Betsy Hart

While some young boys do play, by all accounts the site is dominated by girls. And it's wildly popular. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that it's largely in response to the interactive nature of the Club Penguin site, and the young kids flocking to it, that Disney is completely revamping it's own on-line offerings to soon become an interactive, community oriented site for the younger set.

All this is in contrast to the gaming industry investing heavily for years to try to somehow get girls interested in traditional, i.e. boy-style gaming, with so little to show for it.

So, decades of feminist preaching and social engineering aside, girls and boys are still different. Who knew?

Well I actually think girls want a lot more than to just have fun. So really, the great thing about Club Penguin, and later interactive, community oriented sites for older kids like My Space (yes, with all of its attendant risks) is that it does help interest and teach girls those computer tech skills they'll have to have to flourish in the 21st century.

They may just get there in a little different way than the boys do.

This is one mom who thinks that's just fine. I also really like the idea of all those girl-only parents having to squirm when their daughters start asking for more and more computer game time.

Betsy Hart

Betsy Hart is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service. Her column on cultural and family issues, “From the Hart,” is distributed each week to hundreds of newspapers cross the country. Betsy’s first book, "It Takes a Parent: How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting out Kids – and What to do About It," was released in September, 2005, and was a top seller for its publisher, Putnam Books.