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Hive - I could use some advice.  Long story short:

DS11 asked to play Fortnite saying several of his friends play.  DH and I went to download on the Xbox and thought that the violence was too realistic (shooting lifelike people) so we've said no.  We're not opposed to shooting as DS is allowed to play Roblox and uses the air gun to shoot and kill chipmunks that are in my gardens.  What say the Hive?

Thanks!

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I am not familiar with the game but I would not have it allowed either. I think there is a big difference to shooting animal-like or monster-like characters than real-looking people. Studies have shown that a certain amount of desensitization takes place (varies from person to person) but I would also talk to him why this is not okay at your house and what your concerns are. I would not want him to think that you are just arbitrarily deciding what is right or wrong but that you have a reason for your decision.

 

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Umm. DS has played it in three different continents. I’ve paid for a firewall so he could play in China ? (He logs in and plays with his friends and/or his dad when we travel). I have zero problems with this but we are a very computer game positive family. I have 99 problems with gun violence in this country but fortnite ain’t one of them.

i do control amount of time he is on the computer playing these. I’ve been told there’s research indicating about an hour a day seems to be the sweet spot, but this is one area I’m totally unapologetic about the parenting. I view it as it the equivalent of going off to play with friends and coming home at dark.

ETA that like Farrar, there are games he is not allowed to play. DH researches some of this stuff for a living and there are games he tries out (you know, for work ;)) that DS wouldn’t be allowed even if he somehow found out about them.  

Edited by madteaparty
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We pretty much don't do first person shooters in our household.  However, when Fortnite became available for the Switch DS asked if he could download it.  I honestly didn't know it was a shooter until I saw him playing it and then I questioned him.  

I've watched a little while he's playing.  As far as first-person shooters go, Fortnite is nowhere near as realistic as others.  It feels fake and cartoony to me, so we've decided to allow it.  So many of his friends play it, and this is one where they are saying you'll be able to cross-platform, so he'll be able to play online with his Playstation friends eventually.  

I probably would have rather kept all shooters out, but I remember when Doom first came out for the computer- this seems even less of a shooter than that for some reason.  I guess I can't expect he'll be content with Splatoon and shooting characters with paint for forever.  ? 

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I don't find it particularly lifelike. It's cartoonish people, though that could be in the eyes of the beholder. It's third person and the company has said aggressively that they will never make a first person version.

One of the things I like about it is that it's a short game (you play, you die, it's over... all within about 20 minutes tops). Also, I like that there aren't really any consequences in game for dying. In many games, you spend hours and hours building up assets in order to create your character and arm them and accomplish long sections of the game. If you die, you can lose all or some part of that, which is super frustrating and I think causes a lot of the anger that comes off kids when they're walking away from video games. In Fortnite, you go play, you ALWAYS die (I mean, unless you win, but tons of kids keep playing who have never won), and then you laugh about it and move on. I'm sure for some people, that's a negative - because violence in the real world does have consequences, after all. But in the world of gaming, I prefer this model. It's quick and fun. The kids I know leave it behind and laugh together about it (and pretend to do the dumb dance moves).

Basically, we have no problem with it here. My kids downloaded it months ago. One of my boys has taken second place more times than I can count (which is pretty funny that he can't seem to win). My kids aren't allowed to play certain games, but Fortnite is fine.

That said, obviously everyone has to draw their own lines.

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Are the chipmunks causing some sort of massive damage?  Something that if your ds wasn't killing them then you would be or hiring someone to kill them?

I'd be more concerned about the effect killing chipmunks would have on my kid.

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My just turned 13 year olds got it a month ago.  Like Farrar, what I like about it is the length of the games.  I can limit it by so many games a day.  I can tell them to finish a game and not start another one because dinner will be ready, we have to go somewhere, or I need them to do a chore.  It is a huge topic of conversation among the kids (of all ages) on our swim team this summer.  That is over, but my boys are still connecting with their swim friends.

Yes, it is violent, but there isn't any blood.  My boys seem to be able to get off this game much easier than when they played Minecraft.  That seemed never ending and was sometimes a problem for us.

ETA:  Just to let you know where we are on the video game spectrum, my boys still have a Wii and Wii U and only have games like Mario Kart, Zelda, Splatoon.  They don't have an Xbox or PS4 or whatever is current.  No Call of Duty, etc.  They also don't have phones, but will be getting those soon.  Planning for that to just be call and text only.  Their friends are on them ALL THE TIME.  That isn't something I want to be dealing with.  They play a Star Wars game on their iPads with a few friends.    

