This is a common question right now! You know your kids best and so please read the pros (many) and cons (just a few) and I think you’ll have enough information to make a decision. Overall, we believe that answer is “possibly,” especially for older middle schoolers. Enjoy our review!
Courtesy: Epic Games
Description: FORTNITE IS ONLY THE MOST POPULAR GAME ON EARTH! It’s Hunger Games crossed with Call of Duty, just without any of the blood and gore. Kids and adults can’t put it down. Released summer 2017, it recently surpassed Minecraft, the king of streaming game play videos, in # of YouTube videos uploaded in a single month and reached 1 billion YouTube video views in only five months.
TheGuardian.com provides a wonderful description of the game here:
In short, it’s a mass online brawl where 100 players leap out of a plane on to a small island and then fight each other until only one is left. Hidden around the island are weapons and items, including crossbows, rifles and grenade launchers, and players must arm themselves while exploring the landscape and buildings. It’s also possible to collect resources that allow you to build structures where you can hide or defend yourself. As the match progresses, the playable area of land is continually reduced, so participants are forced closer and closer together. The last survivor is the winner.
The game is available on Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC, Mac, and mobile devices. The existence of a mobile version and its huge popularity with kids is why we’re writing about it at Protect Young Eyes (since we don’t often write about gaming apps unless they’re massive).
Corporate website: https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite
APP Store rating: 12+
“From a high school teacher’s perspective, this game is keeping some teens up all night. Make sure you have time restraints and kids who can put it down. There are kids turning the corner towards an unhealthy addiction for Fortnite.”
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Due to the cartoon violence and the ability to chat with strangers (now also on mobile), there are some concerns. Upper middle school could be an appropriate age, if the child is well-monitored. Parents will want to watch screen time and kids sneaking away with devices in order to squeeze in one more match. This game, if left alone with a teen, has strong potential to become addictive. Note that in June 2018, the World Health Organization listed gaming addiction as a mental health concern for the very first time, recognizing its similarities with substance abuse.
Related post: WHO Recognizes Gaming Disorder as Mental Health Concern
It’s actually refreshing to find a game that is fairly clean but parents will need to determine if even the cartoon violence might still be too much for their liking.
Are you ready to have awesome conversations with your kids about how to use their technology well, including games like Fortnite? Do you want access to free videos to watch with your kids about tough, digital topics? Would you like to know what parental control solutions we recommend? What about bilingual videos that teach parents about the latest digital trends? All of these are available in our Resources. You can visit them today!