Nine-year-old Fortnite player handed four-year ban

midian182

Posts: 6,664   +59
Staff member

For those who might not have heard of him, Zenon is a nine-year-old Fortnite player from Brazil who’s so good at the battle royale title that’s he’s competed in paid tournaments. Unluckily for him, the terms and conditions of these competitions state that entrants need to be at least 13 to take part.

Over the weekend, Zenon competed, and even managed to place, in a round of FNCS Solos open qualifiers, but as Fortnite Intel reports, he didn’t get away with it this time. There’s even footage of him receiving his four-year ban while playing alongside his dad, who's shown trying to comfort his clearly very upset son.

Zenon won’t be playing in any competitive or Arena games of Fortnite for four years, meaning he’ll be sticking to casual modes until 2024. Why such a lengthy ban? It’s all to do with his age. By the time the ban's up, he’ll have reached the required age limit of 13 for entering competitions.

Since the clip started spreading on Twitter, a number of Fortnite pro players, influencers, and fans have lent their support to Zenon, saying he should be allowed to compete.

Zenon can take solace in the fact he still has his Twitch channel, run by his dad, and considering how good he is at Fortnite now, he'll likely be even better on his return to competitive play four years from now.

Permalink to story.

 

Terrax

Posts: 8   +16
They defined an age at which you can compete in paid tournaments before they banned him. They didn't change the rules to specifically ban this kid. I'm sure it has to do with paying people and age limits on what could be defined as work (since this is some people's "occupation"). Frankly, I'm surprised that it isn't older (18).

If they change the rules, let him play. Until then, no.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,726   +5,137
I don't think a lot of people understand that when they click "YES" or "I ACCEPT" on a TOS or EULA agreement that they are basically signing a "contract".

Yes it does make sense.

He lied to enter this "contract" and they most likely do not want players under 13 playing because of regulations regarding the "online experience".

I can't tell you the things I've heard and said personally in game chat during years of Counterstrike and Quake 4. The regulations said "13" and that's just what it is...regardless how good he is.
 

ziffel66

Posts: 99   +147
Clickbait much? Of course it's fair, and not "harsh". It's the simplest of rules. It's no different than a kid being thrown out of an R-rated movie and told you can come back when you're 17. The kid was where he wasn't supposed to be. This is on his parents.
 

kmbear

Posts: 13   +19
I do believe that parents should ultimately be the ones who determine whether their child should be allowed to use a service rather than putting this responsibility on the service providers (for example, current laws make Google block my child from standard YouTube, as well as YouTube Music, and even many games on Roblox, despite my desire and approval to let them use these services with their own account)
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,726   +5,137
Every single sign up process with an age verification should demand and require a credit card.

This way, the parents will always be held directly responsible for any dishonesty and fraud.

These laws and regulations were designed to keep minors out of these services unless they had parental consent / supervision. Imagine how many suicides from cyberbullying will go completely without mitigation simply because these services made no attempts to exclude the underaged.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 326   +337
I don't think a lot of people understand that when they click "YES" or "I ACCEPT" on a TOS or EULA agreement that they are basically signing a "contract".

Yes it does make sense.

While I do think that 9-year old kids shouldn't be playing online multiplayer games at all, your reasoning about EULAs and contracts is dubious and brings common misconceptions. While they're rarely challenged in courts (mostly because most people can't afford it), there's been lots of debate and arguments against the legal validity of such contracts.

I suggest you read the book "The Software Conspiracy" by Mark Minasi. While the main theme of the book is advocating for less buggy software, one of the chapters is called "Software and The Law", and it includes a very in-depth look at TOS'es and EULAs and reasoning why pretty much all of them are illegal. While the book centers on shrink-wrapped commercial software and some of the arguments might not apply much to "free" online services (which are not really free - if you don't pay a fee or subscription, that means you are the product), many still hold true, especially the argument about these sorts of contracts being cohercive and non-negotiable.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,726   +5,137
TOS and EULA are designed specifically to set up a framework for your presence in a private property's virtual space or a private property's software/hardware.

They are not "illegal".

The US government upholds them.

they are covered under the Constitution.

I will never side with anyone who attempts to undermine private contracts on the internet, because the ultimate goal is to make the internet "public" which it isn't so they can stop private companies from censoring individuals.
 

Capaill

Posts: 1,199   +743
AFAIK, any game with an online multiplayer element automatically gets a 13 age rating or higher. It's because of the abuse you will be exposed to online and also applies if the game allows microtransactions.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,125   +523
If his dad is running things, how did his dad not know or use common sense about how old you need to be? All games have a rating, these things arent new. Whether you agree with them or not is totally different. The game has a rating 13 n up. He is to young to play, this isnt rocket science. Just cause someone is good at something doesnt mean they get to break the rules.
 

TheBigT42

Posts: 524   +429
I do believe that parents should ultimately be the ones who determine whether their child should be allowed to use a service rather than putting this responsibility on the service providers (for example, current laws make Google block my child from standard YouTube, as well as YouTube Music, and even many games on Roblox, despite my desire and approval to let them use these services with their own account)

Nope their product their rules. The child is not banned from playing the game he is banned from paid Arena games...Just like every of child in the world under the age of 13.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,696   +6,055
Creating a game that requires age restrictions is the stupidest thing about games. If the kid is competitive at 4 they should be allowed to play the game. People who play games and make them unfit for a younger audience are the ones that should be banned.
 

Polycount

Posts: 2,844   +575
Staff member
I have no major objection with the rule itself in general, or even enforcing it in this case. But if victory in this tournament would have led to a substantial prize, I will say it's a shame. Of course, his potential success would depend on how skilled he is, and I haven't seen him play so I can't chime in there (I also don't particularly care for Fortnite).

But... Just 'cause something's illegal or against TOS doesn't automatically make it immoral or wrong. If the kid has parental supervision, and he's mature enough to take the lumps that come with participating in a competitive game (as plenty of smart kids are), you might as well let him enjoy his shot at the big leagues while he's still got it.

Who knows how long Fortnite's popularity will last? Perhaps in four years, there won't even be a tournament for him to participate in.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,398   +3,893
The father sounds like a typical millennial manboy who has no clue about how to raise a well-adjusted kid. Its a good thing the company caught this early, because otherwise I can guarantee you that child would've been playing games instead of doing his schoolwork in a few years, and his ***** dad would've been blaming the teachers. Seen a in a hundred times if I've seen it once. These *****s actually think they'll set their kids up as streaming stars and make money off of them - they literally say crap like this and mean it.
 

tkabou

Posts: 123   +136
Good, maybe he'll grab some books to read rather than waste his time and childhood on something that'll have no meaning in a few years' time.
 
He broke the rules given by the tournament. He deserves the ban. But I do also think Epic shouldn't have the 13+ age requirement, after all, they attracted their main audience, a 9 year old.