Epic Games posted information (on December 7) titled: “Introducing Cabined Accounts: A New Way for Kids to Join the Metaverse”. The goal appears to be to help keep kids safe when they are playing video games from Epic Games. Here are some key points from that post:
Announcing Cabined Accounts
Today we are announcing Cabined Accounts, a new type of Epic account that will provide a tailored experience that is safe and inclusive for younger players. We believe that creating a rich experience within the same overall game or products is the best way to empower younger players to meaningfully participate without compromising on safety or privacy.
Cabined Accounts will begin rolling out in Fortnite, Rocket League, and Fall Guys today.
Here’s How It Works
All players globally will be asked to provide their date of birth at log in. If someone indicates they are under 13 or their country’s age of digital consent, whichever is higher, their account will be a Cabined Account and they will be asked to provide a parent or guardian’s email address to begin the parental consent process. While waiting for consent, players will still be able to play Fortnite, Rocket League, or Fall Guys with full access to previously purchased or earned content in-game, but in a tailored Cabined Account environment where certain features, such as chat and purchasing, are disabled.
The player’s parent or guardian will receive an email letting them know about their child’s Epic account. Following links in the email, parents can review information about Epic’s privacy practices, provide consent for additional features, set up Parental Controls, and will be asked to verify they are an adult via SuperAwesome’s Kids Web Services.
Engadget reported that several other features are disabled in cabined accounts, including any purchases with money, free text chat, making trades in Rocket League, buying or downloading Epic Games Store titles not owned by Epic, custom display names and SMS-based two-factor authentication.
According to Engadget, without parental consent, younger players will not be able to link their Epic account to services such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch. Developers with cabined accounts will also be prevented from accessing some Unreal Engine features. Epic will lift the restrictions when a parent or guardian provides consent or the player turns 13 or their region’s age of digital consent.
After a parent or guardian has verified a cabined account, they can set up parental controls. Among other things, they’ll be able to approve friend requests on the younger player’s account, grant access to voice and text chat and track their offspring’s Fortnite play any time.
Overall, Cabined Accounts sound like a good way to keep kids safe online while they are playing video games. Parents have the opportunity to allow their kids to have a cabined account and can use parental controls to limit what their child can do while playing a game.