What Defenders Of Fornite And Games Refuse To Accept

Image: Epic

My kids love Ninja.

When I told them about the shocking thing that happened at the Madden tournament in Florida last month, where two gamers were shot dead, their immediate reaction was “WAS IT NINJA?”

Ninja is a champion gamer, who goes by Tyler Blevins in the real world.

I like Tyler Blevins. Ninja is cool.

And like most of the big gaming personalities, he keeps it pretty clean online. Clean enough – like Stampy and TDM and Jen in the Minecraft days of yore – for me to let my kids follow him.

But then, he’ll post a sweet picture of his wife, Jessica Goch:

Image: Ninja/Instagram

And you don’t have to scroll down too far to see the comments, such as “Is she the dinner?” and thousands of other more vulgar ones that shouldn’t be repeated here.

Yes, they’re the more colourful ones. But of the 12,000 or so comments, 11,000 of them are echoes of that. That’s not an exaggeration.

Obviously, it’s not Ninja’s fault. But the parenting solution? Sorry kids, you can’t follow your hero who plays video games.

Please, please, please don’t try to feed me that line about how I should instead somehow talk even more with my kids and teach them to manage how they deal with being exposed to grownup things.

These aren’t grownups commenting. These are the kids.

Back in the schoolyard all the other kids are talking about what Ninja posted last night, reading the comments, and Fortnite. And the only way my kid can join in the conversation is to somehow find a way to surreptitiously catch up with Ninja, and Fortnite.

Basically, teach himself how to lie to me. And teach himself how to pretend to his friends that he plays Fortnite just like they do, when actually, he just watches the YouTubes.

I don’t blame him.

If you think for a minute that a kid needs to be strong and go their own way in the schoolyard, you’ve been an adult too long.

Did you ever deliberately choose to spend all your school years alone and not being interesting enough for anyone to talk to you?

Before you say yes, let me say no, you didn’t.

Games Got Good

Image: Youtube

Let’s talk about the gaming industry, where “industry” is a word that far too often gets overlooked by gaming advocates.

Name a “good” industry.

You’ll get there eventually, but I bet your first thoughts included one or more of the following:

• alcohol
• drugs
• gambling
• real estate

Maybe hospitality.

You become an industry by outputting a product that makes a lot of money, and evolve as an industry by finding ways to make that product more desirable, and therefore more valuable.

When I was a kid, and a teenager, from my Sheen to Phillips Videopac to Megadrive to 3DO days, there was no mention of a gaming “industry”.

Yeah, I played games. As the commentors on a Ninja post might say, I played a f..kton of games.

I worked in a games shop that was actually a bit radical back then and went bust in a year or two, but maybe would have made its owner a rich man if he’d held off for 15 years.

That was around the early 90s, during the Second Console Wars.

I could feel the wave I was riding building so much I even drew my own game, which still looks pretty awesome:

Image: Peter Farquhar

Obviously, there is IP on that.

Of course, it fell in a heap when CD gaming took off and forgot to add gameplay to the amazing moving pictures it was shopping around. “Eye candy”, they called it, and you know what? It was addictive.

People starting handing over cash for terrible games simply because they looked uh-mazing.

And from those really, really lifelike games, all of which turned out to look nothing at all like the cinematic intros they were sold on, game “franchises” were born.

Operation: Jungle Farkers was shelved because I sulked about CD shortcomings like poor collision detection, crappy sprite scaling and the banality of built-in “catch-up” features killing off proper gaming skills.

A proper nerd.

But then, it happened. Around the time I actually started to get paid to write about games, and phones that you could now play decent games on, and all the technology that was connecting gamers across the world, gaming became an “industry”.

At that point, I felt proud of what was happening. Right here was my validation.

I TOLD you all that games were actually awesome, I said. I KNEW I wasn’t wasting my time with Operation: Jungle Farkers.

And for an all-too brief five or so years, it was wonderful. Call of Duty, Half-Life, Fallout, Halo, Fable, Diablo, WoW, GTA, Portal. Wii Sports.

When your anger was confined to one room at a time. Image: Valve/Portal 2

Oh my.

But like all industries, it has to keep finding new ways to make money. And inevitably, one of those new ways will push the boundaries of what we’re comfortable with.


