7 things parents should know about the online survival game Fortnite

The craze for the online survival game Fortnite is undeniable, and as a parent it’s essential to understand what your child is engaging in. This game has captivated millions worldwide, and its unique blend of survival tactics and strategic gameplay can be both entertaining and concerning.

As a parent, you might wonder about the nature of Fortnite, its influence on your child, and how to ensure a healthy gaming experience. These are valid concerns considering the hours children can potentially spend immersed in this virtual world.

In this article, we will delve into 7 crucial aspects you need to know about Fortnite. From understanding its gameplay mechanics to its impact on social skills, we’ll offer a comprehensive guide designed to equip you with the essential knowledge required to navigate your child’s interest in this popular game.

1. Understanding of Fortnite’s safety features

Fortnite is developed by Epic Games and they’ve implemented several safety features to create a safe gaming environment for its players. It’s important for parents to familiarize themselves with these features to ensure their child’s online safety while playing Fortnite.

From a privacy perspective, Fortnite offers different settings that allow players to control who can interact with them. There are options to restrict voice chat to friends only or disable it altogether. This can help minimize the risk of your child interacting with strangers.

In terms of content, Fortnite is rated “Teen” by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). This means the game is suitable for players aged 13 and above. It features cartoonish violence but does not have any explicit content.

The game also has a reporting system in place where players can report offensive behavior or suspected cheating. These reports are reviewed by Epic Games and appropriate actions are taken against offenders.

Here’s a quick rundown of the safety settings available in Fortnite:

  • Privacy Settings: Control who can join your child’s party or voice chat with them.
  • Auto Decline Friend Requests: Prevent your child from receiving friend requests from strangers.
  • Parental Controls: Set playtime limits and monitor your child’s activity.

While these features are helpful, they’re not foolproof. It’s significant for parents to actively participate in their child’s online activities, have open conversations about online safety, and set boundaries for playing Fortnite.

2. The social aspect of Fortnite

Fortnite isn’t just a game; it’s also a social platform where players interact and communicate with each other. This social aspect can be both a positive and negative factor, depending on how it’s managed.

On one hand, Fortnite can enhance social skills as players need to work together in teams to win. It encourages communication, cooperation, and the development of strategies, which can be beneficial for children’s social growth.

On the other hand, the open communication system in Fortnite can expose children to potentially inappropriate conversations or bullying. This is why it’s crucial for parents to monitor their child’s interactions within the game.

Encourage your child to only add and interact with people they know in real life. Make them aware of the risks of sharing personal information online. Fortnite is a public space and anything shared within the game could potentially be seen by others.

Fortnite also offers a feature called “Party Hub” where players can voice chat with friends before joining a game together. While this can enhance the social experience for your child, again, ensure they’re only interacting with known friends.

3. The impact of Fortnite on your child’s time management

One of the biggest concerns parents have about Fortnite is the amount of time children can spend playing the game. Fortnite matches can last up to 20 minutes, but with the game’s addictive nature, children often play multiple matches back-to-back, which can lead to hours of screen time.

Excessive gaming can interfere with your child’s schoolwork, physical activities, and other responsibilities. It’s essential to establish healthy boundaries and encourage balanced behavior when it comes to playing Fortnite.

You might consider setting a daily or weekly limit for how long your child can play Fortnite. Make it clear that responsibilities like homework and chores must be completed before gaming. Encourage regular breaks during gaming sessions to prevent eye strain and sedentary behavior.

Another key point to discuss with your child is the concept of “gaming etiquette”. This includes not abruptly leaving family activities or meals to play Fortnite, not playing late into the night, and respecting the agreed-upon gaming schedule.

Keep in mind that establishing rules should also involve teaching your child the significance of balance and showing respect for the time and space of others.

4. Understanding in-game purchases in Fortnite

Fortnite is a free-to-play game, but it includes in-game purchases, which can be a point of concern for parents. The game’s virtual currency, known as V-Bucks, can be used to buy cosmetic items like outfits, dances, and battle passes. These don’t give players any competitive advantage but are often coveted for their rarity or cool factor.

This system of microtransactions can potentially lead to overspending, especially if your child has access to your credit card information. It’s vital to discuss with your child the value of money and the concept of in-game purchases.

Epic Games does offer parental controls that allow you to restrict or disable in-game purchases. It’s advisable to make use of these settings to avoid any surprises on your credit card bill.

