Article 3: ScoutWired Team: Questions about ‘Fortnite’

ScoutWired about ‘Fortnite’

Over the last couple of months discussion and media have been reporting on the rapidly increasing player base for the game ‘Fornite’. As a Scouting/Guiding platform for young people, discussion around this topic is common and most likely occurring at online as well as at group level. ScoutWired has some important tips for youth members along with adult members, and for parents as well in relation to how to deal with the challenges that can be associated with a child playing this game.

The most important note is for parents. There are so many news reports around the world right now about children being addicted to this game and the negative effects it is having on families and children’s behaviour. Our team have been part of online gaming for over a decade now, and we all concur that addictive gaming behaviour is becoming a problem, and studies are starting to show that this is increasing. The ScoutWired team is well trained to take time out, and we stipulate that is important to take breaks from gaming. Have a ‘devices down’ time set daily that is not around meal times or substituted with other activities or chores. Young people need to have time to let their minds absorb things that they are learning, the best time for this is a forty-five (45) minute break in which the young person does other things rather than stay transfixed to phones, tablets, devices, or gaming consoles/computers. A great suggest from one of our team members is to have a book to substitute for gaming time. There are some great titles out there, and many are currently being turned into movies or TV shows that are out now or due out soon such as Ready Player One, The 100, Mortal Engines, and Mary Shelley. Most public libraries have young adult sections, with plenty of comic books and graphic novels as alternative options.

ScoutWired does not host a ‘Fornite’ server. So, we do not promote the game, support the game, or allow players to use our services to support their gameplay. This is mainly due to the developer of the game hosting the only servers players can connect to. ScoutWired is very supportive of this fact because it makes them legally liable to deal with incident and risks, as opposed to other games that allow private servers where strangers who are hidden behind a veil can lurk. The other issues that arises from these corporate and private servers is that it opens young people up to many of the online issues plaguing the world in this generation, online bullying and abuse. The problems arise when a young person is connected to a stranger via a headset. No matter the age difference, the cultural difference, or gender difference, there are plenty of toxic people out there. It is not a great idea to separate a young person from this constantly, however letting young people know ‘it is ok to walk away’ and having them discuss their feelings and interactions will enable them to reflect on what happened and become self-aware to the decisions to return or not to the game chat. ‘REPORT’ features in most games are setup to notify administrators and moderators that inappropriate conduct is occurring and should be used properly to keep those intent on causing harm away from young people. It is important to remind young people that online persons are only that, they are unimportant and have no power over the young person.

The best games are played by everyone in a family, it creates a little competition along with a lot of comradery. Dr. Marcus Carter of University of Sydney agrees stating “All of the things we’re learning about children and digital tech … is that when parents play the games with the kids, that’s better for everyone overall” (ABC, 2018). ScoutWired is open 24/7, 365 days a year. Our services are 100% monitored and moderated, and our team is trained to support our online communication platforms connecting young people and adult members of Scouting and Guiding around the world. We are a safe and friendly place for young people to practice ethical and social online behavior and conversation, so if you need a safe space for some time out www.scoutwired.org

For more information about cyber security for parents and leaders visit: http://thinkuknow.org.au

 

References:

abc.net.au- Fornite is taking over. These experts want you to play it with your kids, 12.06.2018

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-12/fortnite-what-is-it-how-can-i-play/9841640