Popular Video Game ‘Fortnite’ is Turning Some Children into “Nightmares”
By Tess Farrand, Contributing Writer
An extensive article by Daily Mail UK reports that mothers across London note substantial changes in their children’s behavior. Why the noticeable shift? The popular video game Fortnite seems to be the root of the problem.
One nine-year-old girl was even sent to rehab. “Parents sought help after finding her playing the game in the middle of the night, sat on a urine-soaked cushion, as she had been too engrossed to go to the toilet.”
A fifteen-year-old boy was hospitalized. Fortnite “left him unable to go to school for a year and needing vitamin D tablets because of a lack of sunlight.”
A mother states of her son, Luke, “He was such a lovely boy, but this game has turned him into a nightmare.”
Why all the chaos? The premise of the game is survival of the fittest. Gamers are dropped into a location of their choosing, into a preset map and urged to survive. Guns and other life are available throughout play, encouraging gamers to stay alive as long as possible. Like other popular games, participants may choose to play with friends via the internet.
“Since launching its free version six months ago, [the game] is played by 125 million people globally — making it one of the biggest computer games of all time and earning its maker, the U.S. software company Epic Games, around £230 million a month.” This amount is the equivalent to almost $304 million.
The U.S. has also seen Fortnite take a considerable platform in the lives of college students. Logan Hamilton, a student at Western Kentucky University stated that Fortnite is an addictive game that he and his friends play all the time. He also mentioned that it is vital to exercise awareness, that time can get lost while playing and to set limits to avoid being completely entranced.
The video game phenomena are one that Movieguide® feels passionately about educating readers. The Movieguide®’s 2018 Report to the Entertainment Industry cites a researcher at the University of Bristol in England who says that over two hours of video games or TV is related to psychological difficulties, including loneliness, unhappiness and sometimes increased aggression.
However, video games offer a few benefits that health professionals recognize too. Hand-to-eye coordination leads the list along with relating matters to real-world concerns and improved visual skills (Movieguide®’s Report to the Industry, pg. 58).
Unfortunately, the pros of gaming do not compensate for the negative effects. Daily Mail UK relays Fortnite’s visual tactics; “On the screen, a curvaceous, cartoon-like female character dressed in skintight jeans rampages across picturesque Alpine lakes and forests, collecting weapons and shooting dead whoever comes into sight — stopping occasionally to wiggle her bottom provocatively in a celebratory dance.”
Like sexuality, violence in games has a direct correlation with violent children. The testimonials of concerned parents such as Zoe, further propel this notion as her son Jacob smashed the TV screen. “He’s been shouting, screaming, punching things. He hit the TV with the controller and smashed the screen because he was so frustrated when he lost.”
Zoe though, also explains the reason for her continued permissive attitude towards Fortnite, “the truth is I can’t calm him down or control him without it. I can get him to do things if I say he can play Fortnite as a reward.”
Like Zoe, a mother, Roz defends her parental decision, ‘I’d say 95 percent of his school friends are on it. I don’t want him to feel left out.”
These attitudes are one of passivity and will not have positive long-term effects on their children. Parents need to take a more active role in their child’s well-being by implementing a well-rounded system where gaming and television, in general, do not overcome a child’s attention.
As the 2018 Report to The Entertainment Industry asserts, parents and consumers alike must educate themselves on the pros and cons of media and exercise discernment. Entertainment has a profound impact on the lives of viewers and due to such, merits wisdom in choosing what is appropriate for children and one’s self.
Movieguide® encourages readers to continue to practice informed decisions and utilize Movieguide®’s resources for media wisdom, such as THE CULTURE WISE FAMILY and THE MEDIA WISE FAMILY. These books definitely help parents to teach their children to be discerning wise and self-controlled.