Before you can start exploring the world of Fantage, you need to register. Fantage, like other Web sites of its type, avoids having its users post profile pictures by allowing them to create cartoon avatars that they control once they enter the Fantage world. Accordingly, the first step in registering at Fantage is for users to customize their avatar. After choosing between a boy and a girl character, users can choose their avatar's hairstyle, skin color, facial features and clothing. The basic options are pretty limited, but Fantagians have the chance to customize their characters more as they go along. Next, users are required to submit a valid e-mail address and agree to Fantage.com's Terms and Conditions (more on that later). Lastly, members choose a username and, just like that, they're ready to get started.
While the basic membership is free, members also have the option to upgrade to a premium membership level ($5.99 a month on up to $54.99 for yearly membership). Premium members have access to a number of items and features that basic members don't, though basic membership still provides access to all of the different environments in the Fantage world. And since revenue for Fantage comes from membership fees, Fantagians won't find any ads when they visit the Web site.
Once a member has created an avatar, he or she is ready to start exploring. The world of Fantage is divided into a number of different areas, and members can navigate through the world simply by clicking where they want to go. The different environments are brightly colored and varied, and each of them provides Fantagians a different set of activities to participate in. For instance, members might start out by clicking on the downtown area to go shopping for clothes. They could make their way to the Star Cafe to play games or chat with other members. All of the activities in Fantage are easy to navigate, and even the most complicated games require just a minute or so to learn. Fantagians can also click on icons at the bottom of the screen to view their inventory, chat with buddies, read their messages and change their settings. Like Facebook, if a friend writes you a message while you are off line, the message will be waiting for you upon your return. Fantage is clearly designed for a younger audience, and the designers made sure users wouldn't need to read through a lot of instructions before they could start using the Web site.
Now that you know how to start using Fantage, let's look at why you might want to do so.