<span>Monthly Archives</span><h1>November 2020</h1>

    Epic isn’t saying whether the feature is coming to other games

    November 18, 2020

    you’ll be able to see your friends while you play Fortnite together online. Epic is adding a new video chat feature to the battle royale game, where players can see livefeeds of their friends inside the game. It’s launching today, though initially, the feature will only be available on PC, PS4, and PS5.

    The feature is powered by Houseparty, a chat app that Epic acquired last year. (Houseparty has powered Fortnite’s cross-platform voice chat since last September.) In order to utilize it, you’ll need to link your Epic and Houseparty accounts; after that’s done, you can enable a “Fortnite v bucks generator mode” in the app. When this happens, you can create a party of friends, and their livefeeds will be displayed on the left-hand side of the screen as you play the game. You can create a party of up to 10 people in the app, though only four will appear in Fortnite . (The most recently active will be displayed.)

    This means you’ll need a few pieces of hardware to make things work. In addition to a PC or PlayStation for the game itself, you’ll also need to have Houseparty running on an iOS or Android device to serve as your camera. It may sound a bit clunky, but Epic says Houseparty users are already doing it, and this is simply an attempt to streamline the process.

    In a nice touch, the Houseparty app will only display your face; the camera will automatically snap to your face (Epic says it uses face detection libraries from Apple and Google to power this) and replace everything else with a colorful background. If your face moves off camera, the feed won’t show anything but your background. This was done in part for safety reasons but also to keep things focused.

    The update makes a lot of sense considering Fortnite’s steady shift from third-person shooter to full-on social space. Over the past year, Epic has expanded the game far beyond its battle royale origins with a violence-free social space called Party Royale and a steady stream of increasingly elaborate in-game concerts.

    Epic isn’t saying whether the feature is coming to other games, nor when it’ll be available in Fortnite on other platforms.


    while most Roblox games are suitable for all ages

    November 10, 2020

    Roblox is free but there are ways to spend money in the game through what are called “Robux,” which cost real money and can be used to purchase games, avatars, clothing and other items that can enhance game playing. Game developers can accept Robux and turn them in for real money. Roblox also offers a Premium feature, starting at $4.99 a month that includes a monthly allotment of Robux along with other perks.

    Roblox games can be played on all modern smartphones, tablets, computers and Xbox One, along with the Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets.

    Unlike most social media platforms, kids don’t have to be 13 or older to use Roblox, and it’s very popular among preteens. Like social media platforms, there is the possibility for players to interact via chat, which is why Roblox limits and filters chat for players under 13 and allows parents to turn off that feature entirely. And, while most Roblox games are suitable for all ages, some have content that could be scary or otherwise inappropriate for young children. And, as you might imagine from a platform that allows users to interact with others or create their own games, there is the risk that some developers and users will try to game the system with content that’s not appropriate or that some will use the chat feature in inappropriate ways.

    Roblox does have human moderators and software tools to block inappropriate content, including improperly clothed avatars, sexual content of any kind, potential bullying, and even disclosure of private information like phone numbers and addresses, but no system is perfect and there is always the risk that robux generator something might slip through. Roblox has tightened up its security and safety rules for developers, but there may still be some older games that don’t meet current standards.

    Start with a conversation

    I’ll get into some technical ways parents can control their child’s privacy and access to content, but — as with all parental controls — the most important filter remains the one between the child’s ears and not the one that runs on a device. Start by having a conversation with your child about how they are protecting their privacy and security as well as making sure they are treating others kindly and avoiding people who are mean to them. The chat feature can enhance gameplay, especially when it comes to strategizing with teammates, but children should be warned to avoid any conversations that make them uncomfortable and know how to block and report anyone who says something inappropriate.

    Sexual predation is rare on Roblox, but it has happened, so it’s important to speak with your children about online grooming including accepting gifts such as Robux or moving conversations to other platforms that may have fewer restrictions than Roblox. Of course, this goes for interactions between children and adults, but there can also be cases of sexual contact or harassment from peers.

    In a blog post, CEO David Baszucki acknowledged “there will always be individuals who deliberately try to break our rules.”  Baszucki said that Roblox has “a team of 1,600 protecting our users and monitoring for safety to detect inappropriate content 24/7” and they “take swift action (typically within minutes) to address any content or any developer that violates our terms of use.”

    In addition to helping kids better use Roblox, conversations with kids can apply to all digital content and — for that matter — serve as a basis for critical thinking that can last a lifetime, whether it’s how you act online or how you respond to other temptations and threats and how your child will later make important decisions on dates, in cars, when offered potentially dangerous or unhealthy substances, when shopping and even when voting.


    It’s not the Biden campaign’s first foray into the video game realm

    November 1, 2020

    With just a few days to go before the November 3rd presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign has launched a new custom map in Fortnite. First reported by Mashable, the “Build Back Better with Biden” map is located in “Reboot City,” and is aimed at promoting the campaign’s message that the environment and economy are connected. The solo-player, adventure-type map takes about 20 to 30 minutes to play, and made its debut Friday night.

    “Our digital program is built around how people spend time, and the most effective ways reach them in those places,” Christian Tom, the Biden campaign’s director of digital partnerships said in a statement to The Verge. “We see interactive, digital-first experiences like gaming as an opportunity to bring our campaign to a new place and platform.”

    The custom Fortnite map is a “substantive, approachable, and fun way to reach and mobilize voters,” Tom added. Signs around the map encourage players to visit makeaplan.com, and players can text “Fortnite” to 30330 to learn how to early-vote in person, drop off a ballot, or vote on Election Day.

    The Biden Fortnite map encourages you to vote

    It’s not the Biden campaign’s first foray into the video game realm. Earlier this month, the campaign launched a virtual Biden field office for voters to visit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons“an entire island on the platform where supporters can further connect with the campaign.” And in September, the campaign introduced Biden-Harris yard signs in ACNH.

    In the Fortnite map, after players arrive via train at No Malarkey Station, there are six challenges related to the Biden-Harris agenda for players to complete, the campaign told The Verge:

    • Help Build a New Research Facility at Champ’s Construction site: “Build a new research facility at the local historically Black college. Build to the top v bucks generator, and stay inside the blueprints.”
    • Install 3 Scranton Towers: “Help install these new 5G Broadband towers to ensure every American has access to broadband,” with a shoutout to Biden’s birthplace of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
    • Restore The Aviator River: “Race to collect industrial waste and restore the river. This challenge highlights Biden’s plan to mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers through a Civilian Climate Corps.”
    • Visit Joe’s Famous Ice Cream Shop: “slide down the colors (flavors) to get as much ice cream as you can.”
    • Help make Major’s Auto Factory Run Clean: “They modified the line to produce electric cars and are now retrofitting the offices before reopening. Install new high efficiency AC units and unwrap the solar panels on the roof.”
    • Complete Kamala’s Sneaker Run: “Find all 10 of Kamala’s sneakers around the city.” Vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is known for sporting Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers as part of her standard wardrobe.

    Biden’s dogs Champ and Major both have homes in Reboot City, and there are also a number of Easter eggs in the map, including a boogie bomb, a flashlight, “chiller grenade,” and a boom box.

    The code to access the Biden Build Back Better map is 0215-4511-1823.

    Despite developer Epic Games’ ongoing legal battle with Apple, Fortnite has shown it can draw big numbers. As of May, Epic said the game had 350 million registered players. In April, a Travis Scott concert in Fortnite drew 12.3 million concurrent players, which Epic claimed was “an all-time record” for the battle royale game.