SuperSecret.com is a New Virtual World for 9-13 Year Olds
SuperSecret.com is a new social game that just launched a few days ago. With many virtual worlds and online games catering to older audiences, and others such as Club Penguin and Webkinz the youngest ones, SuperSecret has been designed for those in between. Within it, tweens do the one thing all kids want to do: Grow up.
Catering specifically for the 9 – 13 year-old age group, SuperSecret uses a level system that allows players to “age up” from 10 to 18. Throughout the game, players create a human avatar in order to socialize, play mini-games, and hang out within any number of locals. However, with each “birthday,” access to new features are opened up to the respective users. At age 11 they are able to own a virtual pet, at 12 they acquire a dorm room to decorate, 16 brings the first car, and 18 allows for voting.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to say how the latter two ages are going to work, as the company has stated that players can only reach age 15 for the first couple months of 2009. Nevertheless, there still seems to be plenty to do.
SuperSecret users are able to play up to 40 different Flash games with new ones unlocking at different age groups, but beyond that, there is the more addictive feature of virtual items that are purchased with the in-game currency, “spenders.” These are used to buy everything from pets, clothes, hair styles, furniture and gifts. In addition, the game seems to be extremely social, connecting friends with an in-game cell phone.
This phone shows the status and location of any of your online friends, and even if they are offline, allows you to leave messages, set up meeting times, and even send gifts. Seeing as how SuperSecret is designed for a tween demographic as well, this feature (amongst others) are designed with safety in mind. Parents are able to set various parental controls such as chat filters, blocking players, and even play moderation.
SuperSecret says that “tweens” have been involved with development from the beginning, stating that “tweens themselves have determined what features to include and pinpointed ways to make the game better.” In addition, the company says it has established distribution partnerships with SPIL GAMES and Wild Tangent.
SuperSecret is currently using a subscription model of $4.95 a month. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but they are making a potentially dangerous move in making the game free at first but capping the age/level at 12. Once players get to the gate and have to pay the “admission fee,” many players could be lost. This is quite the surprising choice considering this world is a prime candidate for virtual goods (just look at the success of Second Life or IMVU), but it will be interesting to see how things go for the company.