Fortnite, it’s the gaming craze that shows no sign of fading. It is likely that your child wants to play or knows someone who is already playing. So, what can you do to help your child to stay safe if they play Fortnite?
The main game focuses on a Save The World mode where you attack and shoot enemies with weapons and build defenses. The statistics around Fortnite are pretty astounding. The game is believed to have about 45 million registered players, with up to 3 million people playing it at any given time.
The Video Standards Council in the UK rate Fortnite as PEGI 12, for frequent scenes of mild violence. It is not suitable for persons under 12 years of age.
There are also elements of the game that are not covered by a rating, for example, the interactions with other players online and the potential use of bad language. Although the game isn’t rated for profanity, its online nature could expose younger players to offensive language from random strangers via the voice or on-screen text chat.
Fortnite is a game where the sound is crucial (hearing footsteps of other players in particular). This means that players will wear headphones and parents can’t always hear what is being said by strangers.
It’s certainly worth setting up your console or PC to have sound coming from the TV as well as headset so you can hear what other players are saying to your children from time to time.
The greatest concern where Fortnite is concerned, centres on a game function that automatically allows users to speak to other players through voice and text chat functions. It means children can be contacted by anyone else who is playing the game. Users can disable voice chat in the game via the settings menu, but the text chat function cannot be turned off.
There really is no substitute for regular conversations about online safety with your children. Where games like Fortnite and similar are concerned it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the functions of the game and to regularly check in with your child even while they are playing. We advocate active mediation at Zeeko, when it comes to managing time spent playing interactive online games. Active mediation relates to creating an atmosphere of open communication where your child is secure in the knowledge that they can come to you to discuss what they are experiencing when they are online, without a fear of being punished. Keeping the lines of communication open is crucial when it comes to staying safe online, regardless of the game that is being played.
If your child has a solid foundation of knowing how to make smart choices online coupled with an open communication style at home, they have a head start in staying safe online!
active mediation, Children and technology: setting boundaries, Children Online, communicating with your child, conversations on internet safety, Empowering your child to stay safe online, Fortnite what parents need to know, games consoles and kids, online gaming, Uncategorizedactive mediation, children and online gaming, digital parenting, Fortnite what parents need to know, internet safety for kids, open communication with children