Concerns swirl over kids' gaming Web site

Nick.com

December 2, 2009 4:30:48 AM PST
There is concern brewing over a link to AddictingGames on the Nickelodeon Web site Nick.com.The concern is that it is very easy for children to go from kid-friendly to adult-content games without knowing.

With just a few clicks, youngsters can go from "SpongeBob" and "iCarly," to his or her pick of countless adult-themed games like "Spank the Monkey," "Magic Fingers" and "Naughty Babysitter."

The titles alone are enough to entice a curious pre-teen.

"And really I wouldn't have imagined that they could get in there so quickly and easily and see things that they shouldn't be seeing," said Cary mother of two, Robin Stoehr.

Stoehr says her 8-year-old daughter and her 11-year-old son play games on Nick.com all the time.

"That's the kind of Web site that I think would be appropriate for them," Stoehr said.

She didn't realize how much material she would find to be inappropriate and how it would be right at a child's fingertips.

"I was shocked, I was shocked," Stoehr said.

When Nick.com users click on the more tab, they find AddictingGames -a company Nickelodeon's parent company bought a few years ago.

There is a five second banner that pops up letting users know they're leaving Nick.com

But ABC11 Eyewitness News found Nickelodeon still appears in the top corner while the games are played. Just a quick glance by mom and dad and they may think their kids are still on the kid-friendly site.

There's "Cooking with Candy", each sweet treat you bake apparently heats her up. She takes off her clothes and as the rounds progress; she goes down to her underwear. There's a male version of it too.

The game "Breeder" shows rabbits breeding. And there are violent games like "Whack Your Boss." As well as, games with animal cruelty like "Kitten Cannon."

Some have warnings, but some do not.

"They know they're not supposed to look at it or play it but of course that just makes it all the more fun and exciting," Stoehr said.

    In a statement to ABC11, a vice president with Nickelodeon says, "While the vast majority of the games on AddictingGames are for kids of all ages, it fits in mostly with teens. We feel we're taking the necessary precautions by letting parents know that they're leaving Nick.com. We have warnings about violent and mature content but we will continue to monitor the best way to communicate to parents and users to make sure we're providing the best information when leaving Nick.com and going to our other sites."

Stoehr says she feels more should be done.

"A log on or something that could have a parental control or parental consent where they could get on only if it was okay with me," Stoehr said.

For now she says she will have to make sure she doesn't walk away while her kids play on Nick.com.

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