Image: 60 Minutes / Channel Nine

Back to the school yard, where here was a chance for us to teach our kid how to limit his intake of a Very Good Thing.

Here was a chance to help our kid understand he could face enormous peer pressure and come through the other side mostly intact, with friends. Maybe one day, that will help him when he’s tempted by other Very Good Things that could actually kill him.

It was dumb luck that we chose the Fortnite phenomenon as the testing ground, but several months later, I couldn’t be happier that it was.

Every single parent with boys is struggling with this. Every single conversation with parents of boys inevitably turns to that struggle.

They give me an anguished look. “You’re a tech journo. How do you handle it?”

And my heart sinks a little, because I know how I’m about to make them feel when I say: “I don’t let my kids play it.”

They think I’m making them sound like a bad parent. I’m not, but as a lifelong gamer, I’m actually in an incredibly privileged position as a parent.

The biggest mistake I can make as a technology journalist is to assume all the other parents have the same knowledge and experience I’ve acquired at their disposal too.

They really don’t, at all. And when I say “they”, I mean somewhere in the 8-9 out of 10 of them.

I know it’s that much because I manage my kids’ gaming time. The parents of every other kid in his class only think they do, and I know they only think they do because my kid uses my Steam account and I can see exactly when their kids – because they are his Steam friends – are online.

I hope they only think they do, because the reality is fairly shocking. And that’s just their Steam time.

The reason I’m writing this now is because Fortnite has pushed it all over the line and I’m tired of defending it. I need to grit my teeth, and tell myself that Fortnite really is pokies for kids.

And gaming advocates need to stop defending it with exactly the same knee-jerk fervour that current affairs shows and the Daily Mail employ in scaring the bejesus out of all the parents.

Everything sucks when you’re a kid

Twitter (@epiccog)

Despite the italics, the “every single parent” claim is not an exaggerration. They are grieving. It is ruining their family life, and many of them have wonderful family lives that involve bike riding, shack culture, weekend sport, overseas holidays.

Privileged lives. Yet they are fighting with their children to get them into it.

The game tech journo’s knee-jerk standpoint right now is “Well, yeah but it’s up to the parent to not just let their kids play Fortnite all day.”

No shit.

That’s exactly where all the pain is, cereal box psychologists.

If parents gave their kids unfettered access to Fortnite, there’d be no problem at all. Life would be sweet, and full of Adult Time and huge glasses of excellent red wine.

The problem is not kids playing Fortnite – it’s hardly Carmageddon – it’s telling them it’s time to go abseiling.

“I don’t want to go abseiling. Abseiling sucks.”

“Your two hours is up.”

“TWO HOURS SUCKS. ALL THE OTHER KIDS GET THREE HOURS.”

“Okay, you can have three hours. I’m packing the car, and we’re out of here in another hour.”

One hour, and one minute passes. You know what happens next, and that includes you, gamer journos.

“Dad, I just need to finish (insert any save point/mission/flag excuse here)…”

“Okay, that’s it. I’m turning it off in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ...”

“NO NO NO NO NO NO NO I’ll lose EVERYTHI- NOOOOOOOOO!”

You’ve controlled the screen time. Congratulations. Your day with your family from here on in is ruined.

Tomorrow will be too, when you wake up late on a Sunday and find them in the loungeroom, quiet as mice, where they may have been playing Fortnite since 4am for all you know.

“Right, you’ve already been playing, so you’ve got an hour left.”

“NO! WE ONLY JUST GOT ON!”

Day Two of your weekend ruined.

Where all our Nice Things go to die. Image: Channel 9

I’ve had studies come through my inbox on the benefits and harms of gaming for well over a decade now, and yes, I read them all.

They might be right, but they all mean nothing, because there are enough for the For side to filter out all the ones that support the For said, and enough for the Against side to do exactly the same.

Gaming journalists are every bit as guilty of doing that as A Current Affair and the Daily Mail.

The only reality is reality.

Fortnite causes heartache, aggression, and ruination in families like no other game before it.

Some parents are psychologists. Some are gaming journalists. Some don’t work and can manage and be with their kids 24/7.

