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Poptropica, Largest Virtual World for Young Kids, Unveils "Counterfeit Island" With Educational Games

Early Access to Island Exploring Art Theft and Forgery Now Available

BOSTON - Dec. 22, 2009 - Kids can explore the world of art theft and forgery with today's early access launch of Counterfeit Island on Poptropica, the Web's largest virtual world for young kids. In the newest island on this safe, online environment for fun and learning, someone is out to steal the world's most famous artwork. Kids play online while learning about art forgery detection and how to spot a fake, and with their new skills retrieve the stolen art and save the day. Kids can use credits to get the Early Access Pass to Counterfeit Island in the Poptropica Store and be the first to explore this island before its release to the public in early January 2010.

"Poptropica's virtual islands give kids a wide range of opportunities for safe, online fun and discovery," said Jess M. Brallier, publisher of Poptropica. "On Counterfeit Island, they will be introduced to some of the world's most famous artwork and develop skills for detecting visual differences while having a great time playing in a unique online world designed especially for kids."

In November 2009, nearly 7 million visitors explored Poptropica's virtual islands. The players of this virtual world for kids come from more than 70 different countries and have their Web browsers set to more than 90 different languages, ranging from Spanish and Sanskrit to Vietnamese and Croatian.

Upon arrival at Poptropica, kids are asked to select an age and gender to create the "Poptropican" character they will use to explore the online virtual islands for kids. They can choose from numerous hairstyles, eyes, lips and clothing in various colors to create their own unique character. Using scripted chat, Poptropicans easily interact with others in the islands. The absence of free type in chat ensures that kids never share any personally identifiable information and the site never collects this type of information.

The Early Access Pass for Counterfeit Island is now available for 500 credits in the Poptropica Store, which also has costumes, special powers, and features for Poptropicans. Parents can buy Poptropica Credits for their kids at the cost of $5 USD for 500 credits, and kids can earn a limited number of free credits when they complete islands and mini-quests on Poptropica.

About Poptropica (http://www.poptropica.com)
Poptropica is a virtual world in which kids explore and play in complete safety. Every month, tens of millions of kids from around the world are entertained and informed by Poptropica's engaging quests, stories, and games.

Kids create a "Poptropican" character to travel the many islands of Poptropica and use gaming literacy to enjoy a narrative that is often rooted in factual history. Problem-solving skills are honed as kids discover and solve mysteries unique to each island.

There are always new areas to explore in this ever-expanding world where kids can collect objects, read digital books and comics, watch movies, and compete in head-to-head competition. Parents can always trust that their children are playing--and learning--in a safe, online environment.

Poptropica is published by Family Education Network, a part of Pearson, the education, services and technology company. Pearson's other primary operations include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

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