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to not let my 9 year old play Fortnite?

(161 Posts)
Cultoffortnite Fri 22-Nov-19 10:31:52

Having a debated with DP over this as our Year 5 boy is claiming to be the only one in his class not playing Fortnite, which means he's getting left out as his mates play online together. I know that several of his close friends DO play ( older siblings in the house playing).

DP can be a bit of a 'Disney' parent and wants DS to have Fortnite. I object on the grounds that :
it's a 1st person shooter game aimed at 12+
it's violence dressed up as something else
We have a Wii Switch and DS can play that
We're strict on gaming time - usually reserved for weekends and this will be another screen/game to be battling with over time played
DS behaviour has been quite challenging recently and I don't really thin

So wise women and men of Mumsnet - should I give in? I'm wavering I have to admit and wondering if I'm being too draconian and being THAT parent.

araiwa Fri 22-Nov-19 10:41:01

Why wouldnt you? Its a fun game all his mates are playing too

Its mild cartoon violence at worst

Venger Fri 22-Nov-19 10:43:08

It is entirely up to you, this is your DC so you get to make the decisions.

My DS plays Fortnite, he's 10yo and was 9yo when he started. DH and I played it first to see what it was like and content-wise it is no more graphic or violent than Minecraft, there's no blood, it's very cartoony and quite comedic in places. The only reason it's a 12 is because of the online element and chat function, you can play alongside strangers who can talk to you which isn't ideal for unsupervised children of a young age but DS console is in the front room and he's supervised while playing so that wasn't an issue for us.

Cultoffortnite Fri 22-Nov-19 10:43:15

It's the fight-to-the-death with weapons aspect that I'm struggling with. Am I really just over-reacting?

Cultoffortnite Fri 22-Nov-19 10:44:06

It would also have to be on the ipad or similar as I don't want the 7 year old seeing it.

Venger Fri 22-Nov-19 10:46:12

Its not really a fight to the death, the characters don't die as such. They can be healed and if they're not healed in time then they get sort of beamed up/blip out and are either out of the game or they skydive back in, depending on what sort of match it is.

Venger Fri 22-Nov-19 10:46:35

My 8yo plays it too... grin

Toseland Fri 22-Nov-19 10:49:29

I too had these questions. My 9 year old plays but we don’t have the chat turned up and he’s found the creative mode (non fighting) really fun, he’s built some great stuff.

adaline Fri 22-Nov-19 10:52:36

I didn't think you died in Fornite, don't you just respawn?

Stressedout10 Fri 22-Nov-19 10:53:38

Your right he should not play it its addictive and causes all sorts of behavioral issues, just look at some of the threads on here about it.
Also it's a 12 for a reason not a 9
Oh yes and there is also all of the safeguarding risks associated with online gaming, like bullying and grooming.
Also I very much doubt that everyone plays it my ds is 10 and only knows 2 kids who play it, though has tried the old "but everyone else has it" too (didn't we all at that age 😋)

antisupermum Fri 22-Nov-19 10:55:46

My 11 year old son loves Fortnite however he is now on a permanent ban as I discovered through much trial & error that the game had a massively detrimental affect on his behaviour.

I would hear him up there shouting and bawling through his microphone, getting overly excited and loud, bad language etc. All his friends play it, they would be chatting to each other over the computer etc. It became clear that after playing the game he would take a long time to settle back down, he was moody, cheeky and generally not nice to be around. There was all sorts of pressure on him from friends to get the newest skins, to have V-Bucks, to be playing at ridiculous times of night etc.
So, I called an end to it. He is much more pleasant to be around now. He was distraught in the beginning but he never even asks about it any more; I think he knows himself it was getting OTT. I do allow him to play it if he sleeps over at friends houses etc as I can't police that kind of thing and wouldn't want to push him into being ridiculed or having to lie to me about it. But our house is a Fortnite-free zone and all the nicer for it!

doritosdip Fri 22-Nov-19 11:03:35

The problem is with the chat element rather than the game imo. My teens play it and I can hear very young kids chatting. They often reply to any adult talking to them (they don't see the stranger danger element) and in the course of 10 minutes I knew that one boy was home alone, his age (5!), his mum's name, what school he went to and what his name was. Scary stuff.
Games can get very shouty and it will be a matter of time before the 7yo will want to play too. There will be lots of bad language from other players (and possibly your son too) so be prepared for that!

