Monday, April 2, 2007

Kids Take Webkinz Rumors to Heart

When I picked my fourth-grade son up after school last week, he had news for his little sisters. They hurried along to keep up with their long-legged brother – his words came as fast as his stride. Webkinz World was under attack, he said. A virus was spreading through the website that could kill their Webkinz. Forever. Yes, he was sure. No, they wouldn’t be able to reactivate the pets. Everyone was talking about it. Kids who really knew what they were talking about when it comes to Webkinz, he said.

Naturally, my daughters (ages 4 and 6) were visibly traumatized to think that something could happen to their special “pets.” In just a few months, they have gotten attached to their Webkinz. Having that link with the virtual pets on Webkinz World – feeding them, taking them to the vet, setting up rooms for them – has increased their attachment to the Webkinz stuffed animals they carry around with them. Taking care of the pets in the virtual world makes them seem just a little more real than the other stuffies that fill their room. (www.webkinz.com)

So hearing that something was out to destroy their pets was upsetting, to say the least.

They cornered my husband as soon as he walked in the door that night. They knew he’d get to the bottom of it quickly, and it didn’t take much digging on his part. Right there on the Webkinz World homepage, there is a corner called “Webkinz Bulletinz.” Apparently, the tall tale didn’t start in our small town’s elementary schools after all.

The website assures users that Webkinz World is “a safe, happy and fun place to play” and that the stories are just rumors.

“Many people have been writing in, asking about a rumor that is going around,” the message states. “The rumor is about something in Webkinz World hurting Webkinz pets. The most important thing to know is that this rumor is not true at all. Nothing in Webkinz World would ever hurt your Webkinz pets.”

My husband was the hero of the day when he gave them the straight story.

But it’s hard for young children to truly understand the difference between the virtual world and the real one. They know their Webkinz will get sick if they don’t feed them every few days and put them to bed before they log off the site. That’s part of the system. The kids play games to earn money to take care of their pets. If they don’t take care of them, they don’t stay healthy and happy. If they get sick, according to the logic of my daughters, then why can’t they die? The fact that it’s all make-believe doesn’t factor into their thought process. They needed it explained. A couple of times.

The part that was hard for them to understand? Why anyone would want to scare them like that.

And that’s one question I had no good answer for.

23 comments:

Editor Susan Scully Petroni said...

If your child is obsessed with Webkinz, take a few minutes to answer a few survey questions to
be entered into Bay State Parent magazine's April drawing for a Webkinz monkey at: www.baystateparent.com

Anonymous said...
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FFW said...

The Rumor is true, i saw it happen

Scythe said...

i'm sorry but that's creul =( , especially when the little kids are so attached to thier Webkinz , and no the rumor is not true, a virus could not do that, viruses affect one single computer and websitees do not have thier own viruses, they can give YOUR computers viruses but are not affected by them , but by broken coding and things of that nature can mess the layouts (im 12)

Jordan said...
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Jordan said...

Yeah I saw it too. there's actually a digg-like site for webkinz rumors at webkinzrumors.com

Anonymous said...

When I first heard the rumor, I knew it wasn't true. But everyone was scared to death about the rumor. My friend was like: "There's a virus on Webkinz. A blue Webkinz and a red one comes and kills your pets." She was so worried! I said: " You know how 4th graders love to start rumors. It's definately NOT true." After that I talked to another friend of mine who lives about 90 miles away from me. She was so scared about the rumour, she was practically crying. So I did some reserch...And I was right, there is no Webkinz rumor.

Izzy said...
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Anonymous said...

Dudes, say cool. it ain't true!!!

Anonymous said...

I know how the rumor began and it is notr true. Here is the story. All names have been changed for privacy purposes.

One day, a little boy named Chris ccame home from school with hope is his eyes.

"Mama, can I have a Webkinz?" He asked his mother as nicely as he could. She looked confused, so he calmly and politely told his mother what a webkinz was.

"I know you don't like the internet very much, mama," He said, "But it's totally safe! Nothing could ever hurt you on Webkinz, and it's fun and educational, too!" His mom frowned.

"Sorry, honey, but Webkinz sounds a little dangerous. Let's buy you a beanie baby instead." Jimmy reluctanly agreed, knowing his mama wouldn't budge when her mind was made. He knew his birthday was coming up in two weeks. Sometimes his mama would surprise him like that, he thought fondly.

