Why do mostly boys play Fortnite
Fortnite hype: what is my kid playing?
How does Fortnite work?
"Fortnite: Battle Royale" is available in different game modes. Players can compete alone, in pairs or in teams of four. The teams are either formed from known teammates or randomly composed of strangers. Team members can exchange ideas and discuss strategies via voice chat.
The course of the game is the same for all modes: At the beginning all online players are in a virtual waiting room until they are randomly assigned to a game. A round starts with 100 opponents landing on a deserted island. The aim is to prevail against the teammates and to be the last to stay alive - if you play in a team, everyone wins together. Opponents are not shown on the overview map after landing on the island. The player must therefore always be on the lookout for attacks. In order to survive, resources and equipment must be gathered. Building materials such as wood or stone are extracted with a pickaxe. With the help of these raw materials, protective walls and entire forts can be built to protect against enemy attacks. Players can also overcome cliffs or other obstacles using stairs and bridges they have built themselves. Weapons and health kits are hidden in boxes and piñatas. Good equipment increases the chances of surviving against an opponent. Searching, hiding and building are important parts of the game.
Not only do the other players stand in the way of survivors, but also hurricanes that plague the island. Whoever is in the eye of the storm loses life. The playing area is made smaller and smaller until all the remaining players meet in the middle of the island. A direct confrontation between the individual fighters and teams is now usually forced. At the latest when the radius shrinks to a minimum, hiding doesn't help much and shooting at other players is often unavoidable. Whoever stays alive to the end wins.
Skins and dances
Skins individualize the appearance of the character and give it recognition value. With dances, players can celebrate a victory in the game.
Fortnite is designed for rounds: every game begins for everyone with the same material requirements. The winner of a round cannot secure any advantages for the next battle. However, points are awarded that can be invested in enhancements such as "skins" or winner dances after a while. In addition to the skills in the game, such features are also an important status symbol among frequent gamers.
What are the risks?
The gameplay of Fortnite is a survival shooter. However, the graphic design also makes the game seem childish and harmless. Weapons are not shown realistically, but are based on existing models. If a player dies, neither blood nor corpse are shown. It disintegrates much more and leaves its collected raw materials, weapons and aids as prey for the winner. The loser can follow the further course of the game round after his / her elimination from the point of view of his / her opponent or return to the waiting room to start a new game.
Some game features can pose risks to children. On the one hand, gun violence is often a compelling means of victory in Fortnite. Players can hide, avoid others or have their team members shoot at opponents. In the long run, however, the game is designed for shooting. Another risk factor is in-game purchases. With a virtual currency, individual skins can be bought, i.e. your own character can be visually upgraded. Without these expansions, players start with new avatars in each round. The recognition value through having your own character and other features such as winning dances can be a great attraction for children. Since the virtual currency can only be earned slowly through game progress, the temptation to invest real money in such expansions is great. The in-game chat function can also pose risks for children: Here, players come into contact with strangers from all over the world - without any form of moderation or protective mechanisms against undesired and inappropriate comments and questions.
The great tension is what makes the game so appealing, but it can also mean a lot of stress, especially for children.
Age rating: Fortnite is not suitable for younger people
In order to better assess whether Fortnite is suitable for their own child, parents should get an idea of the game for themselves. Either they test alone or, if the child is already playing Fortnite, together as a family. Important aspects for an assessment are how well the child can separate fictional and real worlds and withstand the tension in the game. The constant threat from a large number of opponents builds up a great deal of tension. It is the attraction of the game, but it can also mean a lot of stress, especially for children. Especially younger people of elementary school age cannot always distance themselves from fictitious content and are very much involved in what is happening. The non-linear structure of the game could also overwhelm you. In addition, before using Fortnite, children should have learned to recognize paid offers and to see through game mechanisms that encourage buying.
Age ratings can serve as a guide. For "Fortnite: Battle Royale" there is no official age rating from the USK - it only checks games that appear on carrier media for PC and console. However, the NRW players' guide has rated the game and recommended it for children aged 14 and over.
Agree on media rules
Online games like Fortnite can create a real pull. Due to the round principle, the player has the incentive to do better in the next round than before, or to repeat his good game. If Fortnite is played as a team, there is a certain pressure to play together as often as possible.
It is quite normal that the game can be very attractive to children, especially at the beginning. In the long run, however, there should be a balance between gaming and other hobbies and duties. If the child has difficulty finding this balance on their own, it is advisable to agree on fixed usage times right from the start. In games with a round principle like Fortnite, fixed time quotas can quickly lead to dissatisfaction. With older children, parents can agree that all homework and other obligations must be done before they can play Fortnite - until dinner. The rules are best worked out and discussed in a joint conversation. In the end, they can be recorded in a contract such as the media usage agreement to make them even more binding.
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