Forget about Second Life. The big buyout talk in virtual worlds lately has been around sites such as Club Penguin, a squeaky-clean world catering to kids aged 8 to 14, and Webkinz, a kids site with games and virtual pets. A recent BusinessWeek article noted that Big Media companies such as Sony and News Corp. were interested in paying upwards of $400 million for the parent company of Club Penguin, which now has more traffic than Second Life and World of Warcraft combined, according to Hitwise. While these sites are obviously popular, I wondered if kids should be doing more socializing in the real world than in virtual worlds. What do you think is the right age for kids to start joining virtual worlds? Is there a danger in exposing kids to marketing at an early age, or is this acceptable to you as a parent? Share your thoughts on virtual worlds for kids in the comments below, and I’ll run the best ones in the next Your Take Roundup.

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