Is Fortnite Bad for Kids?

PBWPIX/Alamy Stock Photo (Fortnite); Debate photos courtesy of families

Millions of kids spent much of their summer on an island. They explored caves, ran through fields, and built forts. These kids weren’t at summer camp, however. They were playing Fortnite Battle Royale. The wildly popular video game was released about a year ago. Since then, more than 125 million players around the world have joined the action.

But many people don’t think Fortnite is right for kids. Players shoot each other and only win the game after all the other players have been killed. The violence earned the game a rating of T (for Teen). That means it’s not suitable for kids under the age of 13. Plus, critics say, kids spend too much time trying to win the game.  

“Playing too much Fortnite can interfere with sleep, homework, and responsibilities,” says Sierra Filucci. She works at Common Sense Media. That’s a group that reviews games, movies, and music to determine whether they’re appropriate for kids.

Others say there’s no harm in Fortnite, as long as kids don’t play the game too much. Fortnite fans point out that the game looks like a cartoon, so any violence isn’t realistic. Many people also argue that taking part in Fortnite battles can help sharpen team-building skills. In some game modes, players must work together in pairs or groups to find ways to survive.

Here’s what two of our readers think.

Fortnite can be addictive. My twin brother plays so much that my parents set a time limit. Sometimes he’s so focused on the game that he doesn’t hear people talking to him. 

Besides, Fortnite is violent. Sure, it doesn’t show blood, but players still kill each other, and that’s too intense for kids. 

The game is free. But it pushes players to buy new “skins” or dance moves for their characters. A recent survey found that nearly 70 percent of players buy items in the game. Kids might not realize how much money they’re spending on extras.

Fortnite is a great game for kids. I can play with my friends even when we can’t all be in the same place at the same time.  

It also helps build strategy skills. You have to avoid being eliminated by as many as 99 other players. To do that, you have to figure out how to find loot, such as weapons and supplies, and use it to help you survive. 

Some people say Fortnite is too violent, but I disagree. It’s not gory and the characters aren’t lifelike. The game never mentions death or killing. You’re simply eliminated if you get hit too many times, sort of like in paintball.

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