A parents guide to Call of Duty: Warzone
At the UK Safer Internet Centre we monitor the latest online crazes, apps and games. Recently the game ‘Warzone’ was released, this is a free to download game which is part of the extremely popular Call of Duty Series. In this blog we are giving guidance to parents about Warzone, looking at what the game is and highlighting some of the things to be aware of.
What is Call of Duty Warzone?
Warzone is a free to play online game, which is part of the Call of Duty series. It is a stand-alone expansion for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
The most popular game within Warzone is Battle Royal. Similar to Fortnite, 150 players compete against each other to be the last person standing in player vs player (PVP) combat. Players use military style weapons, such as machine guns and grenades to kill their opponents.
Once a player is killed they are sent to the Gulag (a prison style building) to take part in a one-on-one fight against another player who has also been killed in the main gameplay. The survivor of this match goes on to re-join the main fight. The gameplay continues until there is only one player remaining.
What age rating is Warzone?
Call of Duty Warzone has a PEGI rating of 18, this is due to it being a part of the wider Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game.
What do I need to know?
- You need to create an account
In order to play Warzone, you have to create an account as well as having an active ‘PlayStation Plus’ or ‘Xbox Live’ membership. To create this account you need to provide an email address (which you will have to verify). The name you use in the game is the same as your PlayStation or Xbox username.
- You are playing against other players
As Warzone is an online game, you will play against players of different ages from across the world. Within the game, players are put into teams of three and can talk to each other to create strategies. You can turn audio communication off in your settings or choose who you play against. You are also able to block or mute other players who are behaving in an inappropriate manner.
- You can make in-game purchases
Although Warzone is free to play, other aspects of the game are not. Players are encouraged to purchase ‘Battle packs’ which allow players to progress more quickly and give them chances to unlock cosmetic upgrades. The game is also part of the wider Call of Duty series which players do have to pay to purchase.
- The graphics contain fighting and blood
Warzone does feature violence when players are in combat with each other; the animation of the game is quite realistic and includes blood. It is worth noting that the aim of Warzone is to defeat other players by fighting against them, this could be with weapons or with a player’s bare hands. After you are killed, you also get shown a replay of the death..
- Where you can play
Warzone is currently available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. It is downloadable from the online stores for each console and requires an internet connection to play.
- Have an open and honest conversation with your child
Once you (as a parent or carer) have decided if this game is suitable for your child, the next step is to discuss your decision with them. By explaining how you have come to this decision, and by providing a timeframe for when this can be discussed again, you are providing them with a balanced and reasonable explanation. You can also make a family agreement which states which games your child can play and where it is appropriate in the house for them to game.
- Know how to make a report
If you do decide to allow your child to play Warzone, you can report players who are behaving inappropriately by using the in-game feedback tool located in the game’s Main Menu.
- See what other people think of Warzone
Common Sense Media allow parents and young people to give their reviews of games that they have played. They have created a very useful video guide to Warzone.
If your child is playing Warzone
Our key piece of advice in situations like this is to get curious, not furious. Use this as an opportunity to ask some key questions about Warzone and what your child has been doing on it.
It’s also important not to confiscate the device straight away, as many young people tell us that the reason they don’t tell their parents about a problem online is due to worrying they will take their phone, tablet, or access to the internet away. Ensure that your child feels they can come to you without the fear of judgement or punishment if anything worries or upsets them online. Once you have had this conversation you can move onto the next steps, whether that is deleting the account or working together to ensure your child is safe online.