If you have kiddos (especially boys) that are over the age of 5 and under the age of about 37, and you haven’t been living under a rock. You know what Fortnite is. It is a video game that is free to play. But everyone ends up paying to play because you don’t want to look like a “newb” with the default skin. What is a skin, you might ask, it is a costume. It is what you wear when you play the game.
And the game is basically, you get dropped from a bus onto the playing field and try to survive. It really isn’t bloody or gory because once you die, there is no blood or anything and you just disappear from the game. Epic Games, the people who made Fortnite are geniuses when it comes to marketing, and I am kind of in awe of them. They figured out their avatar (teenage boys) and marketed it to them in such a way that it is cool to buy costumes for a video game. And it is cool to know how to do all the dances (I will get to the dances later). If only I could get my brand as on-point as they have Fortnite figured out.
So, there are many parents out there that think Fortnite is a bad thing. They think it is gory (it really isn’t). They think it is a time sucker (it can be, unless you set boundaries). Or they think that it causes exclusion (it really is made for inclusion). But as a mom of two boys, I think that Fortnite is a good thing, within reason. Continue reading to discover my reasoning for this. So give your kids and yourself grace about this video game.
Fortnite is Actually Good Socializing
So, I live in a house with three extroverts, I am the one introvert hold out. If I could, I would go nowhere. While my husband and boys always want to go places, and always want to see people. The two boys are always begging to go see their friends. I don’t get it at all, but that is because I don’t need people like my boys need people.
This is one of the reasons Fortnite is actually a good thing. The boys both get on there and talk to all their friends. Now, my older son hasn’t learned that his friends can hear him in his microphone, even when he is not screaming. But otherwise it is good for them. They can talk to their friends that are also playing Fortnite. The boys also set up times to play together with their friends. That just teaches them a little responsibility.
Also, I don’t know if you know this, but Fortnite is actually a cooperative game. The boys have to work with their friends to do missions. This means they are learning how to get something done cooperatively. They are working together, instead of competing against each other.
Plus, it is just plain socializing. So I don’t have to be driving them everywhere to talk to their friends. And they are working on their social skills. We do say no video games in the morning, but any other time within reason, they can play.
Fortnite has a Story Line
I don’t know if you know this, but Fortnite has a pretty in depth story line. My younger son has told me the whole story, from the beginning. The story is very complex and has lots of twists and turns. So why is this a good thing? Because it teaches my boys retention, it also helps them with comprehension.
When my boys start telling me the story of Fortnite, I ask them questions about it. I engage with them. I don’t just ignore them and say “mmm hmmm” while they are talking. They think I am very interested so they keep telling me more. But what I am really doing, is checking their comprehension. I am checking to see how they retain things, and if they are able to do this well when it is about something they are interested in.
Don’t get me wrong. I know there is homework that is required. And I know there are books that they need to read. I also check their retention on these. But it is nice to talk about something they are really interested in, and see that they both have good comprehension. Especially my older son, who has struggled with comprehension. I know that he is working on exercising the comprehension muscle by learning the whole story line of Fortnite.
Fortnite has Dancing
So Fortnite has lots of dancing in it. They do not call it dancing, they call them emotes, but it is dancing. It is all kinds of little dance moves that can be done together or separately. I am a huge dancer (I did dance class for 12 years of my life). So I am happy to dance around with the boys doing these Fortnite moves.
What I think is especially funny, is the boys think Fortnite or Epic Games made up all the these dance moves. They did not. Many are from my past, and some are from YouTube. What is especially interesting is that many people are suing Fortnite for “stealing” their dance moves. We have had lots of talks and education on if a dance move can really be trademarked. Just another way that we use Fortnite to educate the boys on ways of the world.
So, Fortnite has lots of dance moves. And suddenly it is cool to dance. Wherever we go and there is music (basketball game, swim meet, chorus concerts…) there are kids doing Fortnite moves and dancing going on. My older son, especially, thought dancing was not cool, and so he would never dance. Now, dancing is the cool thing to do, and even popular boys are dancing. I just think it is so fun that Fortnite has brought dancing back.
So, yes, Fortnite is a video game at the end of the day. But there are many things about it that actually make Fortnite a good thing. And hopefully we will survive until the next big thing comes along.