Everyone else isn’t and can’t, and just because of that, their opinions get casually tossed out the door under the banner of belonging to Parents Who Don’t Spend Enough Time with their Kids.

It succeeds in that not because it’s a technically superior game, or has an engaging plot. It succeeds because of small pings.

Those pings are micro-congratulations for level-ups, achievements, new equipment – “keep going, 11-year-old brain, your next reward is just around the corner, and the next corner, and the next corner”.

The next Fortnite will only be more successful if it can successfully evolve those addictive elements. And the Fortnite after that, and the one after that.

And at some stage, its defenders will have to put up their hands and say “You know what? There actually might be something kids find addictive about these games.”

And just like you wouldn’t let your kids play the pokies with their pocket money – because their brains aren’t developed enough to be able to ignore the small victories and see the bigger loss – you might start to limit your kids’ access to certain types of games.

So this isn’t an op-ed from someone saying Fortnite should be banned, or Fortnite isn’t a great game. Is shouldn’t, and it is.

It’s just not suitable for kids. And maybe “deliberately addictive gameplay” has now evolved to the point where it should should be considered a classification issue along with violence and sexual content.

It’s pretty simple. We say you can’t play them, until you’re old enough to play them.

You can’t play them until your brains are conditioned enough to know what’s bad for you. Until your brain knows how to spot a trap.

The simplest science is always the best. Picture: Epic Games

Because once again, we’ve taken a nice thing and made it so perhaps at least some of us shouldn’t have that nice thing.

This is incredibly hard for a lifelong gamer to say.


So here come the caveats. All of the above is absolutely a case of a few bad games spoiling the barrel.

If anything, that should make it easier for industry defenders to stop and say to parents okay, we’re on your side here. Mainly, because if they let games like Fortnite define the industry, the industry will forever be tarred while they do.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of video games for your kids to play that don’t cause problems in households.

Fortnite isn’t one of them. And honestly, if you can’t see that and feel compelled to defend it, you’re deliberately not looking.

Feel free to defend, but I’m not listening. It’s not enough to say if you and your kids can’t handle Fortnite, don’t let your kids play Fortnite. The age restriction (12+) says we can, and because we’re human, we want our kids to look forward to going to school.

There comes a time when you have to stop and think “OK, those are actual parent tears”.

That’s because I love the gaming industry, and I want it to show that it cares about me too, and I want it to be a well-regarded industry.

When I talk with the other parents about games, I want that conversation to be — once again — a conversation about how much fun we had as a family.

Because if the games aren’t fun for everyone anymore, maybe we need to stop calling them “games”.


This story originally appeared on Business Insider. You can read the original here.


Comments

    My son plays Fortnite but I gotta say, he's pretty cool about it. I give him 90mins a day, 2.5hrs on the weekend. I know that sounds like a lot but I'm ok with it. He turns it off when I ask. He's a cool little guy (9).

    What I won't let him do is use a headset. There's way too much toxicity on the chat. I hate those ppl who scream swear words consistently at everyone online. I feel that's a big issue.

      Why don’t you put party chat through the tv speakers, so if it’s bad you can monitor and turn it off

        When 95% of a "thing" is bad, the only choice is to remove "thing" altogether.

        At let him, my 9 year old son who's a beautiful human being, chat unfiltered with all the other people playing overwatch, fortnite and battlefront 2?

        No way. He doesn't need men from their late teens to late 40s hurling abuse at him because he missed an objective or blocked their shot, or picked up their weapon or merely appeared on their screen. None of us need that.

        I don't use party chat myself either. I don't have the energy for it, I just want to chill out and game.

          Also a vast majority of young kids feel they need to fill the silence with any sort of nonsense so you are doing those adults a favour as well.

    Great article - it benefits from being written by an "insider" (and a parent) rather than the usual tabloid "games are turning our kids into serial killers/satanists/Collingwood supporters" tripe we get.

      I take offence to your quote! Games aren't turning our kids into Collingwood supporters, otherwise there'd be more of us :)

    Nothing the article describes is unique to Fortnite, or even to video games in general. The reason the author is feeling as though Fortnite is the one that has crossed the line is because Fortnite is the one his kid is interested in. But that whole 'want to play more' and tantrum when it's taken away and all that, kids do that with anything that happens to be the thing they're obsessed with at any given moment.