 

Edited by mlktwins
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You can die/kill in Splatoon, too, right?  I call Fortnite “Minecraft Battlegrounds” (Minecraft + PUBG), but it does feel a little like Splatoon.

Personally it’s a bit too cartoony for me to play (I stick to Call of Duty), but the kids watch DH and his best friend and DH’s dad play it.  My 10yo and 8yo are the only kids in their non-homeschool social circles not playing it (we have a “deal” before we allow it), but they know more than enough to not be left out of conversation.

Even my dentist has a Fortnite-themed billboard.  I almost wrecked the car with second hand embarrassment.

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2 hours ago, Jkacz said:

Hive - I could use some advice.  Long story short:

DS11 asked to play Fortnite saying several of his friends play.  DH and I went to download on the Xbox and thought that the violence was too realistic (shooting lifelike people) so we've said no.  We're not opposed to shooting as DS is allowed to play Roblox and uses the air gun to shoot and kill chipmunks that are in my gardens.  What say the Hive?

Thanks!

 

I have told my almost-11 year old (birthday tomorrow) No. We do not think it is appropriate for him. Too realistic; tooa ddictive.

Edited by vonfirmath
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My 15 yo ds plays. He introduced it to my 20 yo. 

It is very social for my ds. It is a way of being connected to friends he doesn’t see regularly. They chat about all kinds of things while playing (he plays in a common room). My 20 plays with the younger one and his friends sometimes and has gotten to know the kids somewhat even though he is away at college. Likewise the 15 yo old has played with college kid’s roommates. 

I do not find it incredibly violent for a high schooler though I would not like it for young kids I am sure. 

The thing about Fortnite, for me, is addiction. For whatever reason it has a more addictive quality than anything else my kids have played. College kid is not much of a gamer and says he has gotten playing and lost hours of time not realizing how much he is playing. Very unlike him. His roommate sold his game system because he was struggling with it. These are not kids that had video game regulation problems before. 

And it also is incredibly frustrating. My kids are very mild mannered. (Soft spoken and easy going. Hide it well if they are mad, etc). This game gets them so mad! It’s kind of funny because nothing else gets them so riled up. Now, mad for my kids just means they are groaning or yelling “ dang it!” but college kid reports guys getting very angry, punching walls, etc.

So, I am not knowledgeable about gaming things in any way. But if I had a kid who tending toward addiction or anger issues I would tread very carefully with Fortnite.

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My 14yods plays it.  We always had an unofficial rule about first person shooter games but I didn't realize it was one when he first downloaded it.  I've watched him play and it doesn't bother me.

This is my most social-craving kid and it fills that need in him as he can connect with friends and socialize during the game.

 

 

 

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I have an 11-year old.  He recently told me he wants to play fortnite and that it was cool.  I saw a brief image of the game.  I did not like it.   I am not going to get it and hope he never gets a chance to play it.  

Thank you for posting!  It's nice to know there are other moms in the same boat with similar concerns!

 

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So I did allow Fortnite last spring for my kids but found it way too addicting.  More addicting than most games.  So I ended up banning all electronic devices for a month to detox.  

 

What I did like about it was that he played with IRL friends on teams.

 

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Ds12 plays.  I don't have a problem with it.  He was way more "addicted" to Minecraft than fortnite. (I use quotations for the word because he does not have an actual addiction).  As far as the shooting,  there is no blood/gore and it is cartoonish as others have said.  It is also a social thing for ds. It is fun to hear him with all his friends when they're all on with each other.  

That said,  I believe if you have issues with it,  you should totally be ok with not allowing it. There are many games that I do ban for which others think is no big deal.   We all have our "things" ?

 

eta: I, too, am confused by fortnite being referred to as first person shooter.   It isn't.   I do think there was talk a while back about adding an (optional) first person mode,  but that hasn't been added,  and as far as I know, there is no actual plan to do so.  

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11 hours ago, Farrar said:

Um, Fortnite IS NOT A FIRST PERSON SHOOTER GAME.

If you ALSO don't allow third person shooters, that's cool. Outlaw away. But several posts above are saying something that's just incorrect.

You're right.  I was confused about what a first person shooter game is -lol!  My kids would have straightened me out!  I thought first person meant that your character was shooting other people.  I didn't realize the perspective was the difference.  Good to know.

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37 minutes ago, JanOH said:

You're right.  I was confused about what a first person shooter game is -lol!  My kids would have straightened me out!  I thought first person meant that your character was shooting other people.  I didn't realize the perspective was the difference.  Good to know.

