Parents and kids working together to set Fortnite limits
SAN ANTONIO – Fortnite is the latest craze in video games. Your kids probably play it on a computer or on their phones. And like so many games, it’s pretty addictive.
Parents and kids are now working together to set limits.
It’s described as Call of Duty for kids: crisp graphics, but no blood and guts as you hunt through an island to either kill or be killed.
"It'd be nonstop,” says 12-year-old Ty Nichols. “I play, I die, I play, I die."
He admits he played Fortnite so much, he got addicted to the adrenaline rush.
"I've seen the different sides of me before I play and after I play. I've noticed that if somebody comes in here, they don't even talk, and I immediately turn and I go ‘Shh!’" Ty says. "One time, I was playing in the morning and my dad comes in and says, 'It's time to get off.' He pulls the computer away. And he shuts it off. And I just flipped out on him so hard."
"I started talking to him like, you may need to limit your time on this,” his father Derek Nichols recalls.
While Fortnite is the latest craze, it’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last game kids can’t get enough of at home and in school.
"A lot of people are contacting us saying my kid won't shut this off,” says Mandy Majors from local family advocacy group nextTalk.
She shared the most important thing parents need to learn about any video game.
"How do you communicate with strangers? Because most online games have a way to connect with people you don't know,” Majors says.
Local dad Joseph Schuetze learned to turn off the game’s chat capability.
"The risk there is that they get in contact with someone they shouldn't be in contact with,” he says.
And at the Nichols home, Ty now has a daily time limit.
"And what we've noticed as a family as that there's not as much aggressive conversation,” Derek says.
The father also sits next Ty while he plays, watching the action and learning as much as he can about his son’s gaming life.
The father-son cooperation strikes a balance between the fantasy world and family time.
"When he plays with me, it's fun,” Ty says while expertly navigating his keyboard through the Fortnite island.
By EMILY BAUCUM