The headteacher of a Salford primary school sent out a letter to parents this week warning them of a new game where children are getting undressed in front of webcams while playing the well-known video game, Fortnite.
The game requires that after every kill, the player will remove an item of clothing.
Fortnite has a huge international gaming community but the new trend has made the school concerned about pupils’ safety online.
The letter sent out to parents at St Luke’s Primary School, read: “We have been aware of an emerging trend, where people are playing strip Fortnite using webcams.
“The rule is that when you achieve a ‘kill’ (elimination) you have to strip off, potentially adding an additional risk from children being exposed to and/or sharing indecent images whilst playing the game.
“Please be aware of your child’s online activities, and have regular chats around ‘safe’ practices.”
Tim Delves, head of St Luke’s, explained that “internet safety is important” at the school.
“The letter sent out to parents was more advising than warning as we haven’t had any cases at our school” he added.
Fornite is an age 12 rated video game, however, the default settings mean parents must manually set up parental controls to stop their children from making purchases.
The popular video game has already been scrutinised earlier this year by a BBC Watchdog report, which revealed that children were able to make in-game purchases without parental consent.
“Some of our parents might be comfortable with their children playing aged 12 rated games under supervision.”
Sara Heritage, chair of the gaming society at The University of Salford believes that parents should be monitoring their children online, although this can prove to be difficult.
“I don’t think the parents can be blamed for this kind of content, I do think that kids are going to be kids- kids don’t listen to their parents.”
“So if mum and dad say something like ‘oh don’t do this’ I think perhaps it would be likely that children would want to rebel against that, but I do think parents need to be aware of these games.”
Although the game is rated 12, Sara says that this is just a guideline.
“The age ratings are a kind of guideline so it is on the parents to make that decision based on their own children but I think parents need to be clear on the guidelines and monitoring their children, not getting too involved, but watching out for the warning signs.”
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— Salford Now (@SalfordNow) December 14, 2018