Since its launch in September 2017, Fortnite has attracted the attention of millions of people, including teachers and parents who are worried sick about the adverse effects of the game on kids.
Fortnite Battle Royale is a free online multiplayer game that sees 100 players or teams fighting for survival in an increasingly small space. The winner of the game must employ all of their gaming prowess and logical reasoning to survive the great battle while killing off the other 99 players.
Although not initially designed for kids, Fortnite quickly garnered the love and admiration of younger players because it is free to play and contains cartoon-themed graphics. There is no onscreen gore and the characters are a bright blend of dancing males and females. To a passing adult, Fortnite looks visually innocuous compared to popular, gritty first-person shooters like Call of Duty.
Fortnite is everywhere.
It even popped up in Avengers Endgame to much whooping from the young audience while every parent seemed to let out a collective sigh.
But understandably, some parents and teachers are not wild about the Fortnite craze. They fear Fortnite may be doing more harm than good to kids.
Over the past year, a number of teachers and educators have complained that, since the Fortnite craze began, a lot of kids come to school tired and half awake because they stayed up all night playing the game.
While at home, many parents are constantly fighting to get their kids off the game. It has given rise to several analytical reviews on whether or not Fortnite is good for kids. And whether it is addictive or not. So is Fortnite an educational game like Minecraft?
Well, I decided to weigh in on the ongoing drama and give an unbiased review of the pros and cons of both games and whether or not Fortnite meets the standards of an educational game.
The Face-off – Fortnite vs Minecraft
Educational Benefits of Fortnite
While Fortnite maybe stealing the attention of kids lately, research shows that it, in fact, contains some crucial life and educational lessons that will be helpful to the kids both in school and in the outside world.
Working with a team can prove incredibly difficult for kids and adults alike. Most school projects and even the business world outside of the school require teamwork as an exceptional skill to excel. And that is exactly what Fortnite teaches. Without good communication skills and team spirit, you are most likely to be the first to be eliminated from the game. Therefore, kids are taught how to work together to succeed.
Teaching Tool for Various Classes
In the game, the players are stuck in the ‘wilderness,’ where they have to fight, build, and even hide for survival. Instead of focusing on the negative side of the game, some teachers are using this as a tool to teach kids important class lessons. A geography teacher, for example, placed a grid-based map over the supposed desert in Fortnite and made the kids navigate the map using the grid. Although far from conventional teaching aids, the teacher has successfully taught these kids a vital school lesson using Fortnite. Also, this tool isn’t made exclusively for geography classes. Teachers can use Fortnite to teach the students Math, Physical Education, Science, Engineering, and Technology too.
It may not seem like it to someone watching the game, but to survive any stage of Fortnite you need to employ all your logical prowess and strategic thinking. Fortnite is more than a few cartoon characters running around and killing each other. It is a survival battle between 100 players. Only skillful players make it to the end. And these skills include everything from proper hand-eye coordination to strategic thinking and basic science & math knowledge.
Balance is Key
Good knowledge of time management and how to balance things is an exceptional skill required in both schools and the outside world. While there is no particular course structured to teach you this, Fortnite finds a way to teach kids that without balance, they can only go so far before they are eliminated. Yes, you can hide all day and survive many stages, however, you will lack battle skills to fight off the last man standing. Balance is key to success.
Like Minecraft and most online video games, Fortnite can get addictive. The game was created and engineered to be addictive, hence the reason you have to keep clearing several stages to become the winner.
Also, it allows for online chat, which can expose your kids to cyberbullies and other adult rated discussions.
Solution: It is advisable to watch your kids closely while playing the game. In addition, be sure to cut back on their screen time as they progress in the game.
During its early days, the Lego brick building game was also criticized for its bad effect on kids. It is addictive and may not teach the right lesson. However, a censored version was created that was perfect for kids and structured to deliver science, math, technology, and engineering lessons among others.
It could be said that Fortnite is the controversial successor of Minecraft.
Educational Benefits of Minecraft
The number one benefit of this video game is that it encourages creativity. Kids are allowed to explore and create worlds from their imagination. They get to design, build, and control every stage of the creation. It is highly creative and also teaches the basics of engineering.
Serve as a Teaching Tool
Besides spatial awareness and other skills kids pick up from this video game, it is also employed as a teaching aid for basic school courses like math, geography, science, etc.
Minecraft is known for promoting teamwork among players. While kids are allowed to create their imaginative world, they are also made to switch between players from time to time, thus teaching them how to work together.
Enhance Computer Literacy
Players are saddled with the responsibility of modifying the game. The files the game run on are easily accessible and modified by kids. This helps to teach the kids programming and basic understanding of how computers work.
As seen with Fortnite, Minecraft can become very addictive. Even with the wave settling over the sea, some parents still complain that their kids are yet to get over the addiction.
Furthermore, Minecraft can be bad for kids if left unsupervised. Besides the kid-friendly version, Minecraft exists in another version best left to adults. Kids can pick up offensive languages and unhealthy habits from accessing this version.
Solution: Parental guidance should be provided from time to time.
Fortnite vs Minecraft: The Verdict
Times are changing and video-game-based learning may be a good way to engage kids today. From the above information, I am positive you will agree that both Minecraft and Fortnite provide basic educational value to kids. They even teach kids about life skills that basic school courses would fail to teach.
While Minecraft may appear to be the winner of our face-off, possessing more educational values and less violence, it is, however, crucial to note that both games come with their own good and bad points. Fortnite focuses more on life skills not readily taught in classrooms, while Minecraft is easily adapted for STEM learning.
Thanks for reading.