Fortnite Addiction: Parents Guide


In this article, you will learn what Fortnite addiction is, its symptoms and the ultimate guide for parents who want to help their children overcome this addiction.

Table of contents

Fortnite's addiction exists, it's real. It basically consists of an absence of self-control over the game. We are becoming more and more familiar with video games and electronic games.

It is rare to find someone without a game installed on their mobile or a home where there is no video game console. Conceived as elements of distraction, video games have become a source of problems for many families.

Fortnite, probably the most successful video game in recent years, is causing serious interference in the family, emotional and psychological growth of many young people. As with other addictions, a Fortnite addict cannot stop playing, even knowing that it is being harmful to him and others.

Fortnite is more than a video game. Its expansion reaches unsuspected limits and has become a cultural phenomenon throughout the world. For example, the most famous singers present their latest creations through Fortnite. Cinematic trailers of the most anticipated movies are also offered through the game.

Video game addiction was incorporated as an independent clinical entity in 2018. The World Health Organization decided to include it under the name "gaming disorder" together with pathological gambling. With the expansion of the internet, there has been a clear increase in the use of video games.

Much of this content is expressly designed to be addictive. Whether it is so or not, the truth is that there are people who develop addiction to Fortnite, and I will try to explain what it is.

Fortnite game loading on a gaming setup.
Fortnite game loading on a gaming setup

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is an action video game created by Epic Games in 2017. It fuses the war, survival, and creative genres. It has various game modes, the best known (Fortnite Battle Royale) consists of a game of up to 100 players where you must shoot and defeat the rest. You can play alone or team up with other players.

Fortnite Battle Royale has become an incomparable cultural phenomenon worldwide. In 2020 Fortnite had more than 350 million players in the world. The term “Battle Royale” refers to the multiplayer war video game genre that combines the “shooter” (shooting) and survival genres.

But Fortnite has particularities that have made it a worldwide success. Firstly, it's free. Anyone who wants can try it. Its business model is supported by so-called microtransactions. That is, you can play without paying anything (this is always attractive), but the improvements are available in exchange for money. Use reward chests (free) and "battle passes" (paid) to get upgrades, which promotes continuity in the game.

Secondly, despite being a combat game, there is no trace of blood. It skillfully combines the “shooter” genre (killing the opponent) with the creative one, as it allows you to build elements that increase the chances of victory.

And finally, in Fortnite you can access exclusive events from celebrities, influencers, or YouTubers, who offer their own live games through Twitch or YouTube. You can even attend the world premiere of the latest song from your favorite group. For these and other reasons, Fortnite is much more than a video game.

Why is Fortnite so addictive?

Fortnite is a very visually appealing game, both aesthetically and in its content. It is free and this makes it easy for many people to try it.

If your child is a teenager, surely most of his friends play or have played Fortnite. Despite being a combat game, it does not have any bloody scenes. This allows you to get the approval of most parents when the players are minors.

On the other hand, the "reward" for taking down enemies is constant. But skills like scout and builder play a role in game progression as well. Fortnite is an entertaining game, it's not just "shoot and kill".

At first no one was talking about Fortnite addiction, probably because events have happened with a speed never seen before.

In Fortnite, when another player kills you, you can see their health level. You will often find that you have come close to winning the fight. This creates a very suggestive emotional effect, something similar to "I almost made it" and that invites you to continue playing.

Some psychologists have compared Fortnite to slot machines, one of the most addictive games of chance out there. This is not so much the case, since other factors related to skill and creativity and not to chance are involved. But Fortnite has been able to squeeze the reward mechanisms to the fullest.

Fortnite makes you feel “included” because most of your friends play too.

Keep in mind that Fortnite is used by millions of children around the world. It has a PEGI +12 certification. This means that if you repeatedly expose a teenager to gambling, they will likely have more chances than an adult to get "caught".

For a teenager, playing Fortnite on a daily basis would be akin to continually giving them small amounts of alcohol.

Symptoms of Fortnite addiction

The impact of Fortnite on many boys and girls is considerable. When someone in the family starts playing Fortnite, we don't pay too much attention.

Fortnite looks like a child's game, but it's not . Please note that Fortnite Battle Royale involves sharing a gaming experience with 100 people. Many of them may be adults and if you have the chat function activated, you may attend "racy" conversations or even not recommended for minors.

The fact is that a Fortnite addict , as with other video games, may present one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. A Fortnite addict spends a lot of time on the game (more than two hours a day).
  2. He is irritable or moody when he can't play Fortnite.
  3. School performance can be noticeably altered.
  4. Sacrifice hours of sleep or play until the wee hours of the morning.
  5. Give up alternative leisure activities such as sports or going out with friends.
  6. Family relationships are affected when someone is addicted to Fortnite.
  7. Behavior is altered, and it is common to begin to detect lies.
  8. He spends a large part of his money to buy improvements in Fortnite.
  9. In the most extreme cases, a Fortnite addict can even steal or borrow money.

When one or more of these points are present, it is best not to panic. It is common to generalize and out of concern to assign a problem when it does not really exist.

Do not attack or punish your child. The first thing should be to try to talk about what is happening.

Parent Guide

As I said, parents around the world are disconcerted when they notice abnormal behavior in their child. She is often found playing Fortnite, and his character has changed. She locks herself in her room and spends hours and hours playing.

First, comment that the first mistake of parents is to minimize the risk posed by video games. I explain this: At the last Fortnite World Championship, held in 2019, a 16-year-old boy earned $3 million by winning the tournament. Many parents encourage their children to improve their Fortnite skills or even hire personal trainers.

On the other hand, if we think that our child has problems with Fortnite, the most appropriate thing to do would be to consult a psychologist who is an expert in addictions.

In any case, I offer you a series of practical recommendations, as a guide, to deal with the inappropriate use of Fortnite:

  1. Don't encourage dependency on Fortnite. “ You are very good, but you have to improve” or “Go play a bit of Fortnite, I am busy” are totally counterproductive messages.
  2. Don't panic if he shows signs of addiction. Don't threaten him, don't punish him.
  3. Unless there is a professional diagnosis of Fortnite addiction, it is better to propose a deal on playing time than an outright ban.
  4. Avoid convincing your child that the “friends” in the game are not his friends. They really are, probably the ones he associates with the most.
  5. Don't send messages like “that's a waste of time” or “that's all you're good for”. In this type of game, the person makes the most of their cognitive faculties and even social skills that it is not advisable to underestimate.
  6. Try to promote the healthy use of the game, making it compatible with other leisure activities.

The Treatment of Fortnite Addiction

If all of the above options fail, you should contact psychologists specializing in addictions to present your case to them.

Treatment for Fortnite addiction involves pinpointing what degree of problem the game may be causing. At some Center, they will offer you prompt attention so that a professional can assess and design the best treatment to overcome video game addiction.

Most likely, they will try to restore the possibility of healthy use of video games. With different techniques and guidelines, both for the parents and for the affected person, they will try to restore those aspects that have been affected by the problematic or pathological use of Fortnite.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.