    Take Fortnite out of the equation to the point kids aren't talking about it at school any more and it'll just be replaced with something else, whether it's another video game or some line of awesome toys, or even a TV show (when I was in primary school it was the Simpsons everyone was obsessed with).

    Fortnite doesn't have magic sauce that makes it the cause of this obsession, that's just a thing kids do. I know the author doesn't want to hear it, but teaching a kid moderation really is the best solution. Sure it's hard, it takes time, and you'll have a lot of headache in the process, but it's the only option that has any real chance of succeeding. Banning your kid alone from doing the thing they like will just drive them to do it at their friends houses or make them socially ostracised (which is arguably more harmful to a developing mind than whatever you think the game is doing in the first place), and trying to ban every kid from doing the thing they like will just drive them all collectively to the next thing, which they'll react exactly the same way to. And that's just a waste of time and effort because there will always be a next thing.

      You missed the part about how many games these days aren't "mostly" focused on providing fun, they're focused on adding addictive systems to extract as much money as possible from the customers.

      Fortnite gameplay is no more addictive than anything that has come before it.. (plenty of multiplayer PvP shooters abound) but it's one of the first of its style that is "acceptable to parents for children to play" because of its art style. No blood, gore, swearing (mostly), no sex etc.. it's acceptable. We even had plans of playing "Save the World", the "other" (original) mode of Fortnite, with our daughter, but EPIC doesn't allow child accounts to play with parent accounts.. for some reason.

      But then layered over this basic gameplay is the increasingly more common "addictive elements"... which are also becoming even more commonly tied to the dreaded "microtransactions" (that really aren't, any more).

      Now it's not just some new fad that all the kids want.. but it is deliberately addicting them in order to extract revenue.

      That's where the issue is.

      As a member of the game development "industry" since 2001, and a gamer longer than that, it saddens me to see the way my beloved hobby/career is heading, with giant companies only interested in pleasing investors heading the industry. It has gotten out of hand, and it needs to be addressed before it becomes worse.

        So there's a few things there I want to unpack, sorry if this ends up a bit long.

        First, fun is addictive by its nature. It's driven by the release of dopamine by the brain, the chemical responsible for behavioural (ie. non-substance) addictions. Obviously it's wrong to say that anything addictive is bad, since that corresponds with saying anything fun is bad. Designing an activity to take advantage of (or exploit, if you will) someone's addiction to fun is generally not regarded as an unethical thing.

        Associating ongoing fun with the ongoing expenditure of money is really where the problem resides. In that respect, Fortnite BR strikes me as a relatively minor offender. The things available through microtransaction are all cosmetic, and have no effect on the gameplay, which I think is reasonable to argue is the main driver of fun in the game. That's not to say some folks don't derive fun from collecting pretty things, or from wearing certain costumes in-game, but I think it's fair to say that it's a tangential element for the majority of people.

        Do kids fall into that category of 'collect all the pretty things'? Some undoubtedly do. Some will be jealous of the skin their friend has and want their parents to buy it. But when you boil it down that's not really any different to kids being jealous of their friends baseball cap or t-shirt or shiny new action figure or anything else.

        Fortnite's system doesn't actively associate fun with spending money, it doesn't hold fun to ransom, it doesn't hinder gameplay. To my mind, "I want what my friend has" or "I want that because it looks cool" are sentiments people (kids and adults both) have regardless, but aren't being driven by the game in an unethical way. Side note, I'm happy to mull over this point if anyone likes as my thoughts aren't 100% settled on it and I'm always open to rational disagreement.

        And to be clear, that's not to say companies aren't doing the wrong thing with loot boxes and microtransactions - many are absolutely crossing the ethics line. I just don't think Fortnite's approach is the actual problem when it comes to kids obsession.

          Well, yes, the cosmetics and the like would not be the problem, rather the peer pressure the child feels when they are in the lobby, and looking around at all the other cool skins other people have that they don't. They then proceed to play the game, with a lower sense of self esteem, resulting in a lack of focus, therefore lack of skill ingame, resulting in them most likely getting killed, and thinking 'WOW, if I had that skin, I would've won' where there's no real benefit to skins, even listed as a disclaimer in the item shop *these items are cosmetic only and do not affect gameplay*

            That seems like a very specific chain of outcomes, but I believe I covered in the second-last paragraph of my post why I don't think it's a distinguishing factor here. It has the same chance of happening for anything a kid wants but doesn't have, as a 'child-raising' issue, not a 'Fortnite' issue.

