To play National Geographic's Animal Jam, first enter the site, then select one of the animals offered to become your character. Throughout the game, explore your surroundings, fight pollution enemies and earn points that can be used towards your den, accessories and additional avatars.
At the outset, the site requires certain protocols to ensure the safety of young users. For instance, a parent's email is necessary to participate. There is also recourse for reporting any players that may act inappropriately. Once the game starts, you are prompted to a select from several animals, including a panda, tiger, seal and rabbit. Customization allows you to choose a creative three-part name for your character, such as Gorgeous Land Shark, Eternal Funny Monkey or Dancing Cool Claws. You can also alter the eyes, fur color and pattern of your animal.
The virtual world allows you to roam freely, encountering other characters and settings, such as the Jamaa Township and the Sarepia Forest. You frequently experience chances to gain gems, the currency of the Jamaa world, and to spend them on everything from home goods, such as rugs and tables, to pet animals that you can also name.
Other features of the game include a mail function, called Jam-A-Grams, a journey book, a specially tailored newsletter and a register of other animals you've befriended.