Supposedly the perspective is part of what makes the FPS games "bad for you" in some studies. But it does get a bit confusing. There are some violent games that are third person or where you can choose to be first or third in your view. And Splatoon, which is pure fun silliness (your goal is to paint everything your team's color so you're "shooting" paint and if you get "killed" it's just that you got covered in the wrong color paint and had to respawn) is actually first person.

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Sorry, my fault I think on the FPS aspect.  I mentioned that we don't do FPS at all to show context and where we are with gaming for the family.  First Person Shooters make it feel like YOU are actually holding the weapon and firing on someone/something else.  Third person has you controlling a person to do the shooting.  There really is a difference in the feel of the game between the two. 

Another pro for me about Fortnite is that it was completely free to download to the Switch (I don't know if it's the same on other platforms).  There are things within the game where one could spend a lot of money customizing, but DS has been having a blast with it for a month without asking to spend a dime on anything.  He thinks it's crazy that people will pay for all those extras when the game is fun just as it is.   He has a group of online buddies that he played Rocket League with, and a lot of them have buddied up on Fortnite to also play together.   There's no interactions between them other than in-game, but they seem to all like how each other plays, so the play continues.  

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2 hours ago, Farrar said:

Yeah, it's a completely free game. The only money you spend is on customization or extras. My kids also haven't spent a penny and they were early adopters.

Since it's come up, a very, very serious guide to Fortnite (just kidding, it's the Onion):
https://www.theonion.com/the-onion-s-guide-to-fortnite-1828084056

Now now, if $$$ is burning gaps in your wallet, you can hire a fortnite coach. Actually DH has a client (older guy) who hired someone to help him become great at some video game he plays with his own adult kids. I thought that was sort of endearing.

DS came back from overseas declaring he did not play fortnite ONCE in two weeks (even though his BFF packed the Xbox or whatever system). I promptly threw him a hero’s welcome ???

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ready-aim-hire-a-fortnite-coach-parents-enlist-videogame-tutors-for-their-children-1533046708

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50 minutes ago, StellaM said:

First person, third person, you're still shooting people in game. Some parents find that distasteful. I should have said we didn't allow shooting games, games where you shoot people, cartoony peope or not.

Did not know it was free. Where are they making their money from then ? Merchandising ? In game purchases ?

 

In game purchases for sure.  DS isn't even tempted because the dollar amounts on the customizations are really high. 

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If you want to turn your kids off of Fortnite forever, learn those silly emotes/dances and do those in your kitchen every morning while you shake the mason jar filled with milk and Instant Breakfast powder.  Go out in the driveway or post a video of it online to up the embarrassment factor.

I may or may not have done this very thing this morning...

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Ds used to do the dances all the time, like last fall when it was new. It's the weirdest looking thing. But he'd be like, "This is a great core body workout!" Now he only does them ironically. Or so he claims.

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You do you, but the idea that you’re ok with your child casually killing living creatures probably trumps any possible damage from some cartoon shooter game.  

(And I’m def not a rabid anti-hunter)

Edited by Ailaena
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On 8/2/2018 at 5:12 PM, teachermom2834 said:

My 15 yo ds plays. He introduced it to my 20 yo. 

It is very social for my ds. It is a way of being connected to friends he doesn’t see regularly. They chat about all kinds of things while playing (he plays in a common room). My 20 plays with the younger one and his friends sometimes and has gotten to know the kids somewhat even though he is away at college. Likewise the 15 yo old has played with college kid’s roommates. 

I do not find it incredibly violent for a high schooler though I would not like it for young kids I am sure. 

The thing about Fortnite, for me, is addiction. For whatever reason it has a more addictive quality than anything else my kids have played. College kid is not much of a gamer and says he has gotten playing and lost hours of time not realizing how much he is playing. Very unlike him. His roommate sold his game system because he was struggling with it. These are not kids that had video game regulation problems before. 

And it also is incredibly frustrating. My kids are very mild mannered. (Soft spoken and easy going. Hide it well if they are mad, etc). This game gets them so mad! It’s kind of funny because nothing else gets them so riled up. Now, mad for my kids just means they are groaning or yelling “ dang it!” but college kid reports guys getting very angry, punching walls, etc.

So, I am not knowledgeable about gaming things in any way. But if I had a kid who tending toward addiction or anger issues I would tread very carefully with Fortnite.

This is exactly why I have said no to my Son... he tends towards addiction.  

I also am concerned about the chat room... But that is because of problems his half sister had years ago.

Glad to be warned about the possible anger issue

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