Social Gaming – e-safety advice for parents and younger children

In school, we have been discussing the use of Social Gaming apps, such as Roblox and Musical.ly.

The Children’s Commissioner has produced a report about the impact of these apps on children. It’s called “Life in Likes”.

I wondered if you would have a think about what younger children and their parents or carers should know about these apps before using them. Some things to think about:

  • Is the content suitable for all ages – violence, behaviour etc? If not, can parents limit what you see within the app?
  • Who can contact children playing the game?
  • Who can see any content you create and is it “sensitive” eg videos, photos, personal information?
  • Is there an incentive to accept invites from people you don’t know? eg could you earn points or money from doing so?
  • Are there in-app purchases?
  • How do you sign up? Does your parent have any control over your account?
  • What data does the app collect about you & what can it do with this data? Can it sell it? Does it delete it when you leave? Who has access to it? Does it own your data, photos etc?
  • Do you play games that make you feel hyper-excited or might stop you from sleeping? Is this a site you should use before school or before bedtime?

Can you think of any other risks of using these sites?

Why would you recommend the apps to others:

  • Do you think it’s a safe space to explore/ make friends? Why?
  • What do you learn from using the site – is there anything educational?
  • Is it a really exciting place to be and why?

How would you improve the app?

Thanks for your help!

2 thoughts on “Social Gaming – e-safety advice for parents and younger children

  1. i have no experience with music.ly, but I do know that Roblox be violent at times, depending on what you’re doing. However, your account has an age rating. When, making an account, you have to state your year of birth. The website then uses that knowledge to give you an age rating. It can either be under 13 (restricting you from certain items and games), and over 13, which doesn’t give you any limits, though there is no way to stop lying about your age. My account is under 13.

    Anybody can contact anybody on Roblox, though you can disable messages from strangers. You can block people, meaning they can’t interact with you at all. I keep my friend count very limited, only friending people I know in real life. The maximum friend count on Roblox is 200, but my account currently has around 8 people friended.

    Anybody can see anything you create, and they can see what you’ve been doing recently, and there is no way to disable this.

    You cannot recieve any in-game currency for friending or following somebody, you have to buy the currency, or if you are in group, the group owner can pay you the currency in giveaways or for doing favours.

    The only control your parents have over your account is if you register with their email address. From there they can verify your account, allowing to speak in-game. However, there is no way to stop children from signing up with their account linked to their own address. I have my account linked to my email address, but I got my parents permission before registering.

      

    • Thank you, Remy. This is comprehensive and very helpful indeed. You could definitely give blogging lessons to the team!

        

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