In this blog, Joel continues to explain many helpful things about gaming which he began in last week's blog. For a refresh or review, see the blog post associated with March 7, 2019.
Which leads me to my next topic Fortnite. One of the reasons that Fortnite (a first person shooter) is so popular is because of the social aspect it has incorporated. Both kids and adults are getting online and playing with their friends in groups with the sole purpose of beating everyone else in the world. One other reason that Fortnite is so popular is because you can play it on just about any device that has an app or can download a game. Kids and adults are playing Fortnite on everything from their phone to their PlayStation or X-box. Fortnite has built on the success of other franchises such as Call of Duty and Halo which incorporated a social aspect into their online play modes. They give players the ability to customize their characters and even do silly dances after defeating an enemy. The developers are constantly changing the game so that it keeps the interest of their customers and their work is paying off. Last year Fortnite grossed 3 billion (yes that’s right BILLION) in profits. You can buy Fortnite shirts and backpacks both in the store and online. It is quite literally a billion-dollar brand which is staggering considering that the game has not been out for more than a couple of years.
For my last topic (Spring Break) I am going to leave you with what I hope are a few helpful tips and or reminders. The first is this, when it comes to kids and gaming the two are drawn to each other. Most kids do not have the developmental capacity to set healthy limits for themselves when it comes to forms of entertainment such as video games. They need you to lovingly help them to know and understand what is both healthy and helpful. If you are not sure, do a little research or ask your child’s School Counselor. I can personally guarantee you that they have answered that question before and should be able to suggest some good articles or books on the topic.
Second, as spring break approaches start setting expectations now for what healthy limits look like for both video game and media consumption in general. Research some activities that you would be comfortable with them doing over spring break and give them some options ahead of time.
Third, for your sake and the sake of their teachers force them to get some physical exercise somewhere (gym, park, backyard, etc.). Unstructured time doing some sort of physical activity is important for both their mental and physical health. Ask any teacher who has taught for more than a week and they will gladly share with you the benefits they have seen when kids can get out and play.
Lastly, whether it is playing video games with your kids, taking them on a walk, a hike or even a trip to the mall. Spend some quality time with your kids. There is absolutely nothing that can serve as an adequate substitute for the love of and time with a parent. If you want your kids to be successful in life there is a mountain of research I can show you that says a loving, secure relationship with their parent or guardian is the most important factor. It doesn’t matter whether or not you understand the game they want you to play with them or activity they want you to do. The time and connection you build during those games and activities is what will make the most difference.
Joel Hunter is a father, school counselor, and a video gamer. He shares insights about responsible gaming with your children and provides perspective from the sides of the parent, the counselor, and the gamer.