Mingoville: The safe virtual world

The other day, Letterbox posted an infographic about how young people grow up with social media. This infographic tells, among other things, that of all children using Facebook, nearly 42% of them are 12 years or younger, even though the sign-up age is 13. That’s about 5 million children. These children are growing up in a world where even the farthest reaches of the globe can be accessible through the computer and information is only a click away.Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 10.02.17 AM

Despite the advantages, the Internet can also be unsafe
Parents’ fear of strangers exploiting their children is reflected in the answers given. According to the infographic, 72% of the parents worry that their children are revealing inappropriate information to strangers. Without keeping a watchful eye on their childrens’ web usage, which 72% do, it can be hard to keep completely updated on which sites are visited. Only half of the parents have installed parental controls on their computers, letting them fully control what is accessed on the Internet.

But wouldn’t it be nice if the children could visit a website and chat with other children, without worrying about who your children talks to and what they’re saying? So thought we. And when we made our Mingoville virtual world, where children can chat with other children from across the globe, this was something that required much planning.

The Solution
The solution we came up with was our Safe English Chat. This system allows the children to communicate, using only pre-approved words. Names aren’t in the database, neither are numbers. Certain combinations of words aren’t shown. If you try to write a word that doesn’t exist in the database, it shows up in red in your text field and won’t be sent.

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 8.53.56 AMIn a single stroke, the amount of inappropriate information being accidentally sent back and forth is eliminated. And if the child isn’t comfortable writing on its own, it can use several pre-defined phrases and sentences. Using the build-in dictionary, the children can pick phrases from ten different categories, like Numbers and letters and Sports and media. This ensures that the language and content discussed in the virtual world is completely safe and without inappropriateness.

If a word doesn’t exist in the database, we get a notice. In case it’s a word we’ve overlooked, it gets added to the approved list.

This system works and we’ve run Mingoville virtual world for four years where the safety and wellbeing of our young users were in the forefront.
We’re still working on Mingoville, improving it and making new features. Our ambition when we started is the same as it is now: Creating a safe game world where children can learn English alone or with others, having fun while they are doing so.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for a free trial on Mingoville.com!

Mingoville Launches A Virtual World For The Scandinavian Kids To Learn English

Our virtual world is finally LIVE in Denmark as the first market. After days and even nights of testing, testing and testing, we have launched our Mingoville World to the Danish kids. Now they can learn English while they play fun games, meet new friends and talk to their classmates.

Concert in the Virtual World
It was a great moment when we launched, with lots of cheering as we welcomed our first kid in the Mingoville World, but also a moment with some anxiety. Would the kids find our educational games entertaining and would they use our Safe English Chat? Similarly, would they understand how to use the coins and feathers they earn by completing the learning exercises in the Mingoville School? Well, we had nothing to fear. The kids have lots of fun playing the games while also chatting in English.

Picture this; 8 year old Peter is sitting very concentrated in front of the computer singing the same song over and over again, practicing his English pronunciation which has to be perfect. He is recording the song for the concert he is giving in the Mingoville World tonight. A concert, he has invited all his online friends to go to. On the other side of the world, 9 year old Alexandra is logging in to the Mingoville World. She is looking forward to going to the concert with her Danish friend Peter.
Menu in MMO

Actually, the more you practice your English and the more English exercises you complete in the Mingoville School, the more feathers and coins you get in the Mingoville World to play with. To give a concert requires that you record an English song which in return gives lots of feathers and coins to dress up your flamingo or buy a drink in the Café.

Register your kid in the Mingoville World (Only Danes for the time being)

We have tested the Safe English Chat feature. NO offensive words can be used, trust us.

Mingoville World is in beta as we continue to develop it by adding new exciting games and features thus assuring that the kids never get bored when learning English. We welcome you to explore the new virtual world together with your kids when it comes out in June.

Please feel free to comment or share your ideas and experiences with Mingoville. We are always open to your suggestions.

Sign up now for free and be notified when the Mingoville World is available in your country

June Rosendahl
Mingoville Team