What is Miniclip?
Miniclip is the world's biggest Internet games website. The site hosts many games—such as Club Penguin, Runescape, and Spineworld—that were created by other companies. Many of the games, however, were created by Miniclip for Miniclip. In fact, the site produces two new games every week. At present, there are 450 games hosted on Miniclip, and the site boasts an impressive 50 million unique users every month. 1
One of the greatest things about Miniclip is that users play free of charge and without paid advertising. This makes the site slightly safer for kids and teens, since many banner ads link to scam websites, sites laden with viruses and other types of malware. Many banner ads are also smeared with semi-pornographic pictures and cartoons. You won't find these on Miniclip's main site.
Miniclip was launched in 2001 by Robert Small. Small, a British online games enthusiast and recent college grad, began the project with the help of financial futures trader Tihan Presbie. The two relied mainly on quirky political games and word-of-mouth to get the word about their site out.
The site grew rapidly, garnering over 1.5 million users even in its earliest days, and pioneered the large-scale syndication of browser-based games. Miniclip continues to rely on word-of-mouth to spread to all corners of the globe. The site encourages users to host Miniclip games on their own websites and blogs, and also encourages users to share Miniclip games with others through email and instant messaging.
Miniclip added plug ins to entertainment channels, allowing its users to watch various cartoons from the site. 4
Concerns for Parents
- The games on Miniclip are a lot of fun, and it's easy for kids and teens to get carried away and spend hours on Internet games.
- Extreme cases of Internet game overuse are become more and more common. In fact, it's possible to become addicted to online games.
- While the games hosted on Miniclip are pretty tame, not all games hosted by Miniclip are safe for kids of all ages. Depending on your kids' age and maturity, you may not want them playing some of the games on Miniclip.com. Use your judgment.
How Can I Keep My Child Safe?
- Talk to your kids about what games they play. Are the games violent? Is bad language used? How much player-to-player interaction does the game involve? Be aware of what kind of games your children are playing, and decide if they are appropriate.
- Monitor the amount of time your child spends playing online games, particularly MMORPGs. Left unsupervised, many kids and teens become addicted to online games. Parental involvement is key to preventing addiction from developing.
- If you are unable to physically monitor the time your kids spend on Internet games, consider using an Internet timer that automatically disconnects your child from the web once a customizable amount of time has transpired.
- If you feel strongly enough about keeping your child from playing Miniclip games, you can adjust your browser or filter settings to block the website. However, most of the games on Miniclip can be accessed from multiple web addresses, so merely blocking Miniclip.com is not sufficient.
Where Can I Learn More?
Read this interview with Miniclip founder Robert Small.
Here's a thorough review of Miniclip from TopTenReviews.