Randonautica App Can Create Dangerous “Adventures”

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Randonautica App Can Create Dangerous “Adventures”

July 20, 2020
Green Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Gray Zone

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
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Red Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Dangerous Social media challenges

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge. Knowing about social media challenges before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Table of Contents

The Randonautica app markets itself as “the world’s first quantumly generated Choose Your Own Adventure reality game.” It might sound enticing to students, but safety is a major concern with this app. The app prompts adventurers to set out with a goal in mind. Then it sends them to a randomly generated set of nearby coordinates. These random locations often include private property, although the app warns users not to trespass. Some teenage “Randonauts” were recently directed to a beach, where they made a gruesome discovery.

This guide for parents, educators, and students explains exactly how the Randonautica app works, where it can send your students, and why it could be dangerous for young users.

What is the Randonautica app?

Randonautica app location found
The app warns users not to trespass on private property, although it often directs users to private property
  • The app uses a phone’s location and quantum random number generators  to take users on “adventures” 
  • It’s free to download and there are no age requirements
  • Users can “manifest” the type of experience they want to encounter by typing in an intention or what they hope to find
  • The app then generates a set of random GPS coordinates for the user to travel to
  • “Randonauts” then post their discoveries to TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, and other social media networks

How does it work?

  • Users get 10 free locations, then must pay for “points” to continue
  • Other in-app purchases are available, including an upgrade that removes water locations like lakes and rivers

Where did the app send the SmartSocial.com Team?

The SmartSocial.com Team did a careful review of the Randonautica app to determine if it's safe for students. Here are some of the locations the app suggested that we travel to:

Randonautica app location examples: to the middle of a lake, someone's backyard and private property
Places the app wanted us to go: the middle of a lake, someone's backyard, and more private property.
Randonautica app location examples to a farm that is for sale and a construction zone with no trespassing signs
Places the app wanted us to go: to a farm and a construction zone with no trespassing signs.

Where is the Randonautica app available?

Randonautica in the news

KIRO TV headline: Teens claim they found suitcase with human remains in TikTok video
The TikTok video indicates the young people were led to the site using the game app Randonautica… Videos posted to the social media platform TikTok show a suitcase washed up on the rocks and the people who found [later discovered human remains inside.] KIRO-TV
WIRED headline: "randonauts' have found a great way to spice up lockdown walks
For many, the appeal of randonauting comes with the opportunity to encounter coincidences and patterns that provide a deeper meaning or insight into real-life events and dilemmas. Instead of a standard random number generator, which can never be totally random, the Randonautica app uses quantum random number generators, including the Australian National University Quantum Random Numbers Server. The numbers themselves are generated in real-time in the lab “by measuring the quantum fluctuations of the vacuum,” and it’s that quantum mechanic that makes them, theoretically, truly random. WIRED
GoodtoKnow headline: The horrifying and dangerous TikTok trend you should warn your teenager against
A new trend called Randonauting is taking [TikTok and Instagram] by storm – and it could put young users in danger if they decide to try it out. GoodtoKnow.com
Chicago Tribune headline: Choose your own adventure with Randonautica app, and explore your surroundings in a way that can be a little Pokemon Go and a little "twilight zone'
[The app's creator] said the point of setting an intention is twofold. First, she said it’s about creating your own story by setting the theme of your adventure. She said there is a theory that consciousness can have an impact on quantum random number generation. 'If that’s the case, setting an intention could have an influence on the matter of the world around you,' she said. 'Or, the world around you could have an influence on your intention.' Chicago Tribune

What do some users think about Randonautica?

App review by Jordan Michel: Pretty cool to be able to go on random adventures but I wish you could be able to report, temporarily remove, or be able to warn others about locations. Our very first location was in the middle of the woods with a hidden homeless camp all around us. Extremely unsafe and felt like a baited situation, but we always go in groups and left. Would have gone much worse for an unsuspecting child, or anyone alone.
App review by Daniel Bolanos Sciarpa: Just a marketing experiment...it tries to be a 'throw a dart at a map while you're blindfolded' but in digital...they tried to put a touch of mysticism and paranormal things for mystery and marketing purposes.  The problem is, it's just a random coordinate generator. Of course. It is very slow...

Why should parents care?

  • Since the Randonautica app encourages users to go to random locations, there is no way to know if those locations are safe 
  • The perimeter can be changed in Settings to allow the app to generate locations that are several miles away from a user
  • Although the Randonautica app regularly directs users to private property, the company recommends that users don't trespass
  • This can be confusing to tweens and teens
  • It might entice students to break the rules if it seems like they’re being dared to go on an adventure
  • The company behind the app is also making a YouTube reality show where "Randonauts" are portrayed as brave, daring, and open minded

What can parents do?

  • Urge young students not to use this app without adult supervision
  • Teach your student it is illegal to go on private property
  • Discuss other potential dangers of traveling to random locations, such as encounters with strangers
  • If your student really wants to go on a “make your own” adventure with friends - suggest some safe games or books
  • If older teens insist on using the app, make sure they know the Randonautica’s 10 safety tips, which include avoiding dangerous areas and “Randonauting” solo

Conclusion

The Randonautica app might spur a sense of adventure, but it also gives students a reason to consider visiting vacant buildings, construction zones, private property, and more. The potential for danger at these random locations is real.

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