Buddy World is a unique online experience and part of the fun is in discovering what is there. However, if you are not sure what Buddy World is or what to expect from the site then you have come to the right place to get your questions answered.
Below are some of the most common questions asked about Buddy World. If these don't give you the answers you need then feel free to email us here and we will try our best to respond as soon as possible.
1. What is Buddy World?
Buddy World is a unique online experience for adults to share with children in their care, whether at school or at home. It offers a virtual world full of colourful characters, locations, activities and stories. This imaginary world is not available anywhere else on the internet and all of the content is unique to Buddy World although the books themselves are also available to purchase as ebooks on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.
You can view a promotional video that summarises the content of the website by clicking here.
2. Is it safe for my children to use unsupervised?
All Buddy World content is created with young children in mind and is created by an experienced educator. While it was originally designed to be a shared experience between carers and children, it is completely safe for your child to use unsupervised as there are no adverts or pop ups to distract them from the Buddy World experience, nor is there any profanity or graphic violence. This is a Buddy World guarantee! Only the Buddy World shop has links to external sites but these are trusted sites that sell Buddy World merchandise or books. Even better, you need to use a password to actually get to the shop so no fear of accidentally ordering anything. (Hint: the password for the shop is commerce).
Buddy World considered the use of chat rooms so members could share their experiences of the site but given the inherent dangers in monitoring the use of such chat rooms it was considered much safer to leave the site as it is.
3. Is Buddy World complicated to use?
Buddy World is designed primarily for young children but with the curious explorer in mind and should therefore be extremely easy to use. Want to see what that object does in the picture? Simply click on it. Buddy World is intuitive by being simple and if, like the best explorers, you ever get lost then you can simply click on the planet logo on the bottom of each page to return to the main map and start exploring all over again.
You can choose to explore the site by navigating from one location to another, exploring the area and meeting characters as you go. Within each area of the site you will discover books to read, games to play and activities that reinforce the stories with an educational message.
However, if you want to get to the games or books quickly you can access screens like the ones below from the Launch Pad after you enter the member's gate. Make your choice from the rotating menu and a new window will open up with the activity or book of your choice. When you are finished, close the window and you should still have Buddy World in the original window.
4. What does membership cost?
There are a range of subscription rates available which may vary depending on promotions and length of subscription, but you can see the current rates by visiting here. There are excellent offers available for schools and institutions as well as promotional offers for families. All of the membership packages are much better value than buying the individual books.
5. What are the benefits of subscribing?
No websites are really free, as they cost money to run, so most earn money by placing adverts, commercial links and pop-ups from their sponsors within the site. Buddy World has no such distractions so you can be sure of a safe visit here for you and your child. By limiting access to Buddy World to members who fund the site with their subscriptions, you can guarantee that your visit is not disrupted by pop up screens, adverts or even potentially damaging viruses! There really is no catch, once you subscribe you enter a site accessed only by other Buddy World members!
6. I really like the books, can I buy them in shops?
At the moment the full range of Buddy World books are available online and a range of printed Buddy World books can be ordered on demand from lulu.com or amazon.com . Just click here. to order. All the Buddy World books were also made available for the ibook application in 2010. The books can be purchased and read on iPod, iPad or iPhone. They are also available in the Barnes and Noble Nook Store and look great on the Nook Color.
7. Can I have a look around the site before joining.
To help you decide if Buddy World is right for you and your children a free tour of the site is available which will allow you to visit the main locations and read a sample of the books. The tour is limited and does not allow access to the full range of material but hopefully it will give you a taste of what you will get when you subscribe. Members get unlimited access which has much more content than the sample section. Just look for the 'Sneak Peek' on the Main Gate. Teachers and Organisation members can request a free pass here to evaluate the site.
8. Sounds great, how do I join?
Simply click here to go to the sign up page. There you will be able to read the terms and conditions, pay your chosen membership fee and receive your membership details instantly.
9. What are the benefits of using Paypal?
Paypal is a safe and secure way of paying your subscription fee and it is not necessary to have a Paypal account to make your payment. Any credit or debit card can be used safely and securely and, with Paypal, your details are never disclosed to the seller. Paypal is one of the most popular payment methods on the internet and is particularly useful when working in different currencies.
