Here is an interesting new article about Elf Island and "good" things to come in the game. Unfortunately, the last sentence states " To actually participate in the Good Quests and receive the full, enhanced experience requires a subscription fee of $5.95 per month." Hopefully some of that "donation" then will go towards the acts of "good" mirrored in the real world. That would be worth paying for! Gaming for Good in Elf Island by Erin Bell (11/17/2008) Featured Article When Liz and Craig Kronenberger founded Good Egg Studios about a year ago, they saw a great opportunity to develop a virtual world with redeeming values that could instil social responsibility in a fun and entertaining way. Now, the husband and wife co-founders are seeing the fruits of their labor come to life in the recently launched Elf Island. Having started a children's entertainment company in the late 1990s, the Kronenbergers had their fingers on the pulse of that industry already, but it wasn't until they noticed the emerging popularity of virtual worlds especially in the kids space that the idea for Elf Island was born. "Elf Island is a virtual world that allows 'tweens to play games and do good, and we're calling it 'Gaming for Good,' which we feel is a new category in the virtual world space," explained Liz Kronenberger, who in addition to being the co-founder of Good Egg Studios is also its VP of Marketing. Another term Kronenberger uses to describe Elf Island is that of "mirrored gaming" in other words, the virtual world uses games, storytelling and social interaction to empower kids to make a difference in the real world by working with various non-profit organizations to connect in-game quests with real-world projects. One example of a partnership is with Habitat for Humanity, where players build virtual homes within the game by collecting supplies with their character in Elf Island, which in turn triggers the building of a home in the real world. Through photographs and videos, players get to interact with virtual hosts who share their life experiences. In the case of the Habitat for Humanity Good Quest, the host is a child named Jose who shares the fact that he doesn't have a roof over his head, which empowers the player to complete the quest. Once the quest has been completed, Jose will thank the player and show them that he now has a roof over his head, and can sleep peacefully and do his homework, all because of the player's gaming efforts through Elf Island. According to Kronenberger, the quests in Elf Island will be placed into three different categories: helping people, helping animals, and helping the earth. All of the non-profit partnerships must tie back to one of the categories, and by completing ten good quests, players will unlock a secret. Elf Island itself is a fantasy-based world, where each player gets an elf avatar that they can personalize with more than 2,000 clothing items, and that have a range of movements including running, jumping, flying and rolling. Players can choose a home and personalize its appearance with animated items from the marketplace, and can also choose a musical theme such as a pirate ship theme or a music box. There are also 42 animals within Elf Island to interact with. In addition to the immersive Good Quests, the virtual world also offers mini-games for players who want a quick fix of more competitive gameplay. In addition, players have the ability to join tribes, which allows up to 12 kids to come together and participate in Good Quests as a team. Elf Island also has a functioning economy where players can buy, tell, trade and gift items to each other. So far, Elf Island has partnered with a handful of non-profit organizations, and according to Kronenberger, the involvement and interests of the players will help to determine what new partnerships are established moving forward. Registration for Elf Island is free, and each player automatically has access to their Elf avatar and other basic services. To actually participate in the Good Quests and receive the full, enhanced experience requires a subscription fee of $5.95 per month.