thecrumb

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WebKinz - How Not To Cater To The Geek Parent


  • Monday, December 31 2007

This is a follow up post to one at Ben Forta's blog: WebKinz - How NOT To Cater To The Young.

Both my kids got WebKinz for Christmas. They also got a new computer which I discuss here.

When we finally found some time to 'register' the Webkinz I found out where all the old Flash programmers who no longer program those idiotic splash screens go to die...

First - we booted up the kid's new computer (running Edubuntu) and tried there. No go even though I had just installed the latest version of Flash. They had some form of captha going on and we couldn't see the letters. Reading their 'help' section - they suggested NOT using AOL and upgrading to Internet Explorer 7.

This is when I suspected things were going to go downhill.

And indeed they did as we trundled off downstairs - the kids clutching their Webkinz and their father mumbling obscenities under his breath about Microsoft and Flash.

We cranked up my wife's PC (Windows XP) and logged in as one of my daughters. Using IE7 we clicked through the tedious registration screens and... WTF - still no letters! I then updated Flash on my wife's computer. Back through the registration. Still no letters! For kicks I tried Firefox. No letters.

By this time the kids had wondered off and I was mentally composing an email to WebKinz composed of nothing but 4 letter words...

Next I decided to try to login as myself as both the kid's accounts are limited. Again, I clicked through the registration screens and this time was greeted with a hazy, difficult to read captcha. Success!

I have no idea why this didn't work using the kid's accounts or for that matter on Edubuntu. All in all - it was a tedious, painful experience that could have just as easily been done in HTML using a few simple forms and been cross browser/platform compatible and the only thing we would have missed was an annoying talking duck.


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