A lot of people are unhappy about parents paying tutors to help their kids improve their Fortnite skills, but what is all the fuss about?
According to The Wall Street Journal, parents are paying for their kids to have Fortnite tutors. Apparently, this new phenomenon is a result of parents not wanting their children to feel bad because they’re not very good at what everybody is talking about. In the year since Fortnite was released, the game has attracted over 125 million players around the world, and that number is set to increase even once the game finally lands on Android.
This new development has, quite predictably, caused an uproar. Local news and TV shows across America have been laying into these digital enablers. There have been a lot of newspaper reports offering scathing criticism against any parent who dares pay for their kid’s Fortnite tutelage. Plenty of parents have been slagging off the practice, too.
Is this really a big deal? Fortnite’s meteoric rise to global domination has understandably caught people’s attention, but why are people losing their heads? Addiction is the buzzword that everybody is bandying around, but is there any empirical evidence to say Fortnite is addictive and it is harming those that play it? Newspapers were full of the same faux outrage in 2016 when Pokémon Go took the world by storm.
Don’t misunderstand us here, we’re not saying that we’re 100% certain Fortnite isn’t addictive and it isn’t harming the people who play it. We’re just trying to highlight the type of sensationalism that gets thrown at video games as a cultural art form. Media organizations still don’t understand video games or gamer culture, which is insane considering they’ve been around for 40 years and the video game industry is now bigger than the movie business.
It is heartening to see that not everybody has been caught up in the furor. Some parents are talking about Fortnite in a similar manner to the way they would talk baseball or football. This is why they’re paying for training. Fortnite might not be a physical sport that makes children physically strong, but parents are realizing that being good at Fortnite offers other positive outcomes for their children.
Even better are the parents who are taking Fortnite lessons themselves. They don’t want to embarrass their kids by being terrible when they play the game. Others are bonding with their kids while they train and learn how to master the game together. Whatever way you look at it, this is an interesting development for a video game.
There is another parallel between sports and video games that this latest development only makes more apparent. Not only are video games like Fortnite offering rich social experiences, they’re also opening up new and exciting career paths for the players. We’ve covered the extravagant figures that pro gamers are earning on a monthly basis, with hundreds of thousands of dollars a month being earned by more than one Fortnite player. Let’s not forget that the Fortnite tutors themselves are likely kids in their bedroom teaching over an internet connection. Fortnite isn’t even the first game to have paid trainers. FIFA has had professional coaches for months now.
We’re at a really interesting point in history. As video games grow and the worlds they create become more and more engaging, more and more people are going to start playing them. We can either try and embrace what is going on or scream fear at it from the sidelines.
At the end of the day, it is much easier for somebody to understand pitching lessons for baseball, and an after-school football practice than it is to understand paying a Fortnite tutor. But just go outside and you will hear kids talking about Fortnite, wearing Fortnite clothes, or doing the Fortnite dances. The world of Fortnite is not confined to the screen. Video games are opening up new spaces for kids to explore together and new skills to master. The fact that some parents are embracing these new experiences and doing their best to help augment them is sweet. Be bold and look to the future positively and you will be welcome there.