When I was a child, we had flowerpot men and Bagpuss to entertain
us. These days, what with the web, entertainment for the seven- to
15-year-old is a bit more sophisticated.
Sub-club.com is an e-tailing and entertainment site for children. But
it's also a walled garden that prevents children wandering off.
The site combines 3D chat with e-commerce and has retail partners such
as Micro Skate Scooter, Schuh, Kate's Skates and Fonehouse. The idea is
that kids are able to buy stuff in a virtual mall, using credits from
One of the most fun features is that kids logging on become 3D
characters in the virtual world. They can choose their own nickname,
decide what colour clothes they want to wear, and even whether they want
to get about on rollerblades or a surfboard. I also liked the navigation
system, which pops up as a TV remote control.
The bright colours and simplicity of the site make it straightforward
enough to see what's going on and the pages are simple. One quibble:
some pages have a bit too much content and not enough space. I also
encountered a prompt to install some ActiveX controls. Some parents
might not want their kids downloading more software.
In the four chatrooms (fashion, sports, games and coffee), kids can also
see their chat buddies in 3D form as they enter the room. Best of all,
on Friday nights there is a live chat show with Ant & Dec.
Another small gripe. I couldn't find a shop in the virtual mall to sell
me Deep Heat muscle rub or thermal underwear. But then, I am just
outside the target audience.
Site positioning An online virtual reality portal for children
Launched February 2001
Developed by Parallel Graphics.