Fortnite Frenzy: What You Need to Know
If you’ve spent any amount of time with a young person recently, you’ve most likely heard the name of one of the most popular video games currently, “Fortnite.” This massively popular video game was released less than two years ago and has spread like wildfire. Whether the game is providing your family with some light-hearted fun and competition, or providing a source of stress and tension, getting a well-informed strategy on how to navigate its impact is key.
What is it about this game that has kids and teens endlessly engaged? The game incorporates elements of “last man standing” strategy, similar to the popular movie series “Hunger Games,” mixed with “Call of Duty” type action, for an all-encompassing, full-senses experience. Young gamers also find it appealing as the game allows them to stay engaged in a chat with their friends during hours of gameplay. Matches tend to be quick and therefore offer players multiple chances to get in on the action and make multiple attempts at winning in a short amount of time. The appeal keeps young people locked in for hours. The fun and entertainment that this game offers as well as its widespread popularity can easily have parents overlooking some of the games’ potential pitfalls.
In addition to the visual experience, teamwork and competitive elements, this game was designed to be played on multiple platforms. This means players have unlimited access to the game at all times – at home on a video game console, whenever they access to their smartphone and even on a laptop. All for free! The online chat feature allows players to engage with total strangers or strategize with their friends for a more social experience.
One key characteristic of the “Fortnite phenomenon” is that it seems to appeal to a wide audience. Player ages range from teens all the way into adulthood according to statistics gathered by Statista. This may leave parents wondering, is this game age-appropriate for my child? The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates the game as “TEEN.” This rating means, “content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.” However, it is important to consider that this rating only takes into account the game content itself and not the additional features of chat and online gameplay that may expose the player to other content, language, etc.
As a parent, it can be difficult to decide when and if you should be allowing your child to get in on the action of some of the most popular video games and online activities. Fighting the current of what’s culturally popular can cause real stress between you and your child. Here’s what you may want to consider before deciding if Fortnite is right for your home: