Quick question for you gamers - Fortnight?

So I’m a little late to the game with this…but I have a question and I’m not sure if the stance I’ve already taken on it is legit or not.

What would you say is an age appropriate to play the game Fortnite? I knew nothing of this game until last week when my son came home from an older kid’s house and told me he had been playing it there. For the record, my son turned 8 years old in March and his cousin (who is basically our second son) is 10 years old. They were over at the neighbor’s house who has an 11 year old boy.

When I heard it was a shooting game, I was pretty much instantly against it. They were playing an X-Box version. The reviews I read online say it is sort of cartoony violence, but still it is shooting people. I’m not against those games, I just don’t quite know when I want my son to pick that habit up. The whole purpose of the Switch was to have him play more like exploring games like Minecraft and stuff…not that those games don’t have some violence too.

Anyway - quick questions I guess:

What age is appropriate?
Is there any online chat that I’d need to be worried about?
Time restrictions…those are already in place, so I’m not too worried about him wasting away in his room.

He doesn’t even have an X-Box, but my wife promised them one if she got a promotion at work (which she got). I wasn’t aware of this “deal”…so now I’m the bad guy because I’m opposed to the X-Box idea. I told them that will only rob them of money and games that the could be getting for the Switch.

Ugh. Parenting problems. So what say you all? (Lemme guess…you all started playing Call of Duty at age 5…argh!)

It’s free to play isn’t it? Best bet is probably for you to download on PC and play it yourself when he can’t see you’re doing it and make your own decision based in that.

I haven’t played it myself but the original version was a sort of 3d tower defense style. It morphed into this free Battle Royale game that has hooked everyone. Beyond that I don’t know much other than yes, it’s cartoony.

If you’re limiting his time then you’re probably fine in my opinion , but I’m more liberal about video game violence than you for sure.


I have a 7 going on 8 year old, as well as a 6 year old. I’ve purposely kept them away from fps shooters. They’re naturally intrigued if they ever catch a glimpse of dad playing something like that.

They mostly play local Minecraft and the various Lego games on PC. While both are chock full of “violence”, it’s very clearly cartoon violence. I believe kids are very good at differentiating pretend violence ie robots and lego blocks, or creepers and zombies, falling to bits, from anything realistic or as we say ‘visceral’.

I guess you could liken it to your shooting down SU27s or bombing buildings in DCS (ie wholly sanitised with no obvious people involved), versus say the ARMA3 experience of shooting pretend terrorists in the head.

Me, I’d be inclined to steer an 8 year old away from fps stuff a bit longer. But it will be a losing battle over time…

I’m fighting a running battle to keep my kids out of Roblox, given various warnings I’ve read regarding inappropriate chat and lewd imagery in uploaded content, given the whole open multiplayer setup. And perhaps this is part of the answer, local stuff you can control, but the multiplayer titles not so much.

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This. I won’t mind my boy playing or seeing certain violent things (cartoon violence or violence against things, not persons) but I don’t want him on any unsupervised internet connection until he is 12 or so, as late as I can stretch that.

Sometimes I see how people let their kids loose on youtube and just forget about 'em and I shudder in horror at the terrible things lurking in the depths they are swimming. No way mine are ever let loose like that. I do not want them roleplaying an ISIS beheading some sunny afternoon :stuck_out_tongue:

He’s 5 now, and perfectly content with the little brio railroad game on the android tablet and watching me play Subnautica or World of Tanks.

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Thanks for the comments. It is tough when your son comes home from school and says your the “Worst Daddy Ever” because I won’t get him Fortnight because “every other person in school is playing it”. So he’s saying he is the outcast at school and his life is terrible, etc…etc…etc… He’s gotten very good at over dramatizing things.

I think we should stick to our guns on this - haha…pun intended. I watched about ten minutes of Fortnight play last night on some You Tube channel and see how the game could be fun for kids (and adults) and probably very addictive. The death physics aren’t gory per se…but there is definitely a more real feel than say Mine Craft.

If you’re not taking this flak, you’re not being a father.


Luckily I have daughters so they’re more interested in Minecraft and Roblox and Harry Potter games.

Bigger problem is Youtube videos and the crappy age settings that just don’t work.

WHY would you make a video with Disney toys in it and then have them swear and getting pregnant and crap? It’s so stupid.

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Beach I’m not sure how you could possibly be the “Worst Daddy Ever” without the trophy coming off my fireplace mantle unbeknownst to me. My kids are almost 16 and 13 now, but I can remember the exact same struggle a few years back with my oldest and Grand Theft Auto. Just wasn’t happening under my roof…

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I’ve been lucky. I’ve got a 13 year old who doesn’t demand I buy him the latest and greatest and generally doesn’t throw a fit when I say ‘no’ about certain games. He knows GTA and games like it are strictly off-limits and he doesn’t attempt to try that boundary.

He plays Fortnight and Overwatch like crazy, but ya’ll want to hear something hysterically funny? He tried Call of Duty Modern Warfare…and hated it. He used to play CSGO, but moved off of it because most of his friends play something else. Another one he really loves is Splatoon 2 on the Nintendo Switch. He wants Ghost Recon Wildlands, but thus far, I’ve said no.

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sounds like you are doing it right. s!

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GoldenEye 64 at age six, tyvm.

Personally my concern with an Xbox isn’t the violence. I grew up with violent video games, as did the majority of my friends my age (and I’m younger than you all). None of us have turned into listless rage machines plotting our next massacre. Well adjusted people are pretty good at distinguishing fictional violence from actual violence, in the same way no one goes on a tear after seeing Rambo or John Wicke. I don’t think you’re wrong to try and keep that from your son at his age, I personally think he ought to wait four years at minimum, but I also think you’re fighting societal trends without a united parental front. That’s rough.

