Are “Kills”, “Headshot”, and other whimsical words floating in the air of your home? Rest assured, your teen has not been hired by a terrorist organization.
Dances as quirky as any other performed at a whim by him or her? No, it’s all under control, your teenager hasn’t gone insane.
Like all those of his/her age, he/she is under the influence of a game called Fortnite.
Fortnite, the Phenomenon
Fortnite, you’ve certainly heard about it if you’re a parent of a teenager. If not, then it is not a teenager you are currently raising, but a saint. Hurry! Waste no time and make a statue out of him or her, and don’t forget to light that voltive candle you so dearly stashed and forgot about.
As for us, mere people who’ve been blessed with normal teens – such as me, Fortnite has been shaping our day-to-day routine these recent years. Merciless parents including myself, use it as a blackmail weapon: “do your homework or say goodnight to Fortnite, either you clean your room or…”
And it is proving to be very effective.
It is safe to assume that Fortnite is the driving force behind more than 80% of our teenagers’ cerebral activity.
When they are not playing Fortnite, they are watching Fortnite on their screens, when they are not watching it, they are talking about it, when they are not talking about it, they are dreaming about it. Fortnite is served to all of us at every possible setting and escaping its pandemic influence proves to be an encumbering task.
As a parent, you might feel powerless watching your teen get sucked into this system. The latter truth becomes even more painful when you realise that prohibitions and restrictions are in vain since he or she will find a backdoor way to give in to the temptation.
Being unable to compete with Fortnite, considering that the battle was unbalanced from the start, I decided alternatively in the end to try understanding my 12-year-old son’s passion for the game.
What does it bring him? Does he acquire notions that can be useful to him at school? Or perhaps in everyday life?
“Fortnite is the ideal school”
Bringing up Fortnite during a discussion is a practical way to “connect” with your teenager.
When I announced to my son my desire to write about Fortnite, he had trouble containing his enthusiasm.
Being put in the master pedestal was very rewarding for him as I was his pupil.
Besides, knowing that I was interested in his universe was pretty “Cool” as he called it.
To hear him talk, Fortnite could practically replace school.
According to him, Fortnite has sharpened his strategic mind. Built his team spirit and allowed him to practice foreign languages.
Would his arguments be enough to classify Fortnite as an educational game?
Fortnite outperforms the European Union
This game has conspicuous positive aspects that cannot be ignored easily.
Players from all over the world are welcome to practice English, French and for the more ambitious, Chinese and all in an entertaining experience.
Essentially, what Fortnite did was abolish linguistic and geographical borders and thus achieved something superior to the European Union.
Unlike the European giant Fortnite is free of cacophony, no temptation to For-Xit (in reference to Brexit), all players adhere to a common charter, and have the same objective: to remain the last survivor on the island.
On the island all races, all nationalities are welcome and you do not need to swim or wait in line to get a visa. All players are treated in the same way. In Fortnite all players are born equal in law.
The programme is well defined and unanimously supported.
Fortnite a business royal
The battle royale version, the free version, is by far the most popular. To acquire “battle passes”, however, you have to pay money. But who cares?! right ?
Players from all over the world compete against each other. Displaying the same lexicon, with the same dances. The followers of the Fortnite sect understand each other for a reason after all.
You can play in Duo, join a Squad or go Solo.
The 99 players participating are parachuted from a flying bus to an island.
They are elaborating sophisticated strategies to supply themselves with ammunition in order to defend themselves or attack others.
To avoid the inevitable storm that strikes the island following their landing.
To build constructions.
And lastly but not least, avoid pitfalls.
From the bus, a map is available to them, allowing them to choose a suitable landing area. They have access to the former map throughout the game, to locate hot spots, and determine their trajectory.
The game marries geography with precision and dexterity.
Collecting ammunition alone isn’t enough, one must be skilled in managing it, using it and at the right opportunity from the appropriate distance.
Equipped with a “shotgun”, you can do more damage to the enemy, with a “headshot”.
Recurring terms in the language of Fortnite players, which they scream louder and louder, during their quest for transfiguration, on those tumultuous noisy rounds that you’re familiar with.
Besides, Fortnite is not “violent” like other competitive games. We eliminate the opponents, without getting our hands or the beautiful island dirty after all, because in Fortnite, blood is missing, and the bodies of the losing side simply evaporate. As if these two premises were the basis of anti-violence.
If Fortnite’s success hit the nail with teenagers, it is by no means a pure fluke. Epic games and its developers have gone to great lengths. Aesthetically speaking, the costumes and heroes are appealing and eye-catching decorated with a story on a red thread, which is a notable highlight. The island is constantly updated, allowing players to be exposed to new and different challenges.
Fortnite is also a business. Gamers with fictitious names like Gotaga, Ninja amassed a fortune just by playing it. They are called youtubeurs or influencers. They participate in competitions and make recommendations to their fans or subscribers in the form of prestigious experts.
The majority of these children who play are surreptitiously hoping to obtain a similar level of notoriety and success. How can we blame them amidst the societal art of being a poser?
Fornite, shall we give it a try?
Trying Fortnite, why not?
Become an expert? An impossible endeavor for me. The number of buttons to crush, push, press and essentially triturate on the console in order to achieve anything, the commands and guidelines to follow, the traps to avoid… all of it made me giddy.
I am not in any risk of becoming a believer in Fortnite’s religion, but I at least reap out the seeds of this article by becoming more informed.
As a parent, I will continue to cope with Fortnite as each generation has its own trends and interests. And besides, you can’t stop progress.
On the other hand, balance is key lest letting excess harm us.
Restricting access time of our teenagers to Internet is our responsibility as parents – if we want them to do something else with their time.
Happy holidays sprinkled with Kills, shots, hype, take the L, Zany, joy, love, reunion, and sunshine.
Gisele Doh with the valuable collaboration of Aurélien den Dekker