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?
- 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:
Where is the Randonautica app available?
- Google Play: E (everyone)
- Apple’s App Store: 4+
- Developer’s Website: Randonautica (Based in USA, owned by Randonauts, LLC)
- Safety Guidelines
Randonautica in the news
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
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
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
[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?
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
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.