Move over Fortnite. There’s a new free-for-all game that’s blowing up in schools and homes all over Australia. Think Call of Duty-style first-person shooter with a Roblox-like aesthetic that anybody can play free in their browser, on almost any device - no downloads required.
Gamers are loving Krunker.io for its fast and furious pace and funky graphics. Parents and teachers not so much.
Why you should worry
It’s all about gun violence
Well, duh. It’s a first-person shooter, after all. Krunker.io players can choose to arm themselves with assault rifles, rocket launchers, revolvers, light machine guns and pretty much everything in between.
It features chat with adult strangers
And like all such games, abusive, offensive or just plain aggro voices abound.
It’s free ... til it’s not
Developers do not release “free” games out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it for one reason only: to make money through in-app purchases. (That’s how Fortnite, another “free” game, managed to earn US $2.5 BILLION last year.)
The game also features sneaky embedded ads, none of which can be turned off with an ad-blocker, some of which promote offensive content. The screenshot above shows one such ad, an embedded billboard urging players to "Subscribe to PewDiePie" - a reference to the controversial Swedish YouTuber.
Its age verification is non-existent
Krunker.io’s online “Information for Parents” states, “Your child should always be honest about his age.” And its self-awarded age rating is 8 years old.
What parents can do
If you decide to allow your child to play Krunker, we strongly recommend that you actively supervise their play and adjust settings to disable voice chat.
If you decide Krunker isn't right for your child, it’s a simple matter to block it entirely, or manage it at your discretion, using Family Zone controls.
Online games like Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox are fun for kids - and can stimulate creativity and collaboration. So where’s the danger ...