Gacha Life first came out in 2018, and since then, it has grown in popularity and grown in controversy. Before you let your children play this game, there is a whole lot of information you need to know about.
To make sure your kids are safe, read our review below.
What Is Gacha Life?
Gacha Life is a role-playing game that focuses on creating and customizing anime-styled characters. The word “Gacha” is a Japanese term for toy machines where customers put money in. For the Gacha Life app, this means the game is free, but you need to pay to get some of the customization perks.
The idea of the game is to have fun, be creative and create a style. Think “Animal Crossing,” but with a multiplayer platform.
Is Gacha Life Educational?
Although the game isn’t designed to be educational, there are mini-games which kids can play to help win coins and learn at the same time.
There are 8 mini-games available, including “Ichi’s Math” and “Picc Packet Rhythm.” Ichi’s Math contains basic questions like “1+10=?”. The players then have an option of 9,11,13, 5 to pick from.
This kind of content tells you who the game is specifically aimed at.
What Is the Age Rating?
The game rate’s its content as appropriate for ages 9 and above.
We do agree that the content is aimed at this demographic. The colors are bright, the anime style is similar to children’s shows (like Pokemon) aimed at the same group, and the content isn’t too difficult for young children to understand.
However, a lot of the community is made up of adults. Because of this, we have recommended that parents and guardians take care with this app. We talk more about the problems later on in this article.
What Can You Do On Gacha Life?
There are 5 things you can do on this app, one of which we have talked about already; the mini-games. The others include the chat features, a skit maker, a studio mode, and the ability to create your own characters.
Creating your Own Characters
You can create up to 8 different characters, using either the pre-made selection or by building your own character from scratch! The people you have in your “character slots”
are important, as they are the only ones you will see in your Studio Mode and your Skit Maker.
Once you have created the characters, you can add in their names and their personal information. This information should reflect the characters and not the player.
Using Studio Mode
Studio mode allows you to create scenes to share with other users using the characters you’ve made.
Here players use photos and speech bubbles to create non-moving images. You can even position the characters to create a particular interaction like cooking or surfing.
When you’re done, you can save these images.
Using Skit Maker
When you use Skit Maker, you can have a total of 100 scenes to play with, but only 2 characters are allowed on the screen at any time. You can create speech bubbles, control their facial expressions and change the background.
When you are happy with your movie, you can save and then watch the scenes play out.
Using Chat Feature
When you reach level 10, you can join in with the other players using the game; you can chat, share your screens, and share your skits.
The chats are moderated and will stop players from using inappropriate words. When flagged, the bad word will be taken out automatically and replaced with “**WARNING - PLEASE DO NOT USE INAPPROPRIATE WORDS**” instead.
Is Gacha Life Appropriate For Children?
The game itself is aimed at children; however, the community has been taken over by adults. Although this isn’t a bad thing by itself, these adults have introduced a pornographic sub-community into the game.
If you Youtube cheats for the games or ways to help you improve, you may stumble upon these sexual skits. So we advise that children do not try to search for Gacha content outside the game.
When using the chat features, strangers can ask your children to join them, and in doing so, the community might share indecent content with your children. Strangers have even requested indecent images of children playing the game.
Although the game itself is harmless, a growing sub-community on the app has tainted the platform. Because of this, many people believe that Gacha is no longer safe for children.
If you are worried about your children already being exposed to this content, you can request for their information to be removed; however, the community support team will need the child’s account information to do this.
In the game, you can purchase coins or open loot boxes to receive more customization tools. Because of this, your children might unknowingly spend your money to boost their game.
You can avoid this by disabling the in-app purchases. This will allow the child to continue playing without accidentally spending your money.
How To Protect Your Children
There are 5 ways to allow your children to play games online safely. They are setting up the game in an open place, creating family rules, establishing accountability, teaching your kids about their phones, and teaching yourself about your phone.
This might seem like a mouthful, but we will explain each method in detail. We recommend that you do them all.
Gaming In An Open Place
Young children shouldn’t be using the internet without adult supervision. The online world can be dangerous and may overwhelm your children with content they should not be seeing.
To ensure that your children have the freedom to play their games but are not wandering into the woods of adult content, we suggest your kids play their games in an open place. For example, connecting the phone screen to a TV.
If the screen your kids are using is in an open space where you can watch without intruding, then you can keep an eye on their content without making the game less fun.
Creating Family Rules
The rules you create should be based on the child and your family habits; however, you need to consider a couple of points.
The first one is about “Stranger Danger.” You should teach your children that they shouldn’t talk to strangers online.
The second one is “No Personal Details.” You should teach your children not to give strangers personal information (like addresses, phone numbers, bank account information, birthdays, or photos). Ideally, they shouldn’t be giving this information out to anyone without their parent’s permission.
The other rules should be set around your home. Maybe there is a set amount of time that the children can be online for. Perhaps they are only allowed to use certain approved websites.
These types of rules can stop them from becoming addicted to their devices while giving them the freedom to play on a safe platform.
Depending on your children’s age, they will need to be aware of how they act online. This includes using your money to buy things, going onto platforms they are not allowed to, using their devices too often, and lying about their online history.
The best way to talk to a child is to speak to them like an adult. They are smart enough to understand your point of view, but they simply don’t have the experience to know what you know.
If you explain that spending your money without permission means bills get missed and the water might turn off, then they will understand how their actions affect others.
If you explain that banned platforms contain aggressive and upsetting content, they will understand that disobeying you means entering into an unhappy place. Tell them why the platform is forbidden, and when they are allowed to go on it; they will understand.
The last two points come together; if you can see that the online history has been deleted or have noticed that your children have been playing on their games for longer than they should, then you can show the children how you found out and why it is dangerous.
Kids will test their luck, but they need to know that they are still accountable for their actions.
Teach Your Kids To Be Tech-Savvy, And Also Teach Yourself
The number one thing you should tell your kids is to remove GPS on their phone unless they are going away from home (like to a friend’s, to the park, or to school). If your children play a game that uses GPS, people with bad intentions can locate your children.
If you learn about the devices your children use, you can feel secure about how the apps work and how to protect your children.
Most apps have parental controls to help you limit how much content your children can use. Become familiar with these controls.
Overall, we do not recommend this game for young children. Teens might be able to shield themselves from unwanted attention and may be aware enough to avoid danger. The adult subgroup has made this platform unsafe for kids.