Is Fortnite dangerous for children? Here’s how to figure out if it’s safe for the little ones, including addiction, chat, and game modes.
Fortnite is the phenomenon of the moment: the numbers of the multi-platform Epic Games are staggering, and among the main players we have children. They are in fact feeding a success that seems unabated, and parents have only one doubt: is Fortnite really safe for children?
Fortnite today has over 200 million active players and record turnover that rises day after day, in step with subscribers: for some, like the Ninja streamer, it has also become a job and there are so many users that every day challenge through the multiplatform (available for console and smartphone) in the two modes Save the world and Battle Royale.
Cooperative or all against all, the colorful shooter enchants children and makes parents worry: a few months ago even Prince Harry had negatively pronounced against the popular title, during a visit to a primary school. But is there really anything to worry about? Let’s find out the strengths and weaknesses of Fortnite and what are the risks to which the little ones can go.
Fortnite and children: understand the phenomenon
Fortnite is classified with a PEGI 12: the label, the name of which stands for Pan European Game Information, indicates the age range recommended for buyers, based on their contents and game modes. The age mark is present on all games, but is often ignored by those who buy, including parents: a recent survey conducted by the English association Childcare, conducted on 2000 parents, showed that 86% of respondents do not follow, or not known, the mark indicating the reference age.
Fortnite responds perfectly to this criterion: there are many children, aged between 8 and 11 years, who actively play the Epic Games title, perhaps because they are “infected” by their peers. It is clear that restricting the phenomenon, totally preventing a child from playing Fortnite, is definitely counterproductive: the game uses colorful and carto-nosed graphics, excluding particularly violent sequences.
As a parent, the best thing to do is to understand what it is: even from the layman, inquire about the game and how and contents, perhaps approaching your child while playing a game. In this way, you will not only share a fundamental part of your entertainment with the little ones, but you can better understand the functionality and language of the game, also identifying your child’s behavior.
Is Fortnite risky for children? How to deactivate the chat
Fortnite is played online, in real time you are connected with various players from all over the world: just like the Internet, therefore, exposes the little ones to some dangers, such as online paedophilia.
The cases are recent, in Cagliari was arrested a twenty-eight who lured children through the game, while other cases occurred in the UK a twelve-year-old was approached by an attacker during one of the many online sessions.
This happens because of the audio chat inside the game, useful for coordinating movements, missions and ambushes in the various games. This option, decidedly functional in certain ways such as Save the World, could expose the youngest to unwelcome conversations or to a language not suited to age (being Fortnite an active phenomenon even among adults).
The best method is always to inform your children about the risks that can occur online, in a simple way, and maybe exercise greater control over certain modes.
The game chat can be deactivated through the settings menu: once you have chosen the game option, select and click on the sandwich symbol (made up of three horizontal lines) and then click on the gear wheel to access the Settings. By clicking on the volume symbol, at the top right, adjust the various audio options of the game including the level of the chat that can be lowered or deactivated (through the option off/on).
Also disable PTT, push to talk, which allows players to speak only by pressing a certain key.
Fortnite and children: playing time and paid content
Can Fortnite be addictive? The risk is there, as happened for some extreme cases.
Here, as for any other video game, it is worth the good rule that sees setting a maximum playing time within which the little ones should necessarily fall. Establish it with your children: in this way, the rule will pass as advice. An agreement between the parties and not an imposition.
Keep in mind that Fortnite is a game from ultra-fast games, especially if your character does not have the skills and enhancements useful to stay long in life in the various games: 90 minutes are enough to ensure many sessions of play to children. Always remember that Fortnite is based on survival: always wait for your child to finish a game and discourage him to start another one if there is little time left.
In addition to this, do not forget the paid content: buy them only if necessary and check that the little ones do not give in to the temptation to squander the weekly pocket money to get the brand new rifle inside the game. From time to time, grant some bonuses (without exaggeration) and encourage them to play without purchases, perhaps looking for some useful tricks and upgrades offered by Epic Games.
Fortnite: activate the parental control
Parental control can undoubtedly become useful in the absence of a rule that better regulates the time to play.
For iOS and Android you can follow the advice to limit the use of the smartphone to children, through settings and external apps. For home consoles instead, there is a parental control mode, or family filter, which varies depending on the game platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch offer different methods to limit the playing time to children, with a content in the settings that allows you to set a game limit timer that will lock the console when it expires. To reactivate it, you will need a code or password previously entered by the parent.
While waiting for Epic Games to activate an official form of parental control within the game, the best method is always the education of parents to videogames: a beautiful art form and a way to have fun and make friends, through the just driving and measuring.