Does your child have ‘Fortnite’ fever, and their obsession slowly starting to worry you? Well here’s what you need to know about the game’s compelling popularity that has not only you, but many other parents worried too. This “how to” guide will help you not only understand the frenzy but also guide you on what to do if your kids are starting to develop an unhealthy habit towards the game. So, what is it about this survival action game that has all our kids captivated & fascinated to the point where their mental health and well being are now at risk?
What Parents Should Know
Parents should first know that ‘Fortnite’ is a video game that includes two modes, a solo version known as ‘Save the World’ and the multiplayer version called ‘Battle Royale’. (The game can be played on either a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac, or a mobile).
According to Ehnmke, R (2019), the reason why the game is so popular among kids is due to its cartoonish appeal, changing landscapes, fun challenges and most importantly it’s social aspect that the game has to offer too. Each game is about 20 minutes long, and each player has the option to play either singular, duo, or in a team, therefore making the social & competitive aspects of this survival action packed game very appealing and compelling to kids.
How Can Parents Ensure A Good/Healthy Balance
Here are just a few habits that parents should implement to ensure a healthy balance & create good media habits with their kids.
- Build positive relationships with family members by spending time with them
- Ensure that they are keeping up with academic classes & homework
- Ensure social interactions like visiting friends & interacting with them in real life
- Most importantly make sure that kids are getting enough sleep
- Implement a screen time schedule
Due to the social aspect of the game your kids are more than likely no stranger to trash talk from the game, this should also be taken very seriously so that they don’t take this habit to generalised places like that of the classroom, or the playground.
Ronnah, mom of two boys (5 & 9 years old), implements a screen time schedule for her two boys and states that as a parent of two boys obsessed with ‘Fortnite’ she only allows them to have screen time on the weekends and during the school holidays allowing them to focus solely on school work during the school term. Ehnmke, R (2019), states that while urging kids to reduce their game usage and implementing a healthy balance you can also look at applying slighter limits like letting them play for half an hour every night ensuring that their homework has been completed, to ensure that they do not feel forced & no resentment occurs.
Bonus Content: Screen Time Chart