Mum’s Desperate Measures To Get Her Kids Off Fortnite
A mum has gone to the internet to describe her kids so called side effects of playing too much Fortnite and what she has done to stop it
If you don't know what it is by now you must have been living under a rock. The gaming sensation has taken the world by storm and is not showing any signs of slowing down.
For Maddie Wallace, however, that's exactly what she aims to do in her household, and is using her Mum Versus Sons blog, which she says highlights "The ongoing battle to raise two boys in a woman's world," to connect with other parents.
She wrote a massive post, titled "FU FORTNIE, YOU MASSIVE PRICK," which included her methods of reducing playing time and why she has done it in the first place. It sounds a tad over the top but some of her points could be seen as credible.
"Several weeks ago I put a boundary in place around the playing of the game 'Fortnite.'
"It has been proven (entirely by me, and with no rigorous scientific testing whatsoever) to cause excessive levels of anger, shouting, whining, arguing, swearing, an inability to decipher basic instructions like dinner's ready or it's bed time and the incapacitation of players for several hours."
Basically, this is just a rant on her perspective of what Fortnite is. She's never played it, who knows she actually might like it, and hasn't tried to understand why her kids like it. She goes on to say:
"What is wrong with climbing trees? When did that stop being a thing? If I didn't have the beginnings of osteoporosis (cheers cancer) I'd be up all the fricking trees.
"And what about riding bikes? Or even better, doing stunts while riding bikes into oncoming traffic (sorry dad)."
It continues like this for a little bit and starts to become more of a hate against video games rather than just Fortnite, until she reveals the apparent reasons for her anger.
"They were getting up at 6am to play it before school. They regularly woke me and their three year old sister up when it was still dark by shouting instructions to each other FROM DIFFERENT FLOORS OF THE HOUSE.
"They came in from school and played Fortnite. They reluctantly stopped to eat dinner, but only when I went all the way up to their room and pressed that big white X to turn to console off, and you better believe that any glorious satisfaction I took in doing that was far outweighed by the screaming and crying that followed about how I'd ruined their lives.
"IT IS A GAME."
Yes, it's a game, chill! Her children should be listening when they're given a simple instruction, yes, but it seems like there could be underlining discipline issue, rather than a video game being the cause of it. This wasn't the last of it, however.
"I finally had enough, and rather than throw the X Box out of the window, which I was really very close to doing, I set a boundary around the playing of the game. I hate it. I would much rather ban it completely, I really don't think it's healthy for ten and twelve year old boys to be sat staring at a game for hours on end.
"Zaki gets an hour from 8-9 and Sami gets an hour from 9-10.
"They took it well. Or so I thought. But then came the Campaign To Change Mum's Mind. And like all good wars of attrition, their attempts to wear me down have been consistent and sustained."
The majority of this post uses a lot of reference to what she 'thinks' video games will do to a young person. Obviously, too much play time can have an adverse effect on social skills, and there have been some studies to show that on rare occasions, crimes have been linked to video game violence.
We're not suggesting that it will do no harm to the mind of a child but compared to most gun games, Fortnite is pretty mild with what it shows and uses a lot of comedic, childish emotes, costumes, cartoon graphics and no blood at all to reduce the negative impact it could have. Her rules on setting boundaries are a fair compromise, however, even though it's probably not long enough for more than three full games.
"My brother (who is a gamer) told me it's OK for them to be shouting at the X Box, it releases their pent up frustrations. Well, no. They shouldn't be getting that angry about a game in the first place. Having such high levels of adrenaline and cortisol coursing through your veins on a permanent basis is not healthy.
"Those chemicals are the body's way of dealing with extreme danger: the fight or flight response. And boys of ten and twelve are far more likely to fight each other than they are to start flying around their room."
Well said, brother! Our favourite part of the whole speech is when the kids formulated a plan to try and convince their mother otherwise. They started "shouting, which was apparently an attempt to demonstrate that shouting can happen outside of the playing of Fortnite, so therefore it doesn't matter if they're playing it or not."
Brilliant. Probably not the best idea in trying to win her over, but when your favourite game is on the line what are you supposed to do?
She finishes her post by saying: "If you're a parent and have lost your kids to this game, you have my utmost sympathy. And I suspect that you - like me - were gleefully overjoyed when the whole game crashed for an entire blissful day.
"The initial despair and whining, to which I responded with appropriate maternal affection even though I wanted to do a victory dance and crack open champagne, was soon replaced with activities.
"Drawing. Helping me. Walking the dog. General day to day stuff that gets lost in the obsession to sit in front of the X Box with a head set on and shout 'GET IN THE BUSH'.
"I've tried really hard to find something positive about it, but I just can't. Fortnite sucks."
Whether you agree with her statements or not is up to you, but there are definitely some positives to the game. Problem solving, working together, learning that nothing comes without a little challenge, and of course the satisfaction of finding a beloved gold scar in a chest are just some of them.
Tests definitely need to be taken place if more parents start to believe this free to play title is the cause of anger and disobedience, and punish their kids as a result. However, said kids need to also show some sort of gratitude and respect, as playing on a console is a luxury and there has probably sacrifices in order for them to get one.
We would love Epic Games to reply to this statement by Mum Versus Sons and we would also love to hear what you think about it. There are parts we've not talked about as there is absolutely loads, such as no Fortnite videos and no watching friends playing. You can read the full post here, enjoy!
Words by: Matthew McGladdery