No, the Fortnite craze probably isn’t harming your child. Actually, I can’t believe that I’ve allowed myself to be sucked into this discussion of click-bait proportions, but I read an article today that tickled me. It was from the Birmingham Mail and the headline read: “Parents urged to keep kids off Fortnite – here’s 20 ways to do it.”

Urged! Kids! Keep off! Words that are surely enough to get any parent’s pulse racing. And when it comes to the unfettered, untameable evil that is video games, we obviously should be on our guard at all times. The amount of friends I have lost to the disease of gaming *sniff. In fact, one was decapitated by a tumbling copy of Super Mario Odyssey, but he only had his shelf to blame.

Not to question the journalistic integrity of the Birmingham Mail, but I am intrigued as to who is doing all this “urging.” Psychologists? Child healthcare professionals? The Birmingham Mail itself? Check out the link above for the answer to none of these questions, although the “20 ways to [keep off Fortnite]” advice is apparently brought to you by the medical team at PromotionalCodes.org.uk. Phew – at least someone out there is thinking of the kids.

Actually, this publication appears to be fighting for both sides of the debate. Beneath the headline – the one telling parents to keep children away from the Fortnite craze at all costs – is a video which instructs people in how to play Fortnite better. So if you’re looking to escape the game’s evil whilst being simultaneously seduced by it, then you’re clearly in the right place.

Keep away from Fortnite everyone! Also here’s the trailer.

And what of the expert advice? Tips include baking a cake – the perfect tonic for the child obesity crisis we’re facing – customising your clothes with a pair of scissors, building a den, and making your own slime. What could possibly go wrong…! Quite how these endeavours are better or safer for your child is unclear, but they certainly don’t involve any Fortnite playing, so they do ‘what they say on the tin’ at the very least.

If all of this sounds a little sarcastic on my part – yes it is a bit. If it sounds a little hostile, forgive me, it’s not intended. I think a healthy debate about the effect that video games can have on us is a healthy one, and if there is a product such as Fortnite that is commanding the majority of a child’s attention then it’s worth looking at how a healthy balance can be struck.

However, my top tips for any publication would be to seek advice from people who know what they’re talking about (like I haven’t) and offer tips to your readers that actually make sense. I’m not sure how encouraging a child to “write a book” is going to help them to develop their social skills any more than a video game, and actually the MMO nature of Fortnite is arguably more ‘social’ than any literary pursuit. (And I say that as an avid writer.)

In fact, could we boil all of this down into one solitary piece of advice? Kids: play Fortnite for some of the day if you want to, and spend the rest of your day doing other things. If that’s slime-making, so be it!

Do you have an opinion on the Fortnite craze? Has the Birmingham Mail hit the nail on the head? Has your child done something horrific to their clothes?? Leave your horror stories in the comments below.

This episode of Livestream could save your child’s life! (If they watch this video instead of playing with matches.)

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