ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Connected online and offline safe social networking for children

By Dilrukshi Abeyrathne, Chamari Edirisinghe, Nimesha Ranasinghe, Kasun Karunanayaka, Kening Zhu, Roshan Lalintha Peiris, Owen Noel Newton Fernando, Adrian David Cheok, Lan Lan, Yukihiro Morisawa
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 9, No. 2]

DOI: 10.1145/1998376.1998380

Children today are more connected and active on the Internet. Their extensive use of online social networks, which ultimately could have perplexing effects on the recognition of their identity and personality, has caused grave social concerns. In addition there is a lack of actual physical communication among children due to their preoccupation with the online self. To address these issues, an interactive robotic toy called Petimo was developed. We believe this introduction of new physical dimension improves safety and enjoyment of children in the social networking arena. As a proof-of-concept, a 3D virtual world called Petimo World is developed. It incorporates basic features of traditional online social networks to provide childern collaborative interaction and enjoyment with their friends. The concept of Petimo could be extended to any social network to create childerns applications to promote physical interaction and enhance enjoyment and safety issues in social networks.

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