What parents need to know about Fortnite

What parents need to know about Fortnite

(Pocket-lint) – If you haven’t heard of Fortnite, chances are you don’t have kids of a certain age. It is a super popular shooting game for kids that has long been criticized by mainstream media for being violent, addictive, and rage-inducing in children.

Fortnite has been around for a while and can be played on just about every platform under the sun. The main game used to focus on a Save The World mode where you attack and shoot enemies with weapons and build defenses.

However, it is the online multiplayer Battle Royale mode that is almost exclusively played by youngsters. Similar to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, albeit with a younger age rating, pit up to 100 players each as a storm cloud rolls in until the remaining players are forced into exciting matchups.

Along with the usual tips for parents to play with their kids and keep gaming in shared family rooms, here’s a look at what parents should know about gaming to keep it healthy for their kids.

Fortnite violence and medical dangers

A good place to start is with age rating information. In the UK, the Video Standards Council rates Fortnite PEGI 12 for frequent scenes of mild violence. This means that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 12 to purchase the game for themselves.

The VSC explains why it gave the game a rating of 12. “Violence is about using any weapon you can find or make to defend yourself against Storm monsters and save survivors. Damage is dealt by numbers and the bars health and monsters disappear in a purple flash when defeated.”

In the US, the ESRB has given Fortnite a teen rating. This is equivalent to those over 13 years of age. Similar to the PEGI rating, it highlights that “players use guns, swords, and grenades to fight skeleton-shaped monsters (shells) in ranged and melee combat. Players can also defeat enemies using various traps (for e.g. electric, spikes. , poison gas) Battles are highlighted by frequent gunshots, explosions, and screams of pain.

On iOS, Apple also rates the game as only suitable for ages 12 and up. Along with the Cartoon Violence and Frequent/Intense Fantasy flags, it also highlights that there are scenes of “Medical Treatment” for injuries.

Parents should pay attention to this guide and use it in an informed way for their children. The following video combines this information with gameplay footage to show how it looks and plays in practice:

Fortnite Online Hazards

As with any online game, parents should be careful to understand who children are interacting with and what specific information may be exchanged. This area of ​​the game content is created by other players and is therefore left out of the game ratings.

While playing the game, players can hear profanity (and racist slurs, as you can see in the video above) from others, as well as exchange voice chat messages with strangers. Because Battle Royale is played by hundreds of people at a time, the variety of people you will meet will be wide.

A good way to mitigate these dangers is to have children play with the sound of the television in family rooms so that parents can hear the conversation. However, many gamers will want to wear headphones so they can hear game sounds more accurately and progress better.

Another way to avoid this danger is to have children join a group of friends they meet online before playing. Then, in-game, they can turn off other players’ audio while still communicating with their teammates.

Costs in the Fortnite app

Although the Battle Royale portion of the Fortnite game is free to play, there are a number of potential costs associated with playing the game. However, to play online on Xbox or PlayStation, you do not need to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus.

The game encourages players to purchase outfits and moves to distinguish their character from others in the game. These include items such as new clothing and equipment, as well as the ability to perform particular dance taunts.

These items are visual only and do not affect the player’s stats, but can stack. For example, the Season 6 Battle Pass costs around £6.50 to purchase the required 950 V-Bucks.

Parents should make sure credit cards for their consoles require a password, to avoid unwanted purchases made by children clicking through.

fortnite teen rage

No parent likes to see their child upset, let alone scream and throw the controller across the room. It’s important to understand why Fortnite is reported to cause such behavior in young people instead of jumping to reflex responses.

Just like games like FIFA or Rocket League, playing Fortnite Battle Royale is a fiercely competitive challenge for kids. Not only are they fighting against all sorts of other players, who may be more skilled or older than them, but other factors can trip them up.

If the Internet connection slows down, your character may lag behind other people. If they don’t have a good pair of headphones, they won’t hear footsteps behind them. Or, if they’re called to dinner at the wrong time, the distraction can mean they get killed.

This gets more intense in Fortnite because it’s instant death and game over. Unlike FIFA or Rocket League, where you can fight your way back up, in Fortnite you can be on top, winning the round one minute and dead the next.

Parents can help with this by having players take regular breaks. Also taking an interest in the game and how well they are doing can give a child a way to communicate their anger in other ways.

Also, it is worth having a discussion with your child about how and when they will stop. Certainly limits on playing time are healthy. But it’s also helpful to understand that once they’ve started a match, if they drop out they’ll lose position and disappoint their teammates.

Less violent alternatives to Fortnite

For some, particularly children under the recommended age, it will be necessary to say no when they ask to play or get the game. However, it is important that this is not the end of the conversation. The following games offer a lush and enjoyable alternative to Fortnite until the kids are old enough.

  • Splatoon 2 (PEGI 7+)
  • Minecraft (PEG 7+)
  • Roblox (PEGI 7+)
  • Lovers in a dangerous space-time (PEGI 7+)
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (PEGI 12+)

So should kids play Fortnite?

Fortnite is a game that offers young people a lot of benefits. Not only is it great fun to play, but it can create a space where friendships are forged and expanded, as well as teaching teamwork, cooperation, and sharp reflexes. There are also a lot of tactics involved in online multiplayer, both in terms of movement and dealing with weapons and locations.

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As long as parents understand both the benefits and dangers of the game, as outlined here, Fortnite can play an important role in healthy and balanced leisure time.

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Written by Andy Robertson. Edited by Max Freeman-Mills.

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