Please see the below links to interesting articles highlighting the need to talk about gaming and age appropriate use of games and content.
You may be aware of some media and social media coverage or sharing concerns related to Doki Doki
Doki Doki is a Japanese style horror/dating game based on some popular manga books. The game has you interacting with some female characters who you are trying to date. Initial investigation highlights that the game starts off ok and then slowly turns into horror and the story line involves suicide.
Children’s Commissioner launches social media giants’ terms and conditions ‘jargon-buster’ to give kids more power in digital world. Click here to view
- The “Private Photo (Calculator%)” app is designed to help users hide photos and videos behind an innocent looking calculator app
- This application looks like a calculator but entering a passcode opens a private area
- All files are securely stored in the app and cannot be viewed in the default iPhone camera roll
BBC News Article - Is social media causing childhood depression?
BBC News Article - Google who own YouTube state that it isn't suitable for children under 13 years of age and that they shouldn't use it.
BBC Newsround Article - YouTube Kids still contains lots of inappropriate videos.
Microsoft Platforms - Xbox live etc
Please find a link below regarding Microsoft making the decision to clamp down on offensive language across many of its platforms that will come into force from the 1st May 2018. There are also links embedded within the article to other guidance for platforms including Xbox live etc. useful for those of us working with children, young people and parents / carers on these platforms and to share the upcoming changes.
A guide for parents and carers for Instagram, really useful, simple to use and easy to share a disseminate as widely as possible.
Overview of the app/game
Movie Star Planet is a free social interactive fantasy website created for children aged between 8 and 15 years old. Children get to choose from a variety of movie star characters, dress them up, choose their hairstyles, make movies, play games and chat.
The point of the game is to earn fame and fortune by social interacting, making movies and watching other people’s movies. In doing so you can earn Fame Points and Star Coins which can be used to buy more costumes, backdrops for your movies, animations, home decor, etc. Players can also exchange gifts, collect autographs and trade items.
The more competitions you enter, games you play, friends you have and interactions you make, the more rewards you are given and as you progress you can go higher up the levels which allows you to have more character animations and other additions.
What we found out
- Users are encouraged within the game to share email addresses of friends to receive rewards.
- The more friends you have the more rewards you get! Encourages you to befriend strangers.
- Lots of reports that chat is often very explicit and suggestive with lots of bad language being used by older users. The app does replace swear words with symbols but users are getting round it by using text speak.
- Male users using suggestive user names.
- Chat rooms full off users asking others for dates. Within the game your friend status can be changed to boyfriend or girlfriend.
- If you report other users you are encouraged to add your email address in return for coins you can use in game
- Games that children play are full of adverts lots of these are inappropriate for the age group.
- YouTube is fully integrated within the app and lots of reports that users are linking inappropriate and suggestive videos to share.
- It also appears to be well known for users hacking each other’s accounts to steal rewards and coins.
Anyone can call the free O2 NSPCC Online Safety Helpline on 0808 800 5002 for guidance, support and answering questions to manage devices
· You can download the Net Aware app on the App Store or Google Play
· You can pop into your local O2 store for online safety help from a Guru – you don’t even have to be an O2 customer!
"Everybody Plays is a website aimed at helping families get the most out of games, safely. We run a parent-focused hub called the Parent’s Guide to Games, a one stop shop that contains everything parents need to know, from easy to follow guides on how to set up parental controls on consoles, to game by game breakdowns of content and safeguarding issues, and general advice on online gaming safety.
Have seen the latest E-Safety guidance for parents and carers?
What should you do if your child is victim of cyberbullying?
Roblox: There are an increasing number of warnings of misuse in the popular app Roblox on some news outlets.As always it is important to have open and honest discussions with your child on their internet use and make sure privacy and restrictions are in place.
You can read more about it here: https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/…/popular-childrens-app-roblo…
You can find out more information about parental controls in the links below.