Fortnite is a survival game that seems to have taken millions of kids by storm. What starts as a simple and fun video game becomes a never-ending obsession so many parents have started to get worried. Their kids appear to be so much into the game to the extent of forgetting other important things in their lives. As a result, over the last few months, a number of support groups on Facebook have come up. The groups give parents the opportunity to vent and share the experiences of their kids with the game.
At first, parents’ concerns appear to be simply on surface-level but it’s something much more complex than that. As the school year begins, the last thing any parent wants is to send their kids to school with divided attention. But thanks to Fortnite, it may be a reality that will soon dawn on many families. There’s no doubt that the survival game is captivating but that’s how video games are supposed to be. The main concern for many parents right now is how to determine if their kids have crossed that threshold from fun to obsession.
There’s nothing wrong with playing video games but if it becomes an obsession then there’s a problem. Fortnite is an online multiplayer game. Since its launch last year, the game has grown wildly popular and has attracted nearly 125 million users. The game has captured the hearts of almost everyone. But perhaps of more concern for many parents is that the game has become a sensation for kids as young as 7 years old. The game is rated “Teen” by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Parents know for sure it’s something they cannot stop their kids from doing. What really sticks out is how to balance game time and school time as we enter the new school year.
Some parents are getting creative though. They are using their kids’ love for the game against them. For instance, one parent wrote on a support group online that she uses the in-game currency to enforce good behavior. Fortnite has an in-game currency called “V-Bucks” which is purchased with real money. It’s useful for buying weapons, character skins, and other things that make the game enjoyable. This parent said that he rewards the kid with “V-Bucks” every time he does a good thing. So, for example, the parent offers a certain amount of “V-Bucks” for certain chores at home.
Some teachers have also found a way to teach through the game. One teacher in Fair Haven, New Jersey told NBC News that he had found a way to teach subjects like math and English through the game. And since the kids are obsessed with it, it has indeed been very exciting. The game also offers a way for the kids to connect with each other. It’s a multiplayer game with millions of users most of whom are average teenagers. It’s a goldmine of social networking. The challenge though is that many parents don’t see it that way. They simply want to restrict the game instead of using their kid’s obsession with the game to their advantage.