Apple’s default “Game Centre” app has been around since 2010. It’s a sort of social media gaming app, where your child can link up with other game players also using Apple devices and be part of leader boards, check achievements and scores and connect to play games online together like Clash Of Clans, Minecraft and more.
Game centre comes automatically with Mobile operating system iOS4 and up, and with the P.C version of Apple’s “Mountain Lion” right through to the latest operating system “El Capitan”. It can be used on any iDevice like iPod, iPad, iPhone and on Apple Macintosh. It is linked to an Apple I.D or iTunes account.
Concerns For Parents
Game Centre is fun for kids to use to play games with other children, but parents need to be aware that your child can be approached by strangers on this app, and probably will be, unless you restrict public access through the settings. If you are happy for your child to use this app to play with their real friends the best approach is to be there with your child when they accept a friend request from their friend, allow it through, and then disable the “Allow Invites” option.
In my talks to young children I’m seeing more and more primary school students using this app, who tell me they are receiving unsolicited friendship requests from strangers. If your child does have some requests you can “Ignore” them to make them go away. But once you have these privacy settings enabled the unsolicited requests should stop.
Use A Pseudonym
As with all gaming and messaging apps, if you are going to allow your child to use Game Centre, get them to make up a user name that is not their real name. This is much more secure for them so that only their true friends and family know how to find them.
How To Set Up Privacy Settings
Be sure to set up both Apple mobile devices and P.C Apple Mac Game Centre settings, if your child has access to both. See the settings below for both the mobile app and the P.C app. These settings are not Cloud based but device based, so need to be set up on any device where your child has a Game Centre profile.
Mobile Game Centre Privacy Settings
Game Centre Privacy Settings On Apple Mac
From Apple’s Game Centre’s Terms Of Service On Privacy