Another option is to only allow the purchase of V-Bucks through gift cards, which can be bought at various retail outlets. This way, you can control the amount of money spent on Fortnite and also use it as a reward or incentive system.

While Fortnite’s in-game purchases are mostly cosmetic and optional, children may feel pressured to buy these items due to peer pressure or the desire to fit in with the gaming community.

5. The role of competitive pressure in Fortnite

Fortnite, like many online games, has a competitive element that can put pressure on players to perform well. This is particularly true in the game’s Battle Royale mode, where the goal is to be the last player or team standing out of a hundred participants.

The competitive aspect of Fortnite can impact children in various ways. Positively, it may promote strategic thinking, resilience, and the capacity to cope with losses. However, negatively, it could cause frustration, stress, and a sense of inadequacy, especially if a child frequently fails to succeed in matches.

As a parent, helping your child recognize that not winning every time is perfectly normal and losing is part of playing games is essential. Encourage them to appreciate the process of playing rather than concentrating exclusively on the outcome. Remind them as well that skill development, including in gaming, occurs at different rates for everyone.

Fortnite is simply a game. Assisting your child in finding a balance between enjoying the competitive elements of the game and maintaining a healthy attitude towards winning and losing can make their gaming experience more about enjoyment and less about stress.

6. The importance of understanding Fortnite’s content rating

Fortnite is rated “Teen” by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which means it’s suitable for players aged 13 and above. This rating has been given due to the game’s violent content, albeit cartoonish in its presentation.

Given this, parents should evaluate whether the content of Fortnite is appropriate for their child. While the violence in the game isn’t graphic or gory, it does involve combat with weapons and eliminating other players to win.

Even though the cartoonish graphics and lack of bloodshed may seem less intense compared to other violent video games, the shooting and elimination aspect could still have an impact on younger children. Having a conversation with your child about what they witness and experience in the game is crucial.

Additionally, although Fortnite might meet your criteria for acceptable content, not all players your child interacts with online will adhere to the same standards. Online interactions could expose your child to inappropriate language or mature discussions.

In conclusion, despite Fortnite’s rating indicating suitability for teenagers, as a parent, you should determine if the game is appropriate for your child based on your judgment and understanding of their sensitivity to such content.

7. Encouragement of open dialogue about Fortnite

One of the most effective ways to ensure your child has a safe and healthy relationship with Fortnite is to maintain open communication about the game. This doesn’t mean you need to understand every aspect of the game, but showing interest in their gaming experiences can open up opportunities for important discussions.

Ask your child about their experiences in Fortnite, who they play with, and what they enjoy about the game. This can provide valuable insights into how they’re interacting with the game and other players.

Let your child know that they can come to you when they encounter anything uncomfortable or distressing in the game. This could be everything from cyberbullying to exposure to inappropriate content. Reinforce that their safety is your priority and that they won’t be in trouble for reporting unpleasant experiences.

By fostering an environment where your child feels comfortable discussing Fortnite with you, you’ll be better equipped to address any concerns or issues that may arise.

Turning Fortnite into an opportunity for learning and growth

As parents, it’s natural to be concerned about the impact of video games like Fortnite on our children. However, when managed correctly, Fortnite can be more than just a game. It can serve as a springboard for crucial conversations about online safety, money management, time management, and healthy competition.

More importantly, Fortnite can be a tool for learning and personal development. The game’s cooperative nature promotes teamwork and communication skills. Its competitive aspect can foster resilience and strategic thinking. And its in-game currency system can serve as a practical lesson in economics and budgeting.

With the right guidance and support, children can benefit from their time spent in Fortnite. The key lies in turning their gaming experience into an opportunity for learning and growth.

At our core, we believe in promoting balanced and mindful gaming among children. By understanding the game our children are playing, setting clear rules and boundaries, and maintaining open communication, we can guide them towards a healthier and more enriching gaming experience. This approach allows us to embrace the digital age without compromising on our children’s safety and well-being.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a nomadic writer with a background in psychology, specializing in child development. Born and raised in diverse cultural settings, she developed a deep understanding of human behavior and the intricacies of parenting. Driven by her passion for helping others, Tina now contributes to Careful Parents, offering practical advice and insights drawn from her expertise and experiences. Through her articles, she aims to empower parents with effective strategies for nurturing healthy relationships and fostering their children's growth.

Related articles

Most read articles

Scroll to Top