‘I’ll get a pedo to rape you, kid’: Fortnite horror
A BRISBANE man has warned parents that children are being subjected to hardcore bullying and vile threats from other gamers while playing the online video game Fortnite.
Daniel Cole posted a warning online urging parents not to use the hugely popular game as 'a parenting device'.
The 33-year-old from Taringa said he and his housemate had been playing the game on and off since its release and he was concerned at what he had heard said to children by other people playing the game.
"We seldom use microphones when in multiplayer games... but we often find that children probably as young as seven and up to their teens tend to do this often," he said.
"And they get bullied hard. Vitriolic and very toxic bullying - not playful teasing."
He said parents need to monitor their children's playtime with the game to avoid them becoming a target when they use the microphone.
"This is just coming from a concerned community member who constantly deals with hearing kids getting harassed on this game, told things like 'go kill yourself', 'I'll get a pedo to rape you kid', 'f*** off you annoying squeaky little f*****t c***'," Mr Cole said.
He said he had also heard gamers tell children to 'go die in a fire', 'I'll rape your mother...' and 'I hang people like you kid - I'll come around and find where you live and do it'.
"People should be alarmed. It's abhorrent behaviour, but can go uncontrolled and often absorbed by impressionable minds."
Mr Cole said toxic behaviour is more common in competitive and co-operative games, and that while he had heard children do the bullying, it's mostly perpetrated by teenagers and adults.
He said in the instances he'd heard, children parrot the abuse back or tell others to stop it.
"They're usually just wanting to play their game," he said.
"Many children don't have their parents at hand to turn off their microphones if things get out of hand, and children are most susceptible to curiosity and will be less inclined to turn off unless they have learned to do so."
Brisbane mum Casey said her son's personality 'changed entirely' after he started playing Fortnite.
"He then started saying suicidal things so we got rid of his Xbox from the house," she said.
That was six months ago, and she said he still nags for it back every day.
"I've heard stories from other parents where they found out their child was setting an alarm for 2am to get up and play Fortnite," she said.
"We have no regrets about getting rid of the Xbox and I try to encourage other parents having problems with Fortnite to do the same."
Mr Cole said he just wanted to bring online bullying to the surface, and for parents to pay more attention to their children online.
"It's not my intent or my business to dictate how someone conducts their parenting. I only intended to open dialogue amongst parents to new ideas and risks. How they choose to handle their parenting is purely in their hands."
Mr Cole suggested parents could reduce the risks by monitoring their children's online presence, and encourage children to either play without microphones, or enter private group voice chat parties with people they know rather than strangers.
"Many parents would already be aware of stranger danger, so must apply this to video game communities with their children," he said.