I think that you should try it or watch a game in YouTube.

doritosdip Fri 22-Nov-19 11:07:34

I think that the violence is less than a Marvel movie btw (I'm assuming that the 9yo has watched Avengers etc)

Wobblywibblywoo Fri 22-Nov-19 11:07:56

Don’t do it! It’s addictive and causes behavior issues, honestly it’s not worth it don’t cave! Worst game ever made in my opinion.

DobbyLovesSocks Fri 22-Nov-19 11:08:25

My DS is 9 and I have allowed him to have Minecraft. He will not be allowed fortnite until he is older. These games have age restrictions for a reason.

DS also asked for a phone for Xmas - I said no. I have found an app that he can use to message me when I am work and he is at nanny's/home with daddy

ColdRainAgain Fri 22-Nov-19 11:10:08

We looked into this last year.
It's not the actual game play I object to, but the addictive side, chat facilities, and interacting with unknowns (and yes, you can switch off these, and limit who is available - exact features depend on the console).
Also the antidotal affect on behaviour.

My 10 and 8 year olds dont have it (but do have access to some 12+ stuff)

Grimbles Fri 22-Nov-19 11:10:35

Its 12+ because of the chat element but that can be switched off. DS is 7 and he is allowed to play it, but our PS is in the front room and we have chat muted.

Greysparkles Fri 22-Nov-19 11:10:43

You can make the chat friends only, or turn it off altogether. He's probably right, he may well be the only one who doesn't play

aintnutinchanged Fri 22-Nov-19 11:12:02

If you would let him watch Tom and Jerry he will be fine 😂😂

carolinelucaseshandbag Fri 22-Nov-19 11:15:42

My DC's (10 and 8) aren't allowed it at home. They play if they are at a friend's house, but actually only a tiny number of their friends have access to it.
It's a 12, first and foremost, so they're too young. There have been so many posts on here and other places about it's addictive nature, and behavioural deterioration.
I've seen this happen with my nephews. They are older, but Fortnite completely took over their lives for a while, it was quite scary to see.
Keep him away from it, OP!

Venger Fri 22-Nov-19 11:15:45

As for addiction and behavioural element, be strict about it from the get-go. DS gets a set amount of gaming time each day and he can earn more through good behaviour and helping with jobs around the house. If we see any aggression, any arguing with his siblings over it, may refusal to turn it off, etc then he loses access to it for the remainder of the day. We have very few problems with him behaving badly in relation to it and I can count on one hand the number of times he has refused to turn it off when asked.

chillandrelax Fri 22-Nov-19 11:18:53

My older two are Y5 and y6 and I'm pretty sure every one of their friends play Fortnite (some more than others). The game isn't that bad although we have had some issues. You just need to do what works for you. Would you let him play at someone else's house?

floraloctopus Fri 22-Nov-19 11:19:24

He's 9, Fortnite is a 12. That's why.

MashedSpud Fri 22-Nov-19 11:20:19

It’s a bit of a dilemma because you don’t want him to be the odd one out but then there’s other concerns.

If you decide to let him play definitely set ground rules and strict time limits. You don’t want to make a rod for your own back.

geekone Fri 22-Nov-19 11:23:24

It’s not addictive and it doesn’t cause behavioural issues, bad parenting and no limits does that.

My DS is 9 has been playing since Christmas. It’s no different than watching captain America and it’s probably less violent than Tom and Jerry. Characters are not killed as such. They are avatars and they respawn back in the lobby which is where they dance (odd).

My DS has his Xbox set up so that he can’t talk within fortnite but he can talk to his friends in Xbox parties, that way it is only his friends and no adults etc can talk to them. They also generally play creative which is really clever, in fact the whole Fortnight world building is very clever. My son has screen time limits so he isn’t on it much and it just shuts off so no 5 more minutes etc or “there are only 5 people left” it’s just tough when his time runs out he’s xboxless! He has balance I sometimes come in and he’s switched to mind craft or forza off his own volition and he’s still talking to his friends playing fortnite or something else. He reads books and plays at least an hour of football a day.

It’s like anything, everything in moderation. And yes 95% of the other kids in his class are playing it, I know from talking to other parents so he is probably right.

If you have to do it on an iPad you should also be able to set specific screen time on that app or at least games and you can turn off all chat.

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