Fortnight.

So fortnight……sorry Fortnite.

What the hell is it all about!?

I’m an avid gamer, always have been.

But this dribble.

I don’t understand the whoo harrrr with it all.

We had a letter home from the prison camp a few weeks ago about online grooming.

If you are a responsible parent, your child, if under 12 shouldn’t even be playing it!

PEGI, who decide on all age classifications for all video games have not rated it, as it’s a very cartoonie animated game.

They have, however recommended that no child under the age of 12 should play it, due to its animated violence.

So why the hullabaloo over it all!?

I understand it in principal.

You have 100 people dropped from a plane thingy, onto an island. So it’s you against 99 other people. The last one alive wins. End of.

You have to collect weapons, ranging from a pick axe that you start with, to laser rifles, machine guns, turrets, cannons, you name it, it’s there. You also have to collect health items like bandages and first aid kits to help heal you if you inevitablely get shot, but not killed.

This next part is where I get lost.

You also have to build structures to hide in, fight from, gain vantage and so forth.

I’m afraid at nearly 40, I cannot concentrate on a little man or woman, running around the screen, trying to kill, or not get killed by 99 other people, while building a fucking shed to hide in or on.

My eyes, and especially my fingers don’t work that bloody quick.

Maybe that’s why so many kids have grasped it.

But I get the letter from prison.

Some parents may be aware of how it works, but I bet most aren’t.

The thing with video games now, is talking to each other and sending instant messages.

So kids, young kids, that really shouldn’t be playing it, are being contacted by what they think are others kids, just chatting, when I’m fact they are being secretly groomed!

Can kids these days do nothing that is safe anymore!?

Playing video games when I was Magoos’s age, was a past time, for you and your mates to chat together, while killing angry fighters, rescuing princesses or solving puzzles and killing intergalactic pirates hell bent on murdering your home planet!

Magoo plays video games.

BUT.

Being the avid gamer I am, I know from first hand experience what he can, and can’t play. Not his abilities, as they are second to none and his hand to eye coordination is off the chart.

Just what games I think are safe.

Online gaming is a big thing.

Fortnite is based online.

You need to go online to play it.

That means anyone can play with anyone, from anywhere, and apart from there user name (made up) is purely anonymous.

I have a group of 35-40 I play with randomly online, who I have done with, for over 10 years. I have no idea there real names, nor feel a need to, I just know them as such names as BigBadDave2001, AquamarinePhil and so on.

We barely talk, unless needed to, but we play together if we are online at the same time.

So I know what Magoo can and can’t do.

He likes normal games, Mario Kart, Mario, Zelda, The Lego games.

All of these games can be played online with others, but he chooses not to, and couldn’t without asking.

It goes back to Parental Control (see previous post).

He has a Nintendo switch. It’s phenomenal. I have an Xbox one, as we run all of our media thorough it as well.

I have an online account.

As a family, we have an online Nintendo account.

We all have profiles on there, as we all like playing the games, and all 3 of us can play one game together….depending on the game.

BUT.

For Magoo to access the online part, he needs a password, that as a parent, only I know.

He has to physically pass his games console to me, tell me what game he wants to play online, and then it’s my decision as an adult, if he can or not. If he can not, I explain why. It maybe too old for him, he may have spent too much time on it already. If he can, I enter the password.

Now, not once has he asked me what the password is. As when it was set up to start with, I told him if he ever asked, he would never use the online function again. It was explained to him, as we are responsible adults and parents, its up to us how much screen time he gets. He agreed!

But recently he’s wanted to play Fortnite.

Something I was initially against.

So I looked into it.

Got confused working out all the game types, trying to play it and understand it.

But I did. Well try it, I still don’t get it.

But I did it for him.

While at prison one day, I set his profile up on his Switch, so all he needed was the password from me. I set up the parental controls, no one can add him to a game to play, or as a friend to chat, unless it goes through my profile, he can only play certain aspects of it, all unless I say it’s ok and enter the password.

When he arrived home he was pretty pleased.

He told me he didn’t want to go into the massive battle, he had seen that there was a playground mode. Where you couldn’t be killed, and you can just run around, get the feel for the game and build stuff. That’s what he really wanted to do, build stuff.

So, that’s what he does.

If he wants to play on his console he does, but if he wants to play on Fortnite, he asks, everytime, without fail. He also knows he gets 30 mins playing Fortnite. No arguments, end of discussion, and he’s perfectly ok with that. After the 30 mins is up, he tells one of us, and normally goes back to playing something else!

Now as a parent I was dead against this game. I’d read, heard and seen so much bad press about it, I struggled to see anything good in it.

But then I remembered when I was a kid, and being left out of this conversation or that made up game. I know first hand, how these kids at prison work. What they talk about, and for little boys (the same for girls I would assume) it’s all about Fortnite.

So Magoo needs this. That’s how I thought.

He’s 7 going on 16. They all play it, they all talk about it. I’m just happy, that at present, we have one that prefers to build stuff, instead of jumping around shooting others and dancing!

I’m glad I did my research, tried it first hand and set some very strict rules to follow!

There’s a line, I suppose, as an adult, that you have to look at, and currently, I’m standing on it!

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