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Spending a fortnight with FortNite

I do not play any video games or computer games, but I have found it sort of neat to watch other people do so.

I have started following a few different streamers on Twitch, and the range of games they play (or the lack of range) is interesting. A few of them are very much into Fortnite, which is a first-person shooter which can be played solo or as part of a team. There are a lot of fears being raised by parents and counsellors about how addictive the game can be, and I can see how that could be so.

However, if you (the player) can exercise some self-control and only play for a couple of hours a day, you can, it seems to me, learn a lot from the game as well.

I was watching one streamer last week who was part of a four-person team. They had obviously played together before, because they worked well together, a couple of times being able to ambush an opponent by dropping in behind him when he was engaged in a firefight with one of the other members.

One of the players on the team had to leave, so the rest were debating whether to quit as well or continue as a three-person team (which would be something of a disadvantage when the other teams have four each). One of them said, “Give me a minute and I’ll see who else is on stream right now.”

She reported back a few seconds later that another streamer, who she knew and had teamed with in the past, was online. Neither of the others had played with the new player, but they had no problem having them join.

I then realized the streamer they were adding was another one I was following, but I hadn’t realized they played Fortnite.

Well, they entered the next battle as a four-person team, and worked very well for people who had never teamed up before.

Some of it was basic tactics, but some of it was sharing. If one of them was hurt, they would ask if anybody had some spare bandages, and anyone who did would reply, and drop them for the injured player to pick up and use.

Similarly, a few times I heard one of them ask if anyone needed rockets or a particular kind of ammo, and if someone did, the exchange. It was all for the good of the team, and the streamers I was watching were all adults, so I don’t know if the same holds true for teens.

They also let each other know how long they could stick around, so they knew not to start a new game if someone had to leave in five minutes.

So parents, if you think your child is getting addicted to Fortnite (or any other game), talk to them about it, set limits – and make sure they know what life lessons they can learn from them.

Like never charge a person with a rocket launcher.