A new Harry Potter-themed augmented truth game from the builders behind Pokemon Go could motive kids to “by accident become in risky places” or “be exposed to irrelevant content”, the NSPCC has warned.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite changed into launched within the UK on Friday, becoming available for download on smartphones.
The game makes use of players’ GPS to allow them to stroll around streets and spot digital gadgets or ‘magical artifacts’ superimposed onto the actual global through their digital camera lens.
The NSPCC said that young humans should “be cautious of including human beings you recognize from different platforms as they may now not be who they say are”.
“Parents should additionally be aware that players may want to discover more approximately the sport the usage of different structures which include YouTube, Twitch, Reddit, and Discord, in which different game lovers can speak techniques and reports. There are associated risks with on-line corporations like Discord as they will be self-moderated, with the potential to speak to strangers and be exposed to inappropriate content,” the NSPCC stated in an online blog.
A spokesman for London-based charity Kidscape delivered that they were aware these video games had been “a supply of issue for parents” and urged mother and father to “set limitations about display use, and explain to them they must only upload pals on apps who they recognize within the real international”.
Questions around the sport’s safety replicate those visible when Niantic launched its first hit augmented truth-fashion game, Pokemon Go, in 2016.
At the time, the NSPCC had counseled it left kids “susceptible to being hijacked”, while others, such as MP Anna Turley, stated it was increasingly main people to trespass on religious websites.
Tim Farron, MP and former Liberal Democrat leader, stated that “listening to extreme crimes are dedicated using Pokémon is disturbing, especially as a dad with youngsters who love the game”.
According to Freedom of Information requests, at some point of the month of Pokemon Go’s UK launch, July 2018, there have been nearly three hundred incidents recorded with the aid of police, including robberies, attacks, and thefts.
Niantic had responded via announcing it urged gamers to “abide using local laws”.
“Remember, positive interactions that appear harmless or amusing to you will be perceived in a one-of-a-kind manner by bystanders or other gamers,” the sport’s internet site had said.
A spokesman for Niantic stated: “One of our core missions is to encourage secure outdoor play and exercise. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available to gamers of all ages.
“Children need to get parental consent via the Niantic Kids Parent Portal earlier than playing the game. The Niantic Kids Parent Portal is powered through SuperAwesome Kids Web Services, a provider licensed by ESRB Privacy Certified and by using the kidSAFE Seal Program.
“Additionally, we also agree that dad and mom and guardians realize their youngsters and neighborhoods high-quality, and we ask them to be mindful and screen their child’s online and offline activities so it’s miles aa laugh and safe enjoyment for all.
“We encourage all people to be aware of their environment and to play alongside pals or own family, especially while you’re exploring unusual places.”