There seems to be a "hot" trend starting with Webkinz. Basically it is an online virtual pet. First you buy a Webkinz pet at a store like Hallmark, hospital gift shops, JC Penney, Wild Birds Unlimited. With the plush animal you receive a secret code which allows you to enter the world of Webkinz. You must feed your pet, exercise her, buy food for her. You go shopping with money you earn from playing the games and visiting area on the website. They even have chat, but it is extremely controlled. You can use a section where you can send only prefabricated messages, in a second area the chat is controlled by not allowing certain words e.g. proper names, numbers, etc.
The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County is doing programming in connection with Webkinz. Here are two blogs from there that talk about it.
Pondering the Blurr
Yes to Know
What are your thoughts? Do you suppose this something you might consider?