            I mentioned in another post that when I was in school it was the Simpsons that was supposedly the cause of problems, but it was also Monster in my Pocket toys, or MASK toys, or Voltron toys, or handheld Game-and-Watch games, or anything really. The article is advancing the argument that Fortnite is uniquely problematic in that respect, but it's an argument I still disagree with.

      I think you're dismissing the enormous exploitation tactics that the game designers are employing to addict people. An addicted persons brain is completely compromised. Thing like moderation are out the window at that point. The author explains it far better than I could, but it's nothing short of brain conditioning - i've seen it first hand in Clash Royale with adults. Throw children into that scenario and it's scary.

      I think as a parent the only option is to be involved. Play the games, see what your kid is doing/experiencing and decide if it's appropriate. Talk to them about exploitative F2P gaming models etc. All the other issues are macro problems that a parent cannot really control.

        I'm not dismissing it, I just don't consider Fortnite an 'enormous' offender in terms of unethical exploitation of addiction. I also think there needs to be more precise language around what type of behaviour actually is unethical because 'all potentially addictive content is bad' is too broadly scoped. I expanded on this in my reply to D2 above, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

          Hey - yeah I did read your other reply and I find myself agreeing with both of you :D
          D2 made some great points that I strongly agree with, but your counterpoints also rang true.

          Associating ongoing fun with the ongoing expenditure of money is really where the problem resides.

          That's the crux of it for me. We, as adults, know that those skins, dances, pick axes, gliders, make absolutely no difference to the game, are ridiculously priced, and are a huge waste of money. And yet Epic is making millions and millions of dollars every day, selling something that has absolutely no value. When you see people, on mass, making such poor decisions, the alarm bells start to ring. The season passes, the "small pings", the (alarmingly increasing grind aspect of "upgrading" already owned skins), the use of V-Bucks instead of actual currency, it all serves to trick these kids into becoming an ongoing revenue stream. You can't blame Epic - they exist to make money. But it comes at a cost and I think that cost is increasingly being paid by kids and families.

            To say the in-game items have no value is overlooking the intrinsic nature of the game though. The acquisition and display of the cosmetics is made to be as important as the actual shooting/building mechanics itself.
            So therefore the inherent value they have is pretty high, made moreso by the fact that there is an actual cost involved.

              Intrinsic means naturally. The game existed (and was great fun) long before skins, purchasable dance moves, season passes etc. So I would have to disagree.
              Inherent means permanent/essential. The "social capital" value of the various skins and dances is anything but permanent. As soon as everyone has seen/used them a couple of times it's on to the next shiny new thing. That's why the purchasable items roll over so quickly (every day i think?).

              Sorry, i recognise the douchebaggery of my reply, it's just i really disagree. Cosmetic purchasable items have no inherent value and are not an intrinsic part of the game.

        Oh, and to avoid an edit, I fully agree with you that the only viable option is to be involved. Sit down with them, play with them, watch the way they react to what the game presents to them and guide them to a behaviour that isn't problematic.

      You're definitely right about it being the obsession with something rather than Fortnite.

      My younger sister was addicted to painting growing up. She would spend so much money and time painting pictures after school that she often lied that she didn't have homework just so she could do her art.

      When my mother would tell her "not tonight" my sister would become moody and aggressive for the rest of the night. It took a while for her to "snap out of it" and strike up a balance between the hobby and other aspects of life.

      @novasensei @zombiejesus

      I think both of you are right.

      I've tried to teach my kids moderation and they're ok, but they're still kids. They'd play for 5hrs straight if I let them. They don't bitch too much when I tell them to turn it off. It definitely doesn't wreck our day. That sounds more like a behavioural issue than a gaming issue.

        They don't bitch too much when I tell them to turn it off. It definitely doesn't wreck our day. That sounds more like a behavioural issue than a gaming issue.

