By Eden Rodgers
With the latest season of Fortnite dominating screens all over the world, its unlikely to encounter someone who hasn’t heard of this gaming giant.
This cartoon style first person shooter requires players to fight to the death to claim the coveted “victory royale”. As players gather weapons, resources and healable items, a toxic storm encloses in on the playing field, restricting the battle area.
Players are able to build their way to unreachable places and gain the advantage in close combat situations. Within Fortnite, players are able to dance and emote their way across the battle field. This feature of the game is Fortnite’s main source of financial gain as it is free to download on all platforms.
But that when the concern begins. Because Fortnite is free to play, this allows for a younger demographic to access and play the game. With more children playing Fortnite than any other game, it raises a concern about the content within the game. As a first-person shooter, where the objective is to eliminate other players with a various array of weapons, it’s not unheard of for this type of game to come into question with children. But as commonly stated, parents are responsible for what games their children play, and the cartoon style graphics sensors the content to some extent.
This isn’t the major concern when it comes to playing this game. The real hazard lies within its addictive nature. Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price missed a game as he was too busy playing the online multiplayer shooter and other sports teams have banned the game for its addictive and distracting nature. As previously stated, the majority of Fortnite players are children. If they are encouraged by athletes and celebrities to play the game at the expense of other commitments, it is understandable why parents are concerned.
Another factor is how viral Fortnite has become. In under a year, a total of 125 million people are actively playing the game. That’s the equivalent to the entire population of Mexico all playing the game. This, plus the amount of YouTube videos, pop culture references and public figure endorsement, it’s fair to say the game is revolutionary. But this also encourages young children to play the game. Its sheer popularity is influential on young minds. They are e courage to play every time they go online, on social media, to school or turn on the tv. This adds to the concern regarding the frequency of children indoors playing video games.
Although it’s hard to avoid, Fortnite’s dominance can have some negative influences on the behavioral aspects of young children. Choosing to play the game over attending other commitments can become a concern especially when there are a plethora of influences encouraging this behaviour. Parents need to be aware of the frequency of game play and balance video game time with outdoor and recreational activities.