If you’re a parent, there’s a very good chance you know what Fortnite is – and a very good chance you’ve heard a lot about, entirely against your will, from your kids.
But there’s a new development that you may not have heard about – parents are actually paying tutors to teach their kids how to master the game.
Yes, you read that right.
For the uninitiated, Fortnite Battle Royale is a multiplayer shooter game, and it has taken over the world.
Children are far from “enjoying it” – they’re addicted to it. Released last year, the game already has more than 40 million players. It’s believed that many of them are under the recommended age for the game, which is 13 plus, because the premise is more cartoon action than gory or violent action – so it appeals to younger kids.
For older kids in the US, there’s even more incentive to play. Ashland University in Ohio is offering partial scholarships to students who excel in Fortnite. Plus, it’s just been announced that there will be Fortnite tournaments, with $US100 million in prize money in the first year.
Which all means that Fortnite is one of the most popular, and competitive, games in recent years.
And that means that some of the parents who aren’t worried about their child being addicted to the game are actually encouraging their play and competition – by hiring Fortnite tutors.
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The Wall Street Journal reports parents are paying as much as $20 an hour for tutors to coach their kids on the finer points of the game.
“There’s pressure not to just play it but to be really good at it,” Ally Hicks told The WSJ, after admitting to paying approximately $50 for four hours of online Fortnite lessons for her ten-year-old son.
“You can imagine what that was like for him at school.”
Apart from the social aspect of fitting in, another parent explained that they wanted their child to do their best at whatever they spend their time doing.
The WSJ reports that tutors can charge anywhere from $50 for a four-hour lesson, to $20 an hour. Parents wanting to connect with their kids are also taking lessons in the game.
One father told The WSJ that other dads thought it was inspired parenting when he shared the idea with them. He explained that his son and son’s friends were also supportive.
“I earned a little credibility with my son and his friends—and my wife and daughter made fun of me,” he said.
Whether this is problematic parenting, or inspired parenting, depends on the family…or, maybe whether the kids win that $100 million or university scholarship.