        It's a behavioural issue related to addiction. When people try and give up alcohol and cigarettes, they're often short tempered, snippy, quick to lash out. Why would it be surprising that when you deprive a child of their addiction they act the same way?

          When did I say it was a surprise? But I don't think most of those kids are addicted. I think they just have parents who aren't enforcing proper boundaries.

          If my kids acted like what we see on TV with 'addicted' kids, throwing tantrums etc, then they wouldn't be playing for weeks if not months. It's a treat, not a right. I let them game if they're responsible, I take it away if they're not. And if they are addicted? Then I wouldn't let them play. Do you give a bottle to an alcoholic and say "OK, only 2 drink a day buddy?" Of course not. An addict can't make that decision. So you don't give them a bottle. It's not hard to turn off a TV.

          It reminds me of this:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBEfHZITrgo

            I agree with your parenting, obviously. But there's more to it than kids just having a tantrum because they were told 'no.'

          While it's true those can be symptoms of addiction, they can also be characteristics of general discontent. As the mantra goes, correlation is not causation. Someone having a bad day at work is often short-tempered, snippy, quick to lash out, etc. but we wouldn't say they're addicted to not-being-at-work. If that were true then hell, more than half the population is addicted to that :P

            Yes, but if they're otherwise fine unless they have their source of addiction - drink, smokes, games - and act that way regardless of location, time of day, ect, then it's clearly addiction.

      When reading the article, my mind started focussing on the toxicity aspects, as per the comments about the posts of Ninja's wife. That's certainly not unique to Fortnite.

      Friend of mines daughter had a video go viral a few years back. She managed to turn that 15 minutes of fame into becoming an influenza, then an international model. Lot of savvy decisions along the way, but the short summary is that she has about a million followers on most social media platforms.

      And the comments on pretty much every post degenerate into the same crap you see on Ninja's wife piccies. Its a social media thing, where people seem to feel protected by anonymity. And its usually kids making the comments.

      When you combine that with the schoolyard/watercooler aspects Fortnite has developed, and its almost impossible to shield your kids from experiencing it. Anything that reaches a certain amount of interaction has the same toxicity. Fortnite is the It Thing today, but it'll be something else next year, and something else the year after.

        Yeah. People on the internet are just awful. You really have to develop a filter to keep them out. This is an important thing for anyone. I'm not even surprised by the awful things people say anymore. I don't even wonder why. It's just the way people are. Every moron has an internet device now and they all want to spew out their bile on it. The only thing we can do as internet users is find ways not to be affected by it.

          Thing is, it's hard for adults to develop a filter. Doubly so for kids.

            Yah totally. Totally. It's so hard. Even me, a grown ass man, I wince sometimes at the replies I get on places like this and 9gag.

      I think it's somewhere in between.
      Yeah, kids will always find something like this and the authors part about his kid having to lie to his parent and his peers about Fortnite because he alone is totally banned from it is a pretty damaging outcome that is due to the ban, not the game.
      But games like Fortnite, more than anything else available to kids, now or previously, is literally designed to be addictive. The reward loops are based on the same logic as pokies.

    Heh it's funny my brother is 10 and he bloody hates Fortnite, he'd rather play WoW or other MMO's... Kinda weird but meh anything is better then Fortnite at this point.

    That being said the whole fad with Fortnite has been blown way outta proportion by the media.... And kids that think they are cool, it'll die off soon enough.

      It will not die off it will revolutionize the world, like 3d TV did.
      But yes anything thats hugely popular will teens is usually a fad. It'll go in the closet soon with the dusty roller blades.

    Really great article. I'm glad I read the whole thing. The first section about Instagram really put me off though. Allowing kids to use Instagram and read users comments is a very different issue to the main topic of the article. Once you start talking about social media you might as well be talking about post-internet society and human behaviour online in general.

      There was two main topics, one of which was setting boundaries and saying no. Telling your ids they can't follow someone on instagram (or even have one) and sticking to that decision, along with teaching them why and how to cope with the expectations of their peers is pretty important.

