Most tweens and teens in America today are living in a world that is dominated by digital media. So it is no surprise that many find fun and friendship online through games such as Fortnite or Roblox.
Most parents are aware of these popular online games that their kids enjoy, but they might not understand what these games are all about. These games can provide a fun and social environment for kids, but parents need to be aware of the potential dangers that come with them.
This article is designed for parents concerned about the age appropriateness or security of their children playing Fortnite or Roblox. We will provide detailed information about each game and what security measures to take to ensure your child’s safety while playing.
Without further adieu, let’s jump right into it!
Fortnite is a free online game where kids battle each other to be the last ones standing. Up to 100 players can play in a single game at once, and the game has close to 125 million total players worldwide.
In the game’s most popular mode, Battle Royale, players are dropped onto a small island where they must fight to the death using any weapons they can find. Players start with only a pickaxe but can find additional weapons like assault rifles, shotguns and pistols scattered around the island. Medical kits are also available to help keep players alive.
The aim of the game is to be the last person standing by surviving the attacks from other players. Common Sense Media, a website known for family-focused reviews of games and books, suggests that this game is suitable for children aged 13 or over, as it is rated 3 out of 5 for violence.
It also allows voice and on-screen text chat, which could mean kids being exposed to the uncensored comments of strangers taking part in the game.
What Should Parents Look Out for in Fortnite?
Parents should be aware that their kids may be subject to cyberbullying while playing Fortnite. It is important to have a plan with your kids about how to deal with this type of situation, should it arise.
Also, since Fortnite matches only last about 20 minutes, it is important to ensure that chores are done, and it is not nearly dinnertime before letting kids play another round. This will help avoid arguments later on.
Battle Royale can be a fun and addicting game for young kids and teens, but there are a few things parents should keep in mind. First, the game is free-to-play, but players can also purchase to upgrade their outfits or skills.
In-app purchase settings should be turned off to avoid any unexpected charges. Secondly, the game is very popular and competitive, so players may become frustrated if they don’t win.
What Age Can Play Fortnite?
Since Fortnite includes violence, even if it is cartoonish, and kids can be exposed to playing with much older gamers, it is recommended that children under 13 not play the game.
Is Fortnite Addictive?
Fortnite can be addictive due to the many upgrades and rewards players can earn after putting in long hours of gameplay. Experts compare the addiction potential to that of heroin.
Parents should look out for the signs of addiction and set expectations with their kids from the start. Circle’s Usage feature can help parents confirm if they think their children are playing more than they are letting on.
Roblox is an online gaming platform allowing users to create and share their games. It is hugely popular with kids and teens, who use it as an outlet for their creativity and imagination. With so many games to choose from, there’s something for everyone on Roblox.
Roblox’s popularity among kids aged 16 and under is undeniable, with reports indicating that more than half played its games in 2020. What sets it apart is that users build the games, so there’s a great deal of variety in content and missions. As of early 2021, more than 20 million user-created games have been published.
Roblox is an online game that allows players to role-play in various scenarios, such as visiting a restaurant or going to school. Common Sense Media recommends that kids should be at least 13 years old to play Roblox due to the violence and consumerism in the game.
If you have young kids who play Fortnite, it’s a good idea to turn on the account and game-choice restrictions. This will help them stay safe by limiting their exposure to inappropriate content.
Additionally, restricting the chat and messaging functionalities is a good way to protect younger kids from becoming involved in potentially harmful conversations.
Why Is Roblox Popular?
Roblox is a platform for user-designed games that are constantly being updated and changed. A huge variety of games are available, ranging from simple puzzles to murder mysteries and shooters. This constant stream of new content makes it impossible to ever get bored on Roblox. Kids can even learn coding in Roblox!
What Should Parents Look Out for in Roblox?
Roblox is available for free, but there are in-game microtransactions that players can choose to make. Parents should be aware of ads encouraging their kids to buy “Robux,” the game’s virtual currency, and talk with them about what that means.
The game features moderated chat systems, but they may not always be 100% effective in catching everything.It’s so important to talk to your kids about online safety! You never know who they might encounter online, so teaching them how to spot suspicious behavior is vital.
If they ever encounter anything that makes them uncomfortable, encourage them to tell you immediately.
Tips on How To Choose Appropriate Games for Your Kids
1. Read Reviews
A great way to find an appropriate game for your child is to read reviews from other parents. You can easily find various reviews for different games by searching online.
Common Sense Media is a great source for video game reviews written specifically for parents. In addition to video games, they also provide reviews for movies, apps, websites, books, television shows, and music that are kid-friendly.
2. Always Check the Game Rating
Choose games that are appropriate for your child’s age. Games in stores are labeled with the ESRB rating system, which goes from “EC” (Early Childhood) to “AO” (Adults Only). Make sure you choose a game that is age-appropriate for your child. A common mistake parents make is letting young kids play “M” rated games (Mature).
3. Play the Game With Your Child To Check It Out
Allowing your child to play video games can have benefits, but monitoring what they are playing is important as some games may not be appropriate for them. Playing the game with your child can help you understand how it works and if it is educational and child-friendly.
4. Control Game Time
Giving your child limits on how much time they can spend playing video games helps them enjoy the game more. They will look forward to their game time, and it also allows you to monitor their gaming intake. Gaming should never come before responsibilities like chores, schoolwork, family time or extracurricular activities. 60-90 minutes a day is plenty of time for video games for most children and teens.
5. Avoid Gaming Addiction
As parents, we are responsible for monitoring our children’s video game habits and helping them find a healthy balance between gaming and other activities. We must teach them the importance of setting limits on their gaming time and show them how to enjoy various other activities rather than just games.
6. Choose From Your Child’s Interests
Your child’s favorite activity can be turned into a fun game that encourages them to develop their skills and interests. If they love sports, find a soccer game that they can play. If they’re more into art, look for games that let them explore their creativity. Watching morning cartoons can also be turned into a game, allowing your child to enter their favorite fantasy world in more detail.
Even though many games and gaming platforms have censoring features to help protect kids from harmful or inappropriate content, they are not foolproof. Like we did when we were kids, today’s kids can be very creative in finding ways to communicate secretly with their friends.
If we pay attention and are inquisitive, set good examples, and build trust with our kids, they will feel safe coming to us instead of looking for help from questionable sources.
Help your kids find balance in their gaming habits by working with them to set online time limits. Explain your expectations for their content consumption and behavior, and help them understand the rewards and consequences of adhering to (or breaking) the rules you set together.
Most importantly, keep communication open between you and your children to ensure a healthy gaming experience when they play Fortnite or Roblox.