ThinkUKnow Australia have answered all the important questions about the popular online game Fortnite.
ThinkUKnow is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Microsoft and Datacom and delivered in partnership with all State and Territory police and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia. They provide free information about cyber safety.
They have shared some important info about the popular online game, Fortnite.
“Fortnite is a shooter, survival type game. As with ANY game that can be played online, there are some challenges to be aware of.”
ThinkUKnow offer the following advice to parents, carers and teachers in relation to gaming which are relevant across ALL games in the online space:
– Most games will have a rating much like movies and TV shows, so check the game is age appropriate for your child.
– Many games allow users to sign up anonymously. This means users could lie about their age, gender and location.
– People may try and contact other users via in game chats (either voice or text messaging), so it’s important for you to know how and who your children might be communicating with.
– Make sure usernames don’t contain any identifying information (such as age or location).
We always encourage parents to supervise young children, learn the technology with their children and understand how to Report, Block and Support on all the apps and games they use.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner have also put together some great information about Fortnite.
They have noted that Fortnite is not recommended for children under 12 years of age, as prescribed by PEGI, but you do not need to provide your age to be able to play online.
It should also be noted however, that these ratings do not take into account the actual content of the game. Players have direct contact with other players and may be exposed to offensive or inappropriate language or unwanted contact through the chat or voice function.
Fortnite is a shooter game where players are dropped onto an island without a weapon.
Players then make their way around the island to find weapons and use them to battle other players and zombie-like characters, as well as building shelters to protect themselves against enemies and deadly storms.
FORTNITE has recently been blasted for its violence and predatory voice and text chat features in a new child safety warning from the NSPCC.
According to new research one in four children have been contacted by someone they don’t know across some of the most popular apps and games currently out.
eSafety commission recommend while the voice chat is set to on by default, it can be turned off through the settings menu:
– Select the three bars at the top right of the main page
– Click the cog icon, then select the Audio tab
– Adjust the voice chat so that it is turned off
NOTE: Voice chat will turn back on by default at the start of each new game, so this will need to be modified through settings every time a new game starts.
The default setting when playing the game is public, however by clicking the settings cog icon you can change the privacy to private or friends only.
Laura Randall, NSPCC’s associate head of child safety online, said: “Apps, sites, and games such as Fortnite: Battle Royale can be great opportunities for young people to play and engage online.
“However in light of emerging concerns about the risks children could be exposed to, we are urging parents to be aware of Fortnite’s features.
“It’s vital parents have regular conversations with their children about the games they are playing, and how to stay safe online.
Mum’s share warning about the dangers of Fortnite
A UK mum was horrified to discover her son was being targeted by a predator who was talking to her 10 year old in the chat function about sex.
Another furious mum also unleashed her anger after hearing a man apparently trying to groom her son through the game as well.
The mother, from Liverpool, said she “felt sick to her stomach” when she heard the comments while her 12-year-old son played on the computer.
The boy was playing on Fortnite when the man started asking him to send naked pictures and to perform sex acts on him.
Meanwhile a totally different issue is the addictive side of the game
One Mum claims her son, 10, is so addicted to online game Fortnite he is moody and aggressive – and she wants it banned!
She revealed that Leo, 10, started shunning family time in favour of facing off against other kids online.
Speaking on This Morning, she told hosts Phil Schofield and Holly Willoughby that he now finds normal life boring by comparison.
She said: “Before he’d go up for an hour to play Xbox then he’d come back down and join in with the family.
“But then Fortnite came along, it is 12s and Leo’s nearly 11, I’m not super strict.”
She told how his mood started changing within weeks of being given the game.
Please remember it is super important to make sure you’re aware of what your children are playing online, monitor what they are doing, keep track of their screen time and ensure they are being safe.
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