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Episode: Choose Your Story

Episode – Choose Your Story is an interactive storytelling platform. It includes stories written by the editorial team at Episode and by the users themselves. A lot of the stories contain references to sex, romance and dating, with some censored nudity.

13+

Official age rating

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Our safety ratings

Overall safety rating:

Our overall rating for Episode: Choose Your Story

Average

You can’t chat with people privately on the app but you can leave the game and speak to people on a separate forum site set up by Episode. 

Many of the stories on the game contain references to sex, alcohol and relationships and mild nudity. Some of the themes explored aren’t suitable for young children.

We don’t think this app is suitable for anyone under the age of 16.

Safety features

There are no parental controls available and we couldn’t find any information for parents and carers on the website.

When users download the app they are automatically given a username and password and don’t need to share any personal information to set up an account.

If a story has bad language in it users are warned and given the option to censor it out.

 

Privacy & location

There’s no private messaging function on the app but users can speak to other people via public forums. You have to leave the app and set up an account to access these forums.

Users can decide to create their own story but children under the age of 17 must have parental permission.

Reporting & blocking

There’s no way to communicate with other people while playing the game and we couldn’t find any information about reporting or blocking on the site.

Content

The stories we watched contained references to sex and alcohol and mild nudity. We don’t think the themes in some of the stories are suitable for anyone under the age of 16.

Episode say they moderate the stories published but we couldn’t find any information about how they do this.

O2 Guru top tip

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Explore the game together

There aren’t parental controls on Episode and some stories contain adult content. Talk about the app together to decide if it's appropriate.

Top tips for staying safe

Sitting down with your child and exploring their favourite app or game is a great way for you to learn more about what they like to do online.

You can ask them why they like to use an app or play certain games, as well as who they’re talking to and what sorts of things they’re sharing.

You can also read our Net Aware reviews for tips on how to keep kids safe on popular apps, sites and games.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You shouldn't give your number to somebody you don't know on the street. Is somebody online you don't know any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like names, emails, phone numbers, location and school names
  • other people's personal information
  • links to join private group chats
  • photos of themselves
  • photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos.

You can't talk to people directly in the game but the app links out to a separate forum site where users can go to discuss story lines and episodes. To access these forums you need to set up a separate account.

Make sure to check in with your child regularly about who they’re talking to online and ask them about any new chats or forums they’ve joined.

Remind them if someone starts asking them other questions or suggests they speak using another app like Snapchat or Instagram they should come and tell you.

Explore safety settings together so your child knows how to stop unwanted contact or end an online chat.

You can purchase gems and tickets in the app that let you make certain decisions and give you access to other chapters.

Make sure to speak with your child about purchasing gems and tickets while playing the game.

You might want to turn off in-app purchasing on your child’s phone to make sure they can’t use this feature. You should be able to switch this off in the settings on any device.

Here are links to advice for some of the more popular brand to help you do this:

 

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

It’s important to remind your child that they can talk you, another adult they trust, like a teacher, or Childline about anything they see online.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

What children and parents are saying about Episode: Choose Your Story

We've spoken to over 2,000 parents and kids to find out what they think.

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Kids

What do children and young people dislike about Episode – Choose Your Story?

• There might be inappropriate or uncomfortable content in some of the stories
• There are in-app purchases
• The adverts that pop up

The episodes can contain uncomfortable scenes but I think it’s safe because it tells you that mature themes can take place and it says that if it upsets you, you don't have to read it.

Girl, 13

What do children and young people like about Episode – Choose Your Story?

• It’s a fun way to be creative and write your own stories
• It’s safe because you don’t communicate with others or share your location

I like this app because it is fun to use and you can create your own stories for others to read. This app does not give you an option for location, so you are safe.

Girl, 13

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Parents

We asked parents about the following areas of Episode – Choose Your Story:

Signing up

Overall, parents thought it was too easy for children to sign up.

Too easy for children to access.

Mother of a 12 year old girl

Reporting

I couldn’t see how to report or block.

Mother of an 11 year old girl

Privacy settings

Changing settings cannot be done on the app. Also, your profile can become available to other users.

Mother of a 12 year old girl

Safety and support

It’s all too hidden within the app. A parent might let their child download this not knowing the contents.

Mother of an 11 year old girl

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