10. I have become a member and the site is asking me to run scripts, is this normal?
For the animations and effects to work properly they use simple scripts which make the navigation buttons grow or images change as you move the mouse over them. You should agree to run the scripts if you want to get the full effect of the site. These are perfectly harmless and will not hurt your computer; your PC will simply warn you as there are some sites that could install a virus on your PC but there are no such problems with Buddy World.
There are also Flash elements in the site such as the sound mute below which lets you turn off the sound on a web page. Flash is a plug in installed on over 90% of the world's computers so it is perfectly normal to run programs using it. Remember Buddy World has no pop-ups, adverts or hidden links to other sites so these features are simply here to enhance your visit.
11. In some of the pages I see a small twinkling light, is this normal?
Don't worry, there is nothing wrong. Remember that Buddy World rewards the curious explorer and treasure usually glistens!
12. Can I view the site through a home console on my TV set?
Buddy World was designed for PC platforms and Internet Explorer in particular. Consoles use their own type of web browser and these do not always use the latest plug-ins such as Adobe Flash which most of the activities on the site need to work properly. You should be able to view most of the Buddy World site on a PS3/4, Xbox 360/One and Wii but, depending on the settings on your console, there may be certain pages which do not show up quite as they should. You can also view the site through most tablets but certain features may not be available depending on the type of browser being used. For instance the Apple iPad does not support flash games so these and the flip books will not work on your iPad but you can still explore and read the static books.
13. Certain games do not seem to work!
Many of the activities are flash based games which often float above the background image in the page and require you to click on them to make them active. When you open a web page the background image is often the active part of the page. Some games simply require you to move your mouse so it might seem like they are working while some are not. In plain English; if the activity does not respond, simply click on the game or activity area to make it active. That should solve the problem unless you are viewing on an iPad in which case flash games are not supported (see 12 above).
14. Are there any more books coming?
Books are meant to be revisited which means that you already have a lifetime of material here. However, new material is being added all the time and there are several new projects in development. As a member you will be the first to see them and, of course, it will cost no extra. There are currently over 30 unique titles in the site so plenty to read.
15. I really enjoyed the site, is there any merchandise I can buy?
Buddy World is currently in talks with several toy manufacturers but there is a range of merchandise available through Cafepress. This link can also be found in the shops located in Buddy Town and Buddy Village. There you will also find links to the Apple store to download the free ibooks app which can be used to view the Buddy World range of books on your portable Apple device. Access to the store is password protected to save young children inadvertently ordering items (password is commerce).
16. I want to use Buddy World at my school or nursery, does each child need to know the password?
Most web browsers have a function that remembers passwords and you are usually prompted to choose if you wish the computer to remember your password. If you agree to this then each time you revisit Buddy World, it should remember the log in details. In other words, you should only need to enter your details the first time you use each computer. Institutions, like private members, are given a single password which means there is only one to remember.
17. The password you sent is hard to remember, can I change it?
In the email sent to you when you registered is a link to your own Control Panel. From there you can change your password and other details.
18. Why can't I change my username?
For security reasons, the email is linked to the payment method; in this case Paypal. As a result the email you register with becomes your user name and, at the moment, it is not possible to change it. Please ensure that you use an email you are happy to share with members of your institution or one that you can easily remember.
19. I signed up by mistake, can I get a refund?
Unfortunately, this is not possible due to the nature of the product (here comes the legal bit);
The Buddy World product is a non-tangible irrevocable product so the refund policy is conditional, and refunds are allowed only if the product is not correctly described, namely:
If the features purchased are not accessible or as described.
There will be future content but there is no guarantee of timescale. As a subscriber you are only guaranteed the content available at the time of purchase.
The customer's inability to use the purchased product due to lack of required skills does not require us to provide a refund.
What this basically means is Buddy World is an experience and as such cannot be refunded if you are not entirely happy with the experience; in the same way you can't get a refund on your holiday if the weather is bad. For this reason, please be sure to check out the full sample section of the site before subscribing to the site and read the terms and conditions before you agree to become a member. While we value you as future customers and would love you to join, please do not subscribe if you are in any way unsure, although we do guarantee a safe payment system via Paypal and a very safe and advert free experience when using the site.
20. I signed up and got my email. What do I do now?
The good news is you completed the hardest part, now all you have to do is visit the main gate, click on the members entrance and enter the details you were sent in your email. How you experience the site is up to you but be sure to have a good look around. Oh, and have fun!