Tootsville has always been accessible to children. In earlier versions, in fact, the game was marketed mostly to children!
Providing an online, multiplayer video game for children is pretty tricky. We need to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the USA, as well as common-sense privacy guidelines. We also want to keep parents “in the loop” and encourage shared game play time.
Our guidelines for “being nice” within the game world (including the “diamond icons” system) are a topic for another time.
Of course, the best experience is side-by-side game play. If your family is lucky enough to have two computers, or a computer and a tablet or advanced mobile phone, you can sign in simultaneously and play along with one another. In the future, we’ll also offer things like “Sidekick mode” and split-screen game play for PC users with game pads.
Today, we’re revealing an early draft of our new child account sign-in design. This is how children under age 13 will sign in to the game in future.
First, parents will create their own account, and create a Toot character for their child to use.
Later, when their child returns to the game, we’ll have a special log-in control that they can use. They’ll give the name of their Toot character and some kind of information, like a password.
This will send off an e-mail to the parent, who may be able to receive it even on (for example) a mobile phone that is not itself able to join the game. They can reply to that message or click a link to authorize their child’s log-in, and set a time limit for play.
Check out this Wiki-Wiki page for more details. We welcome suggestions on how to improve this design! We still have a lot of work ahead of us.