Fortnite is the breakout hit of 2018 and has gathered tens of millions of fans vying to be the last one standing at the end of each round. The game’s vibrant visuals and accessible gameplay have also attracted a wide audience from all walks of life.
But as it is an online game where players can speak to one another via in-game text chat and voice, parents have raised concerns as to whether the game is safe to play for their children. And as Fortnite has a 12-rating, it is available to play for those in their early teens.
For parents wondering if Fortnite is safe for their children, they should consider the following steps (which can also be applied to other games too).
- Parents should talk to their children regularly about what they are doing online. It is important that children feel able to come forward if they have experienced something they feel is worrying or upsetting. This can be something seen on screen (either part of the game, or in-game messages) or abuse heard via voice chat.
- Parents should also discuss what their kids like to do when gaming and online. What is it about these activities do they find fun? Do they understand how to stay safe online? If a parent can build a bond of trust with their child, they are more likely to be able to spot when something is off, and the child needs support.
- It is also very much advised that rules are agreed between the family about when and what sites, apps and games are appropriate.
In the case of Fortnite, it is possible to disable voice chat so children won’t hear from any strangers that might have malicious motives. But at this time, it is impossible to turn off in-game text chat. This means children could be potentially targeted by predators so keeping track of activity does make sense – especially given Fornite’s popularity.
If you’re interested, we have also written articles on how children can stay safe online. You can find these here:
- What are the best ways to keep kids safe online?
- How do I know if the website that my child visits is safe?
- How do I know if my child is chatting to strangers online?
- How do I educate my child against chatting online with strangers?