It has become very apparent that a lot of the children are playing online, interactive games from a very early age and we are seeing the negative consequences of it in school. The children are arguing about the game (face to face and online), having friendship issues as a result and sadly when given the chance to write poems / stories they are writing about Fortnite or trying to include aspects of the game into their work. I am also aware that parents are experiencing issues with it at home. We will endeavour to keep you informed of updates and information but as the playing takes place at home, the responsibility lies with parents to monitor and put controls in place. The latest gaming craze that has taken the world by storm is called Fortnite and this is being played by a large number of children in the school and some are spending a LOT of time playing it.
What is it?
- It’s a free-to-play, interactive game where 100s of strangers go head to head in a gun battle until only one man or team is left standing.
- It combines Minecraft resource collecting and building with team based survival shooting games
- Fortnite leapt to greater popularity with its Battle Royale mode that can be played for free and pits up to 100 players against each other while a mysterious cloud steadily reduces the size of the war zone, creating knife edge and climatic gun fights.
Issues to consider?
- Like any game with a fiercely competitive online mode, younger players can find that Fortnite makes them cross or angry when they lose. This is common in games like FIFA, but even more in Fortnite because you only have one life and then you are out of the game.
- This competitive and online play style also means it is hard to stop; the games are designed to be addictive. Children will say that they always want, "just one more go" and complain that they "can't stop now"
- The interactions with other players online are not monitored, it's online nature could expose younger players to offensive language from random strangers via the voice or on-screen text chat. It also opens up the door to the potential of online grooming.
- Some children here at school have spoken about playing this game until the late hours and getting up in the middle of the night to play it again, or very early in the morning. This is obviously going to have a tremendous impact on their ability to function during the school day and will no doubt have a negative effect on their well-being.
- In the UK the Video Standards council rate Fortnite as PEGI 12 for frequent scenes of mild violence.
- It is not suitable for persons under 12 years of age.
For younger children, a popular game is ROBLOX which is played online and appears quite innocent. Please be aware that any online gaming means that you are exposed to individuals who may not be who they say they are !!!
We will continue to work with the children here in school to reiterate and underline the effects of online gaming and what the potential dangers are.