Video games like Fortnite are incredibly popular with tweens and teens. The developers add new features and play modes every week to entice players to come back and play more often. Teens and tweens who haven’t yet developed a healthy relationship with screen time often become obsessed very quickly. What seems like harmless fun between kids can quickly become an addiction. Parents should monitor their child’s screen time because many kids are reporting playing through the night, even on school nights.
Fortnite uses voice chatting and text to communicate with other players. With voice chat turned on, players can interact with each other via voice chat and be exposed to unsavory strangers. Voice chat may subject your child to bad language, bullying, racism, sexism, homophobic comments, and could potentially even be petitioned by other players for identifying personal details. You can help eliminate the danger by turning voice chat off.
Because of all the continual upgrades and extra features, players are spending a lot of money on the game. It’s almost required to keep up with other players. Many players use 3rd party upgrades, which have been reported as being malicious in nature.
Fortnite is a “third-person shooter” game, meaning it involves shooting enemies and the player views the action as if from a position behind the character they are controlling. Your child will use shotguns and automatic rifles and try to kill pretty much every other character they see. While it may be less graphic than other video games, the action is still squarely focused on gun-based combat.
While multiple studies show that violent video games do not incite violent, aggressive behavior in kids, playing too long will affect your child’s mood and your child may have a tendency to fixate on the games.
How Parents Can Protect Their Kids Who Play Video Games like Fortnite
The Entertainment Software Ratings Board has rated Fortnite a “T” for Teen, which means ages 13 and up. Some tweens may be able to handle the action just fine while some teens with a tendency to go a little overboard on their gaming might need supervision and limits placed on play time to reduce the risk of obsession. You know your child best, so with proper supervision, you can assess their readiness.
- Protect your kids by turning off voice chat right from the start. You’ll be eliminating the exposure to inappropriate language, bullying and more with this simple step.
- Set time limits on video games to teach your kids a healthy balance of screen time. Knowing how much time they get up front will make it easier to turn off the game when time is up.
- Encourage your kids to have offline time and to get outside. Children are more likely to stay safe online when their parents are present. Check in often while they’re playing or stay in the room they are playing.
- Get familiar with the game and apps they’re using.
- Talk openly with your kids about spending limits on the apps and upgrades. Make sure they ask before downloading anything new.
- Have honest conversations about online safely. Teach them to never share their personal information even if it appears the other players are safe.
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