^ Animal Jam - blog.animaljam.com/category/dens/
  8. ^ All Voices
  9. ^ VentureBeat
  10. ^ PRNewswire
  11. ^ The Daily Explorer
  12. ^ Animal Jam Outfitters
  13. ^ Animal Jam
  14. ^ The Neat Things in Life
  15. ^ The Daily Explorer
  16. ^ Animal Jam Guide: How to Use Codes