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Advances in technology since the 1980s has led to a rapid increase in the computer video gaming industry. Different categories of the online video games have been developed during the period including fortnite games which have become craze currently. From the study by Groves and Anderson (2013), the video game industry has been growing rapidly with market volume rising from 100million to about 4 billion in a five-year period between 1985 and 1990. Jones (2018) also finds that there has been immense growth in the video gaming industry with the market bouncing to over 93 billion by the year 2013. This growth in online video gaming industries during the 1980’s has been attributed to mass recession in the industry during this period which induced the development of several computer games. With the enormous growth and expansion in the online gaming industry, some online games developed have had detrimental influences and impacts on users especially children ranging from addiction, poor performance, aggression, overspending on the in-game purchases and interaction and risks of hijack and exploitation by online pedophiles. Video games are so prominent in children lives that it is so difficult to prevent them from entirely playing. Fortnite games are less of a graphic than games such call of Duty or player unknown battlegrounds, but the action is focused on gun combat. Its presentation depicts less of photo-realism because then it tends to slants more on the cartoon and its players are given different personal-third party person action which makes it less intense than the first person shooting.
Here is the answer, with different types of videos games in the industry, today is so difficult to differentiate between bad and good games and their effects on young people. Therefore, parents should understand the good and bad aspects of the fortnite games as discussed herein.
How it works
Before indulging on the effects of fortnight games on the lives of children, it is extremely necessary to understand what fortnite game is all about. The fortnite game is a third-person multiplayer online shooter game. It offers various distinct modes, the popular one is Battle Royale mode, which has been inspired from books and films such the Hunger game and Japanese cult hit Battle Royale. The game takes and drops 100 players onto an island, where everyone will find weapons to fight and defend themselves until one player is declared a winner. With a different type of fortnite games in the industry today, a parent or guardian is faced with the problem of deducing which game can be played in the course of his child’s growth. According to Murphy (2008), violent games are more popular across all grades for both boys and girls. Educational furniture is more popular among the girl kid but violent games are more superior in the gaming industry for the boy child. Studies that were done on kids young adults who are playing violent video games like fornite and those that are obeying shows that those who tend to play violent video games are more likely to be affected by a heart attack, nausea, and dizziness and have more aggressive thoughts than those who do not play violent games.
Children tend to be addicted to these online video games and they devote not only their attention to the games but also their considerable time which they could have spent reading and studying, this means that good performing students are more likely to perform poorly when they play games often. It has been established that kids who spend too much time on games generally have poor performance in schools (Wright, 2011). With the addictive nature of the fortnite games, there are is also a possibility that excessive gaming affects the attention of the gamer which in turn affects school performance. Fortnite gaming also has a negative impact on children’s social life apart from academic life. Children tend to spend much time indoors playing the video games than physically playing outdoors. Research by Grooves and Anderson reveals that video games lower the “self-competencies in development areas such as behavioral and interpersonal skills and also academics” (Groves & Anderson, 2016). Therefore fortnite and other online video games impact negatively the social interaction and developments for children even during later stages in their lives. Finally, parents should be away on the ill-effects of fortnite gaming on the health of their children. Obesity and overweight are other effects of excessive playing of fortnite games. Studies reveal that about 11 percent of children become obese by spending much time sitting down watching television videos and playing computer games (Groves & Anderson, 2016). Console kids tend not to engage themselves in physically fit exercise which will keep them healthy. The fortnite games make kids become so lazy and would play video games rather than play outside.
Although Fortnite games are less graphic than games such as call of duty or player unknown battlegrounds, the action is focused on gun combat. Its presentation depicts less of photo-realism because it tends to slant more on the cartoon and its players are given different personal third-party action which makes it less intense than the first person shooting. Playing of the games does have blood or gore and bodies of enemies killed disappear. According to an article on Effects of Video Games on Cognitive Skills, violent media can be defined by the public as Television films and shows and video games with graphics colors and images of blood which also depict intentionally harming characters. Thus, video games that lack blood and other color graphics also do include aggression when such games feature activities carried by an individual with the intention of harming another person. However, there is no conclusive evidence has to whether Fortnite games make a child be violent more aggressive. There are studies that prove otherwise; according to research, that was conducted in the Netherlands among 200 children, the findings show that playing violent games does not affect a child’s aggression. There are however findings that show that playing violent video games for a long time affects a child’s mood (Effects of Video Games on Cognitive Skills. n.d.). It can be argued that kids playing violent video games are more aggressive in their thoughts, behavior, and emotions. This can be attributed to the nature of video games of punishing and rewarding players because of their various actions. The fact that the virtual player is only an enactor and observer makes them become violent. Habitually violent video games playing can lead to an increase in one’s physical aggression relative to those that don’t play violent video games. Similarly, amongst the majority of video games, exposure increases one aggressive thoughts, desensitization and behavior which decrease one social behavior (Murphy, 2008).
