It’s natural for us as parents to worry about our kids' safety online. For one, the internet is littered with junk, and we can’t turn a blind eye to its impact on our kids.
We're guessing that maybe, just maybe, you've noticed the little video game sensation Fortnite.
Kids can’t stop talking about Fortnite. They play it on their iPads, computers, and PlayStations. In fact, nearly 61 percent of kids claim to have played the game.
If you’re a parent wondering why your kids are obsessed with Fortnite and whether the platform is appropriate for them, you’re on the right page.
Below, we’ll dig deep into Fortnite, the likely dangers your kids are exposed to, and ways you can protect them from these dangers.
Fortnite Battle Royale is a popular online game amongst kids, teens and adults. It’s a platform where players compete against each other to emerge heroes. Currently, the platform has over 120 million players and boasts of being kids' most loved online game.
Meanwhile, a glance into the platform shows 100 players assembled into a field, equipped with weapons and allowed to fight each other. Ultimately, a survivor emerges and gets awarded Victory Umbrellas which is proof of their accomplishment.
How Does Fortnite Work?
On Fortnite, players jump off a plane onto a small island and fight each other with weapons, like an axe, until only one is left. While engaged in the fight, players must search the playfield for hidden weapons like grenade launchers, axes, rifles, bows, and arrows to eliminate enemies.
On the other hand, players can build their own structures for defense and hide weapons. As the fight proceeds and the number of players reduces, the battleground is compressed to bring players closer. When winners emerge, they’re rewarded with coins to upgrade and acquire new costumes and weapons.
Why Kids Love Fortnite
So many reasons.
First, kids love Fortnite because of its competitive nature. They are motivated to fight against 99 players to win a prize on the platform. Thus the game feels war-like, fun and challenging to play.
Second, kids love Fortnite because of its thrilling costumes and colorful animations---which entice kids. This is why they find Fortnite super appealing and entertaining to play.
The platform offers an in-built chat feature that lets them communicate and interact with each other via text or voice on headsets, making that sense of engagement with other players (and to the game) even greater.
Beyond that, Fortnite operates as a social media platform making it more interactive for kids. Thus, they can choose to play solo or play in groups.
Dangers Associated With Fortnite
One major danger of using Fortnite is simply overconsumption of screen time. Because of its addictive nature and the quest to win, kids may choose Fortnite over sleep, playing outside, and completing homework.
Adding to this, the platform exposes kids to vulgar language. With its in-built chat feature, kids can learn inappropriate language from other players. The platform also allows third-party integrations with Facebook and other social media platforms, enabling predators to lure innocent kids to these platforms.
With these dangers, Fortnite may not be safe for your kids. However, there are tips to help protect them.
Tips to Protect Your Kids on Fortnite
First, set parental controls. You can filter mature language, auto decline friend requests, turn off chat features, and request weekly playtime reports.
Next, talk with your kids. They need to know how much time on Fortnite is too much. And they need not only to be aware of predators, but also know when to be suspicious and to disengage.