Fortnite is a fast blooming shooting game with over 125 million players. Although compared to other games such as Grand Theft Auto (GTA) or Call of Duty, Fortnite however, displays a lot less disturbing visual graphic and aggressive concept. Fortnite has its charm to keep children and adults from looking away from the screen.
Many news and blogs have suggested that Fortnite has a huge impact on children's mental wellness. To an extent it can be, Express news from UK reported that a 9 year-old girl kept playing Fortnite after wetting herself. LiveScience released an article questioning whether Fornite has led to children going to therapy. Their theory is supported by Randy Kulman, a child psychologist; after observing his patients for weeks, Dr. Kulman discovered an increase of his caseload in regards to Fortnite addiction.
Although the in-game purchase of Fortnite provides no advantage to better performance in game, it's pleasing aesthetic has drawn players to slim down their wallet for unique outfits. Mike Brown, from lendedu, conducted a research-based survey to further understand the finance aspect of Fortnite players. Here are some key results:
- More than 50% of Fortnite players spend up to 10 hours per week playing Fortnite
- More than 25% of players said that they have skipped some amount of school to play Fortnite instead
- The average Fortnite gamer has spent $58.25 on in-game purchases
There's no doubt that many parents have already noticed the large amount of time their children have spent on Fortnite or how distracted their children are from school and school work. However, some parents may not be aware of the fact that their children are using the credit card that is associated with the game console to purchase in-game products; some parents may believe that buying the in-game product could be a useful incentive to reward children for their good behavior. One thing we might want to consider is that this incentive can be a double edged sword. Although children might be more motivated to behave better, buying in-game products will only draw children to spend more time playing the game.
This begs the question: What should parents do? Well, we recommend parents consider all options when rewarding children for positive behavior. However, if a token economy with actual money is used, cash allowance might be the better option when used as an opportunity to teach children how to manage finances. Rather than spending directly on in-game products every time an allowance is rewarded, children can learn how to diversify their spending. Parents can monitor how often in-game products are purchased and also introduce the idea of saving and/ or investing.
For more info on the above research, visit: https://lendedu.com/blog/finances-of-fortnite/#comments
So No More Fortnite?
Due to the news and articles suggesting that Fortnite has affected children's mental wellness, many parents decided to forbid their children from playing Fortnite. However, just like the addiction to social media applications such as Facebook or Fortnite are merely a tool we use to fulfill the desire within us. Yet, we do not solely blame Facebook for our social media addiction, nor should we blame Fortnite for our gaming addiction.
Moreover, the addiction to Fortnite does not just develop overnight. Given the example of the 9 year-old girl on Express News, it stated that her parents knew their daughter spent over 10 hours per day, but did not take further action until it was too late. Dr. Lenard Sax, editor of Psychology Today, said that banning the game is not the way to go. It's parents' duty to set ground rules and exercise them while giving their children the opportunity to enjoy any video game. Here are some suggestion of rules provided by Dr. Sax:
- No more than 40 minutes a night on school nights
- No more than an hour a day on weekends
- Your minutes do not roll over
- Avoid games where the objective is to kill others
- No games until all homework and chores are done
We wish to help you understand that taking the entire gaming experience away doesn't help your children develop self-control, but only makes them vulnerable toward any type of addiction when there is no appropriate guidance.