When I was a kid, I was addicted to video games. I would spend hours and hours playing. On weekends, I played late into the night...trying to beat game levels and challenges.
I still like video games...even as an adult. As I write this, I am looking at a game system hooked into our TV. I also enjoy playing games on my phone and tablet.
There's a game that's taking the video gaming world by storm. It's called Fortnite. One reason Fortnite is so popular is because it's battle-royale version is free to play. And it can be played across devices including game consoles, smart phones and computers. Recently, the game was the most-viewed on Amazon.com's streaming service with over 250,000 people watching. Millions of fans are obsessed with the game.
Kids compete to win fights in the game. Once you get involved in a fight, you cannot pause the game. It's non-stop until only one person is left standing. This means if a parent asks their child to stop the game, it can be a tense moment, since leaving means you can't win the fight you're in.
The game is free, but kids can purchase add-ons such as special weapons and attire. Most often these are purchased with a parent's credit card.
Why are kids so addicted to Fortnite? Let's take a closer look.
Surprise challenges - the game has "loot boxes." Loot boxes allows players to purchase merchandise without knowing exactly what they are getting. This is like gambling and can be very addictive.
Shared experiences - kids love to sit and play together. Watching each other's progress.
Achievements - kids can get a great sense of achievement through the battles.
Variety - from buildings to fields, kids have a wide variety of places to go.
Gore and corpses left out - this is big selling point for parents. In a day when mass shootings occur frequently, parents like the absence of corpses and gore. While it is a shooting game, most of the time, people are actually not shooting people.
Exploration. Kids can explore new places and find loot chests, sniper positions and hiding places. Kids can collectt resources, which are then used to build towers.
Staying fresh. The game stays fresh with updated events and new modes.
There are some tips we can learn from how Fortnite engages kids and families. Tips we can use to engage kids and families. Here are a few.
Kids love to be challenged. Use games and activities that will challenge kids. Competition , done correctly, will get kids excited and involved.
Shared experiences. Take kids through shared experiences in both large group and small group formats.
Achievement. Kids love achievement. Give them challenges, activities and competitions that allow them to achieve goals.
The power of making individual choices. Kids love to do what they want to do and guide themselves through a world of choices. Kids rarely get to make their own choices. Give them opportunities to make choices in how they learn and interact with others.
So, do you play Fortnite?
Do the kids in your ministry play it?
What are some other tips we can learn from Fortnite?
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.