He patiently waited and waited for his birthday, and every day he went on webkinz.com to look at pictures of the toys. His favorite was the lion, so he made sure his mama knew this.

When Chris's birthday came, he ripped all of his presents open one by one, trying to hide his disappointment when each one turned out to not be a webkinz. But with one present left, he was really starting to worry.

What if it isn't what I want? Am I gonna let the reat of the world enjoy webkinz, while I can't do anything but pla with beanie babies?, He thought worriedly. He carefully ipped open the package.... and...
It was another beanie baby! He pretended to be happy, but a sinister plan was really cooking inside his head.

"If I can't enjoy Webkinz, then no one can!" He said to himself in the privacy of his room. So, he logged on to his computer.

As soon as it was done oading, he logged on to google. He found every Webkinz website he could, read p on webkinz and what you can do, and went onto a forum for webkinz.

He posted a bunch of posts about how his weblkinz were dying and how Ms.Birdy came in through a window and killed them. He addad graphic details and smiled to himself as people started posting back.
"That might have happened to me too!"
"What should I do?"
"Is it true?"

Everyone was panicking, and he told them all to post the rumor on every place they could find. Soon, it had spread all throughout Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.

There was no stopping Chris. He knew that everyone was scared to go on Webkinz, so it was a perfect time to swoop in and steal an account. He went on a forum and said he knew how to protect you from the rumor. Instantly, three panicking people gave him their account and password. He changed the passwords, and...Tadaaa! He had three good accounts. Using kinzpost, he transferred all the exclusive items from the three into the one with the nicest house and the most kinzCash, and he changed the passwords of the other two accounts back to what they were. Eventually, Ganz found out about the rumor and posted a bulletin. But, most people thought they were just covering up, and didn't believe it. That is how the rumor started, and you can make it end. Post this on as many websites as you can if you want to stop the madness!

Anonymous said...

It's not true. I have 34 webkinz and not one of them got killed.

AYA123456 said...

Whan I want on Webkinz today I did every thing I always do.But whan I did the charm forest I lost 10 Webkinz.I was so scream to the top of my lugs.Like this,HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AYA123456 said...

I got all my 10 Webkinz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Devon said...

I got all 14 webkinz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Whoever explained this rumor story, thank you. (i'm 10. by the way) Now whenever I ahve to go to bed, I can sleep right away and not worry anymore. I can go on Webkinz and not worry about this knife thing
YAY!

Anonymous said...

thanks for telling us this story i am ten and have 10 webkinz and love them dearly so thanks tell your girls nothing will happen to there webkinz but they will expire in a year and they will be able to activate them agin and agin

Anonymous said...

it happened to me!! ok, i have three webkinz. and it said it was my webkinz birthday, and a piece of cake and a present was in my dock. when i opened the present, all my kinzcash and stuff in my dock was gone!!!

Anonymous said...

the rumor is not true, but if you think all of that garbage is true then here's what to do.......       move all of your beds, toys and food into one of your rooms that will be titled emergancy room.your bed should be blocking the door.you webkinz will sleep and play in.

Anonymous said...

I never have heard of this rumor. But that's what a rumor is, fake news. So don't worry young children. You don't have to make an emergency room either. Don't worry!

gymnasticsandswimmerluvr said...

I have every single webkinz and lil kinz. no lie. not one of them got hacked into so it's just a bunch of trashtalk. i am rich bye the weigh

Webkinz Owners said...

Webkinz Owners United to Protest

The Webkinz Estore says "A $5 dollar minimum order (before taxes) is required to make purchases through Webkinz eStore."
This is an unfair deal against Webkinz Owners.
If you would like to protest with us, please do email your concerns to support@webkinz.com
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I believe in the rumor.So I made an Emergency room and all 6 of my webkinz in it.I am really scared but I want to know more about it,and about what happens with the red dot and stuff plz tell!

Anonymous said...

I BELIVE IN THIS RUMOR!!!!!!I AM SCARED FOR ALL OF MY WEBKINZ SO SOMEONE FIX THIS PROBLEM!PLEASE GIVE ME MORE INFO!!!