What parents need to know about Fortnite.
Parents Can Now Block & Restrict Fortnite With iKydz!
Fortnite – almost every parent with kids of a certain age knows about the online game which has been capturing the imagination and time of kids across the globe.
Before we get started, we want to let you know that we’re not here to cause any headaches (for parents) or arguments with your kids. We want to arm you with education about the game that your children are spending so much time playing. We also want to know that you have a solution if you feel your kids are playing Fortnite too much.
What can parents do about Fortnite?
We are not psychologists at iKydz, but we are parents and we do know our tech. We believe that it is up to individuals to decide on what is appropriate for their children to do online and so we give parents easy-to-use tools to set the online boundaries. Because we were asked by many of our customers to offer a solution to managing time spent on Fortnite, we’ve done just that. Parents can now easily limit and schedule the time that their kids spend on Fortnite with one click on their iKydz app. Or, if they’re so inclined, just block it altogether.
What is Fortnite?
Fortnite is considered as a mix between Minecraft and Left 4 Dead and has a PEGI rating of 12.
Players roam the virtual earth in search of resources and weapons to build fortifications and win out in a battle of survival. This online game is a new-style ‘shoot ‘em up’ with a cartoon-like feel and requires participants to engage in a fight to the death. The game designers are clever however, it isn’t designed to be very graphical and gory, over Easter you had to shoot opponents with Easter eggs!
Dangers of Fortnite
There are two general modes, with the popular Fortnite Battle Royale matches starting with 100 players who have to outlive others to win the “last man standing” event. Seen Hungers Games? This is kinda the same idea.
Kids can team up with their friends or other online gamers to form a squad and this adds in a much more social element to the game. However if their friends aren’t online, they can join into other squads of “randomers” online. These are groups of 4 where your kids are contactable by anyone in their squad. They can speak directly to each other. Here at iKydz, we’ve heard reports that children as young as 8 years old have been playing in squads with people in their 50’s after 12pm at night.
These are complete strangers of all ages. Fortniters don’t like to call them strangers though so they’re referred to as “randomers”. This is where it can become dangerous for your kids. They can be teamed up with anyone and everyone from all around the world so make sure you talk to your children about squads and about the safety of gaming online with “randomers”.
How many hours are your kids on Fortnite?
As any parent who has children playing the game knows, the game requires a tremendous amount of time to improve player stats. The level of addiction and time spent playing the game represents a real concern to many parents. If you are wondering how much time your child has spent on the game, you can check this in their profile. Simply go to settings, then profile and you can see how many hours they have spent on Fortnite.
Dr Linda Papadopoulos, psychologist and Internet Matters Ambassador told the MailOnline:
“What you have to remember is that the metric for any online game, or indeed social media platform, is the ‘time spent’ on it. As such, these games are designed to make it hard to stop playing. Behavioural scientists are employed to ensure that the brain’s reward system is manipulated so that kids feel so excited and engaged that they just can’t stop playing. Do you really think a 12-year-old is going to win against a Silicon Valley-employed behavioural scientist?”
Others have lauded the game’s interactive and social elements, with kids playing in groups and on teams that requires them to use strategic thinking and to communicate with each other in real-time. There is no doubt that it is the source of many a discussion amongst kids of school-going age, although the risks of encouraging obsessive and over anxious behaviours remain. Parents have reported online that kids can become noticeably agitated and difficult when it comes time to stop the game.
Can I have money for Fortnite please?
Gamers can advance their status in Fortnite by purchasing upgrades such as skins. Not only can this quickly run up a large bill, this also encourages an environment for online gambling which we are seeing a major increase in.
Especially in young boys. We spoke to Psychotherapist Stella O’Malley on the issue and she stated that there are a large amount of boys in their late teens who are addicted to online gambling.
NSPCC issues Fortnite warning to parents
The NCPCC children’s charity has issued a warning to parents of kids who are playing the popular game Fortnite.
In a recent post from iKydz we tell parents exactly what is fortnite and how you can take measures into your own hands to ensure your children are safe on this game.
“One in four children have been contacted on Fortnite by someone they don’t know.”
There has been a new game function added to Fortnite Battle Royale allowing users to easily connect with strangers via text chat and voice chat. The voice chat can be disabled however the text chat cannot.
This new feature gives grounds for strangers all over the world to send whatever texts they wish to your child.
Research from NSPCC and O2, of 2,059 children and young people aged 11-18, reveals that that one in four children have been contacted online by someone they don’t know. 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.”
With iKydz award-winning internet controls you can:
• Filter content
• Schedule online access
• Block unsuitable websites and apps
• Apply restrictions to YouTube
• Block or manage access to social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat
• Block and manage online gaming such as Roblox and Fortnite