    Also want to say, maybe your kid just doesn't want to go camping and such.
    Maybe Fortnite is just more fun than the things you enjoyed and think your child should enjoy.
    My treasured young memories don't include the family road trips my parents were so fond of. I don't regret giving up playing basketball.
    My best childhood times were stuff like playing Crash Team Racing with my cousins or staying over my mates place and mainlining Tony Hawke's till 4 in the morning.
    Or bonding with my dad over Mechwarrior and Hellbender.
    And one of my awkward school memories was having to admit I'd never seen the Simpson's because my parents had banned us from watching it.
    Fortnite is a problem but imagine being a 90s kid who wasn't allowed to watch the Simpson's. That's what it'll be like for a kid not allowed to play Fortnite in 2018.

    Last edited 25/09/18 12:34 pm

      And yet... not watching the Simpsons didn't cripple your social development, did it? I am not saying that the Simpsons was bad, but also, it were non essential (despite what kids your ages may had make you believe back then)... like any given game. So I'd say that if a well-informed, loving and attentive parent, who knows their kid more than anybody else, feel that a given thing is not going to be awesome for said kid, the argument that other kids will mock is irrelevant.

    My biggest problem with my 12 year old son playing Fortnite is that he doesn't play anything else and as the coolest gaming Dad out there, I would like him to play other stuff like Destiny 2, Monster Hunter or For Honor with me. We used to play Rocket League and Rainbow Six Siege together but can I get him off Fortnite. No way. :-(

    In regards to controlling their gaming time. I am pretty lax and will let him play for quite a long time as long as his school grades are good, his homework is done, and he does a regular sporting activity. Any of those slip and he gets his gaming time cut.

    Can I get a TL:DR?

      Gaming then was about adventure and fun through learning and exploration.
      Gaming now is about memes and investors.
      And "won't someone think of the children?"

        And that sweet loot box dopamine hit.

        Almost spot on. Also: the Gaming industry now is about exploitation.

    This reads like an overreaction. I don't take it seriously when people start blaming games in general for things. To be fair, I got bored and didn't finish reading this. I understand the necessity to address wrongdoings. But I'm tired of the rhetoric against games.
    It doesn't matter what your kid gets into. SOMETHING will set them off. The problem lies in the home, school, and therapy office.

    Anyone having an issue with monitoring screen time should just buy family zone and hand enforcement to the programme. It's extremely good.

    Generally agree with the article.

    Even if money is disregarded (a topic for another day), fortnite has complex systems all built to encourage constant play and obsession. Some intentionally, some just inherent to BR genre.

    Random loot, unpredictable encounters, low chance of win (constant frustration but big reward), daily challenges, constant updates, and the mega grind needed to get tier 100 final phase skin.

    The worlds top minds are constantly refining better ways to addict people. 10 year old minds are not equipped to deal with this.

    Man, I found this article arrogant. I get that the author is having problems with this, but some of this was just provocative, like the "but I'm not listening" in reference to any defending.
    First off, just because something is affecting you, doesn't mean its worldwide. Learn to moderate your kids.
    Some of the points raised here, I get, but I seriously have trouble agreeing with someone who's so pompous. That quote about us 'not feeding you that line' is not only condescending, but its punch is unrelated. You don't want us to tell you to talk to your kids more, or teach them how to deal with grownup things, because the people saying the crude things are probably kids? That doesn't make sense! That just means those other kids 'weren't taught how to handle adult stuff! So you probably should, so they don't turn out that way.

    (Fun side note, when you said name a good industry, the first two in my head after games were entertainment and sports. The ones people enjoy)

    In the end, I get the points the author is attempting to make. I don't even wholly disagree. But this was the wrong way to get them across. The author got both aggressive and defensive, without actually having anyone debating against them at the time.

    So happy my kids are just old enough (20 and 17) that fortnite has no appeal to them. But the irony that their gamer dad was harsher on what they could and couldn't play while growing up compared to non-gamer parents bugged the younger one for quite a few years. But thankfully both were smart and patient enough to hear, understand and accept my reasons without too much push back. I explained to the younger one only a month ago about why pre-order IMG is bad for the hobby we both love and although he was skeptical at 1st he got it by the end. I feel so lucky to have such level headed kids (better than me, tbh) I know a lot of parents that ain't so lucky.

    *pre-ordering* I meant to say. God the autocorrect on this phone is so hyper persistent and illogical. I think it's about to "go visit a farm upstate"...

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