Friday , July 3 2020
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Help, my child is addicted to Fortnite!

It's dinner time. In many homes, this moment of family friendliness will collapse. Thousands of children playing Fortnite, headphones screwed on the ears (integrated microphone), know it: soon a background sound will be embedded in their part. At the beginning, these will be distant echoes: ” You stop Fortnite now darling, we eat !!!! “ Then the voices of the parents of the other players will inexorably get closer. To transform itself after a few minutes – time that the child will have spent royally ignoring the fact that, yes, the mash is cooling – into uncontrolled howls. “BUT YOU WILL STOP NOW WITH THIS CONSOLE P There, the little playmates on the other end of the helmet understand that the game is over. “See you tomorrow, man!” ” (With its variant, “see you tomorrow, brother”, even if it is for a girl).

Sometimes the exasperated parent will grab the microphone and speak directly to the other players: ” It's finish. We say goodbye to SpiderSam! “ (the avatar of said child). – It's not done too much, mom

In Fortnite, there are rules that most parents ignore. Launched by Epic Games in June 2017, the principle of this network game – at least the most used mode – is based on the battle royale : 100 players, stranded on the “starting island”, armed at the beginning of a simple pickaxe, will fly in hang glider to another vast territory: the Map (a bit of Houellebecquien). They will have to ally (or not) and collect weapons to eliminate the others. But, in the end, there will only be one (or only one team). Considered by specialists as “the Instagram of video games”, Fortnite embodies a true global phenomenon, with more than 250 million players in just two years. Accessible on all supports (Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, tablets, smartphones), you can play it with anyone on the planet without spending a euro.

Why does this make them addicted?

According to the PEGI classification, Fortnite is not recommended for players under 12, especially due to “Frequent scenes of moderate violence”. In fact, many children between 8 and 11 years old spend more than two hours a day there – half of 10-17 year olds play video games daily, according to Médiamétrie. What makes them so addicted? For the design, Epic Games called upon cognitive psychologists responsible for developing an infallible mechanics based on stages to be crossed which bring rewards to the player. Another particularity: the “free-to-play” model (free but with purchase options) allows you to buy purely cosmetic improvements to stand out – costumes, accessories, dances. Finally, if the games last about twenty minutes, the game in reality never stops because it is constantly enriched and benefits from regular updates. The colorful and pop aesthetic is not anxious, the characters (Lama, sorcerer, panda, ninja …) come from the cartoon world, there is no bloodshed.

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