For decades, concerned parents have declared war on violent video games. Years of research, however, have failed to consistently demonstrate a link between video game violence and violent behavior in young gamers. Indeed, many massively multiplayer online video games (MMOGs) today include both violent and cooperative components, confounding research where studies fail to account for the games’ complexity.
A recent study published in Computers in Human Behavior hopes to nuance the relationship between video games and violence and real-world behavior among children and adolescents. The authors hypothesized that the prosocial aspects of the popular game Fortnite (in which players fight to be the sole survivor or team survivor on an island) would promote prosocial behavior, trumping the more violent aspects of the game, as it were. .
What You Need to Know About Fortnite
Fortnite is an online video game that debuted in 2017 with three signature games within its cyberworld: Battle Royale, Save the World, and Creative. You can play Fortnite on a number of gaming systems, including various versions of Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo, as well as on your PC or tablet.
To play Fortnite, you must have an Epic Games account. Epic Games is the developer of Fortnite. You can sync your account across multiple devices to access your in-game currency and more.
Who is on my child’s team?
There are many ways to play Fortnite. Players can team up with a friend and play “Duos”. They can team up with more friends and create a bigger team, or they can be paired with other random players.
Parents are generally more comfortable when children play with friends. With Fortnite however, if friends aren’t online, kids can be joined with random players. This gets a little scary, because the players communicate in the game.
Fortnite in the real world
When challenged in real life, your child will fall back on his first instinct, the one he has spent the most time practicing with. The more hours your child plays violent video games, the more he will be affected by violence. Because of this, the more aggressive it will become as the line between the virtual and physical worlds begins to blur.
Sit back and watch the next time you let your child play Fortnite. Watch a full game and think about how the game is teaching him about aggression and desensitization to violence. Maybe it’s time to rethink all the playtime your kids are investing in rough play and replace it with more balanced, pro-social activities.