More Italiano Français Português Română Nederlands čeština ελληνικά Polski Español हिन्दी Deutsch Русский Magyar English

Is Fantage Really Safe for Kids?

Valuta questo Articolo There have been plenty of questions directed by concerned parents about the safeness of Fantage, a popular MMORPG that is marketed to players of all ages. Thus, we have embarked on an investigative quest to find out just how safe Fantage is for kids and what parents are saying about the game. Giochi di Mondi Virtuali! - Is Fantage Really Safe for Kids?

There have been plenty of questions directed by concerned parents about the safeness of Fantage, a popular MMORPG that is marketed to players of all ages. Thus, we have embarked on an investigative quest to find out just how safe Fantage is for kids and what parents are saying about the game.

Fantage is different from most other MMORPGs as its brightly colored visuals and simple game design make it seems like an ideal game for kids. It is after all marketed to kids between 6 to 14 years old. In addition to that, the game places strong emphasis on regulating chat in the game, so as to create a suitable environment for kids to have fun in. Fantage has a strict behavior code whereby users are not allowed to ask for and/or mention personal information, imply sexual or violent content in any language, tease or bully other users with conversation or avatar actions, false reporting against other users or any behavior that they deem inappropriate and detrimental to maintaining their safe environment. People who break this behavior code are subjected to rather severe consequences which range from suspensions to being banned from the site.

Furthermore, Fantage features an advanced automatic chat filtrating system that will block any inappropriate chat, or messages containing personal information. The sender of that chat message will automatically receive a warning or be banned by the system and if the need arises, Fantage moderators will follow up the filtered words and phrases and take further action.

If you saw anybody who is breaking the aforementioned behavior code, you can report him or her to the Fantage moderators as well. Or, if you prefer, you could also just use the helpful “ignore” function and block all conversation from a particularly rude user. Due to all the systems in place to try to create a safe environment, Fantage has been awarded with ESRB rating of "E" for Everyone and the game is also certified by the kidSAFE® Seal Program.

That being said, players in Fantage have been very innovative in how they strive to break the rules. To bypass filters, many people spelled words incorrectly and your little kids may pick them up and thought they were spelled correctly. For instance, the game blocks the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”. Thus, in this game, these words are replaced with “wun” and “val” respectively. Not to mention, many players use text speak in this game. A general example is this: "Hey thr. Whtz uhp? Wanna cm to mai plc?" A younger kid may be mistaken that this is the “normal” way to write and the long-term effect on his/ her language skills may be disastrous.

Talking about boyfriends and girlfriends, some parents have also reported in forums that there are players who openly and publicly “perform” sexual interactions. Some users have even learned to avoid the “barn” as players often use that place to get their “quick sexual fix”. Some users may even come up to other players and say stuff like “Hey ur hot. Wanna cm to mai plc?" There are also so-called “wun”/ “val” tryouts where guys choose their “girlfriends” and vice versa via a series of shallow questions like favorite color and food, and so on.

There have even been complaints by parents that Fantage is becoming a place that breeds discrimination and may lead to cyberbullying or teasing. The difference between what is available for premium members and what little is left for the free users are huge. Hence, is it no wonder the premium players tend to bully or tease the free players. Some may even go as far as to being extremely rude by telling free players are worthless (or any manner of “putting free users in their place”), lowering these players’ self-esteem.

This is not helped by the fact that Fantage aggressively advertise its subscription to your child. Kids may feel the pressure to buy the membership (even more so than an adult), and end up pestering their parents for the subscription within minutes of playing in addition to the many restrictions imposed and the teasing. However, there have been feedbacks that these incidences have been decreasing, so I guess Fantage may be doing something about it.

A lot of these issues can be solved by enabling the “safe chat” or the “no chat” option, which for a social game like Fantage, may make it seem a lot less fun. For safe chat, users get a menu of preselected phrases to choose from and all incoming chat is also restricted to these phrases. So, these options seem like a pretty viable way to avoid most of the problems that parents have brought up. Although the tools (the “safe chat” and “no chat” options) are provided by Fantage, the website stresses that ultimately, it falls on to the parents to properly monitor their children’s behavior while they are online.

All in all, Fantage seems somewhat committed in providing a safe and fun online environment for children of all ages, but plenty more improvements could still be made, particularly reducing the gulf between the members and the free users, to make the game a more child-friendly site.

Valuta questo Articolo

Altri Articoli