The larger concern in my mind, both with Fortnite and an Xbox is the larger community your son would potentially interact with. I stopped playing online console shooters around sophomore year of college. I remember it being awash in a morass of young adults and teenagers endless spouting off slurs and obscenities in an effort to out offend each other as a display of masculinity. That’s the sort of thing I would not want anyone below the age of at least sixteen exposed to. I live with my nephew and niece, and they both consume copious amounts of YouTube, most of it lazy attempts to sell toys to kids. My nephew is a little older than your son, my neice two years younger. Neither of them is at the point they are able to take a critical eye to the media they consume and try and suss out fact from fiction, honest or ulterior motives. They accept most everything at face value, and then repeat it as such. Now instead of (Creepy as ■■■■) middle aged women trying to sell them Princess Elsa stickers, imagine it’s a pack of boys aged twelve to twenty five spouting off offensive, racist and misogynistic ■■■■ constantly.

Keeping your son away from or, at least limiting his exposure to, that is the hill I would choose to die on.


near_blind pretty much echoes my point of view as well. I was first exposed to Wolfenstein 3D at 7 or 8, Doom a couple years later; despite that, my favorites were still X-Wing, F-15 Strike Eagle II, TFX, Raptor, and similar sim type games. I didn’t “get” the inherent gore of a lot of games like Duke Nukem 3D and they just weren’t interesting to me.

This was all pre high-speed internet though, and online gaming wasn’t a huge trend. Nowadays with voice comms and “accepted internet culture,” it’s very different than just the raw violence alone. When you have a bunch of kids – mostly boys – gathered together in an environment all about who can be the most crass, well, that’s the real problem and violence takes a back seat to that.


Take them out and shoot model rockets into the sky. He will stop hating you and forget about the video game (at least for three hours anyway).


Make sure you don’t do it near a school with Latchkey in session. They tend to get pissed off about it. or so I’ve heard…

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I played it, didn’t care for it… not tactical or real enough for me, go figure, lol… only tried it because my daughters boyfriend uses my account to play it.

It’s a cartoon shooter, fort builder… and if he doesn’t have headphones on while playing, which he probably don’t since he rather talk with his friends in the room watching him… wouldn’t worry about comms. Most don’t even have a mic, you tube videos and twitch are their because the player wants to talk, and using talking to there watchers, but in general rarely happens.

Last man standing is the winner, or team in team mode. Shoot different fake type weapons, build forts to protect yourself.

Still, harmless fun for a teenager, but I would so no go for any one under 13, jmo.

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Hey Mag…good to see you. You still motorcycling around the country or are you boarding up the windows in preparation for this year’s hurricane season? :laughing:

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lol, just got our roof fixed last week, lol… so ready for the new year… but hey, born and raised in Florida, only get serious direct hits about once every 10 years, and if we do, well that’s what I pay insurance for.

Still traveling a lot… next one end of June, going to iron butt it up to Watkins Glen, NY (via highways) to see the 6 hours of the Glen race… then after race, that Monday…wife is flying up to Washington, going to take a couples trip slow down the Blue Ridge Parkway… so should be a great week or two. :wink:


Saw this picture posted to Reddit earlier today…these guys were riding the Blue Ridge Parkway last week and a bit of a hail storm cropped up.

That seems like a really nice ride.

Yeah, that west side of FL seems pretty safe from hurricanes mostly. I wish you lots of luck this year. I’m addicted to watching the GFS models and forecasts since they sometimes indicate where I might get sent to. Interestingly, the GFS 10-day is showing this right now (they are not very accurate at 10 days…but it is an interesting forecast!):


I think I got my first PC at age 12, started playing shooters a few months after. Personally, I can’t really speak of effects on the younger crowd since I never experienced violent games at that age. At 9-10 years old I used to play Donkey Kong 64, Zelda, Banjo Kazooie, Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart… tons of fun. I did play shooters later on and I don’t think it really had a negative effect on me at all. I never was a violent person and didn’t have an agressive nature… so I was always able to keep in mind that it was, in fact, a video game.

Although what I can tell you is that your kids, if they’re any smart, may (will) find a way to circumvent the rules. I know I did when I was younger. It’s pretty much unavoidable. At some point, the “no Fortnight” rule may very well have them end up on Piratebay trying to find a cracked copy and install a metric ton of virus/malwares on your computer. In that case, having restricted times to play may be a more effective solution.

Having seen some of my buddies playing Fortnight, I don’t think it’s a necessarily “gory” game. It’s cartoony and sort of light-hearted. I wouldn’t qualify this game as a game full of “gratuitous violence”.

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Thanks again for all the thoughts. And I agree, I don’t buy into the violent games = violent children/teens equation at all. It is more of a wanting to shelter them a bit from growing up TOO quickly… They don’t have access to a PC at home (mine is p/w protected), so they haven’t gotten into any You Tube stuff or anything yet. I’m probably pretty close to putting a computer in their room though so they can play some Steam games that I think are appropriate.

And yeah, kids are kids and will find a way…probably at a friend’s house.

It was funny because the night we had the big dust-up about it, Kai went up to his room, and I heard a bunch of thumps and bumps. Went upstairs a bit later to see he had put ALL of his Nerf guns, tanks, soldiers, etc…out in the hallway with a note that said: “If I can’t play Fortnite I shouldn’t be able to play with ANY gun stuff…”

Haha…smart as a whip that one…calling me out on my hypocrisy. I did call his bluff though and diligently piled all that stuff into my car until he asked for it back…LOL…

It’s like a Cold War…