Kids are stealing and spending a lot of their parental money in form of a credit card in purchasing in virtual in-game purchases, which include; outfits and emote animations, which require virtual money that is bought with real money which one to play cooperatively or solely by individual gamers via a credit card. Players are encouraged to purchase other special editions that provide access and Save the World campaign mode, which enables the game to be played solo or cooperatively (Jones, 2018). A lot of young people are obsessed with a video game which has become a leeway used by scammers who trick the kids to conceal a lot and sensitive information about themselves and that of their parents.
With the several negative impacts of fortnite games discussed above, one wonders if at all there are benefits of playing such online video games. When kids play such games responsibly, studies reveal that video game playing increase one’s eye coordination, spatial reasoning and motor skills (Wright, 2011). Online video gaming also makes children develop skills of quick thinking, accuracy, and multitasking. According to cognitive scientist Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester, people spend much time in video games tend to be attuned to their environment. Game playing “significantly reduced reaction time without sacrificing accuracy” (as quoted in Anderson et al, 2000). Gaming also stimulates learning and social activity. One of the main reasons why most individuals take part in playing games is because of the enjoyability and taking the challenge in an active role, therefore giving one the incentive of achieving. (Murphy, 2008). The playing of video games also helps dyslexic kids improve their reading skills.
There are games which also help kids master the art of reading faster with accuracy. Games such the ‘Rayman Raving Rabbids’ is useful in learning by dyslexic kids. (Jones, 2018). Based on gratification and use theory, one of the communication research among various explanation individuals argue in the use of media forms is to manage their moods. Gaming is among the best efficient and effective ways in which children generate positive feeling and attitudes. Studies have shown that a causal relation in playing preferred videos and improves mood. Playing video games also has shown to trigger emotional experiences.
With the launching of the fornite game in the year 2017, it has immensely become one of the popular games played both by kids and adults all over the world. Online pedophiles have been keen on hijacking and manipulating the players through in-game texting and chatting feature of the fortnite games. Pedophiles are using the game to lure and prey on kids to engage in malicious acts. Experts and authorities are warning parents of different dangers of their children playing an online game without monitoring. According to NCA spokesperson: Fortnite is immensely popular with children and teenagers across the country. It features voice and text chat which cannot be turned off, so it’s important that parents and teachers understand that risks broader risks associated with the game and enable safe playing (quoted by Jones, 2018).
The emergence of young children logging into the system (battle royal mode) has created fears among parents on the age limit their children should be introduced to fortnite gaming. Fortnite has a PEGI rating of 12 year and above. Jones explains the reason why the rating given: due to “frequent scenes of mild violence.it is not suitable for persons under 12 years of age” (Jones, 2018). Despite this rating, fortnite games are played by as young kids as 6 year old with an average of 8-9-year-old now playing 13 hours of video games per week while the average 13 to 18 olds play 14 hours of video games per week (Jones, 2018) The major difficulty in rating games which are online is because PEGI takes only into consideration the game content, and not the setting context, which gamers can be exposed and abused online.
Debates have been on-going in recently concerning the harmful and beneficial effects of playing video games by kids. There are those who idealize and others vilifying. A critic like Attorney Jack Thompson has described video games as “murder simulators’ pointed out that the numerous shoots at school are as a result of such games (Jones, 2018). However, the entertainment industry has experienced as a drastic change. The critics and proponents tend to avoid leveling video games as either good or bad. As a parent with a Fortnite gamer, it is more important to regulate and help what young kids watch, play or engage themselves in the unsaturated media world. This can be done through; limiting time playing video games, encouraging to play educational videos, keeping video games out of private areas and playing games and watching media videos with the children to become aware of their contents.
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