I have mixed feelings about it. My primary negative feeling is guilt that they’re getting so much screen time and not off having more adventures. In my defense, they do other things. But playing Fortnite is their most favorite thing to do right now. And my feelings of guilt are outweighed by some serious positives:
They play together - albeit in their separate rooms, on their individual PS4s. Except for those occasions when they fight about what happened in the game, Fortnite has actually reduced the bickering between my boys. In fact, when they're in the same room, they chatter away enthusiastically about Fortnite. This may the best they’ve gotten along since ... well, ever.
They learn the value of money and budgeting. Fortnite is free to play, and like most free games, you can make in-game purchases to make playing easier and/or more fun. You can also earn points through game play, which you can use to upgrade. The boys have been given PlayStation store credit as gifts, which they then have to decide how to spend. I’ve overheard several conversations in which they’ve discussed the best strategic use of their money and points.
Speaking of which ... They learn to think strategically and plan ahead. I know it's not the same as problem solving in the real world, but they have to thwart zombie attacks and other players, just to name a few obstacles.
They socialize with their friends. Again, it's not the same as an in-person playdate. But more and more interpersonal connections are virtual, and Fortnite is the first game we've allowed our boys to play online remotely with friends. It's been an easy way for my kids to learn how to navigate the virtual world, and has re-connected them with friends they don’t physically get together with anymore.
I don't love that my kids love Fortnite, but I'm happy that their current passion is one that they can share with each other and their friends. Nevertheless, I won't complain when they're back in school and forced to spend some time away from their games!
Has Fortnite invaded your house too?