This past spring, 10-year-old Adam Young joined other tweens on Club Penguin, playing games, throwing virtual snowballs, and chatting with fellow kids who appear on screen as plump cartoon penguins. A few weeks later, Adam asked Mom to pay $5 a month for extra features, such as decorating his online persona's igloo.

Karen Young demanded to learn more about what some have billed as "training wheels" for the next MySpace generation. She spent time on the site with Adam and consulted with her sister, the mother of another daily visitor.


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