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Ninja says terrible parents are to blame for their kids' Fortnite addiction

By midian182 · 43 replies
Nov 30, 2018
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  1. Young children being forced into rehab for their Fortnite addiction have been making headlines for quite a while now, but the subject was again under the spotlight earlier this week following an article by Bloomberg. In it, there are examples of players whose lives have been taken over by the last-man-standing game, which has over 200 million registered players, and being forced into rehab centers. One behavioral scientist describes it as being “like heroin.”

    Much like blaming the medium for mass shootings, demonizing video games for their addictiveness has been around for decades, but the incredible popularity of Fortnite has seen it come under scrutiny like no other—it was even cited as the reason behind the breakup of 200 marriages this year.

    The answer many people are looking for is: who’s to blame for all this? Should Epic Games, which is now valued at $15 billion, be held accountable for making a game that’s so addictive and designed to appeal to kids? Maybe Fortnite should come with a higher age rating—not that such a thing ever stopped under 18s playing COD or GTA V. Or perhaps the responsibility should fall on the parents.

    Blaming parents is something that Fortnite’s most famous fan, Tyler Bevins aka Ninja, Twitch’s most followed streamer, agrees with. Boasting over 11 million followers, a $500,000 salary, and having appeared on the cover of ESPN magazine, he can certainly be called an authority on the game. Tweeting a response to the Bloomberg article, he wrote: “Title should be "Terrible parents don't know how to take their kids [sic] gaming system away.""

    While it should be noted that Ninja is always going to defend the game that he makes a good living from, and he isn’t a parent, most people appear to be on his side. While the issue might not be as black and white as he makes it seem, parents of kids of who play Fortnite for 12+ hours a day must carry some of the blame. What do you think?

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,219   +1,657

    As usual people are more concerned about assigning blame than actually fixing a problem.
  3. Unusual Kmc

    Unusual Kmc TS Rookie Posts: 18   +18

    To be fair to ninja, it IS the parents fault.. they just complain to news companies that their children play too much fortnite but can't be bothered to do anything about it
  4. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 524   +353

    Nice, Ninja. This kid does have a brain.
  5. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 692   +673

    Of course it's the parents' fault. A baby comes into the world knowing nothing about it, and a parent's job is to educate, civilise and provide boundaries for the child as it grows. If the boundaries haven't been set, or aren't enforced, who else could be to blame?

    We grew up with addictive games, and our parents enforced boundaries, taught self-restraint and an idea of rewards after responsibilities. I'm sure it's hard work, but it's a simple bloody concept.
    erickmendes, Misagt, senketsu and 8 others like this.
  6. Richard M

    Richard M TS Enthusiast

    Why you are correct that blaming others seems to be what is used as problem solving today you do have to identify the real cause of the problem before you can fix it.

    In this case though I have to agree if you have 12 year old kids "over dosing" on a computer game then it is a parenting problem.

    From being raised by I will be nice and call it "sub-optimal" parents and seeing and interacting with other parents while my son went through the school system I will say that a large percentage of the problems you see in society are caused by bad parenting.
    cliffordcooley, MomShari44 and Hexic like this.
  7. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,219   +1,657

    To be really fair it is the kid and parents fault. To be even more fair, every family situation is different. You can have really great parents that try to do everything they can to stop them but when there is a will there is a way. The common assumption is of course is the parents that don't give a crap and buy their kids GTA and etc. However, kids still have their agency to choose. I would hope that there are not any parents forcing there kids to play Fortnite. Anyways, I will not judge parents on a general scale.

    The real problem that everyone tends to overlook is the destruction of the family unit. The Fortnite addiction issue is just one of many symptoms. To do proper justice to the subject of the family, it would take me too long to write. So I apologize for not elaborating more on it.
    amghwk, senketsu, MomShari44 and 2 others like this.
  8. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,219   +1,657

    If you are bleeding badly, do you try to stop the bleeding or try to figure out what caused it first? Yes you do eventually have to figure out the cause to prevent it or reduce it from happening again. Bad parenting is definitely part of the problem here but then you also need to think about what lead them to becoming bad parents? It is a very complex topic once you start digging into it.

    Anyways I already added another post on the subject and I will leave it at that.
    MomShari44 and Reehahs like this.
  9. gollum21

    gollum21 TS Enthusiast Posts: 44   +14

    Some parents are just ignorant of video games. Someone who has never been interested in games or has had little interest in games during their own life might not consider their kid might think about games completely different from them. By the time they realize how addictive games can be it's probably because their child is already addicted. The parent(s) could, in every other way, be a good parent. But still be terribly ignorant of video games.
    MomShari44 and stewi0001 like this.
  10. petert

    petert TS Evangelist Posts: 360   +159

    which means that video games and associated addiction are some sort of natural selection. I say let it have its course. The entire gaming industry audience is a dumb crowd in general. Its like running after crack - the publishers are the dealers and the gamers are the users. The publishers get away with dodgy crack, and they lower the bar each time - the gamers accept because they need their fix ...
  11. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +712

    As much as one can not be interested in video games you still can't be totally ignorant to the fact that they exist let alone your children play them excessively, turning a blind eye isn't an excuse, it just hammers home the bad parenting idea. Let alone the fact that a parent with a 12 year old child would likely be in their mid to late 30s, this individual would have most likely been exposed to video games as a child themselves, perhaps not have been addicted to them, but again being well aware of their existence.

    Video games being a form of natural selection? Well that's a new take on it... But then saying the gaming industry is a dumb crowd in general just doesn't follow up well to that statement. It's too bad because there is merit in what you are saying about developers being pushers and producing some dodgy games that get people mindless hooked on them similarly to gambling. But to generalize the entire industry as such is just inaccurate and simply reflects badly on yourself.
    Reehahs likes this.
  12. ShObiT

    ShObiT TS Maniac Posts: 183   +173

    I have a 9yo daughter, and EVERY TIME I think "What is she doing now" if I stop by her room more that 2 times to see her in the Tablet (Mostly Farming) I take it a way for a bit, I even sent her to watch some Netflix, juts Stop the gaming for a bit, I call her everyday (to her tablet) just to interrupt her LOL.

    And this is coming from a father that have at least 30-120 minutes gaming sessions every other day, and 5+ hours of continuous gaming on weekends (If my 1yo boy allow me to LOL).
  13. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,568   +1,548

    Your analogy needs work... sometimes you DO need to ascertain the source of a problem before you solve it.... let’s say you get stabbed with a knife which causes bleeding... you can bandage the cut to stop the bleeding, but until you remove the knife (or to take it even further, stop the person who is stabbing you with the knife), you are still in big trouble!

    In this instance, if you have parents who neglect or spoil their children - which is by far the 2 most common “causes” of children’s bad behaviors - “fixing” the parenting must happen before the child has any chance to be fixed :)

    I’m a teacher - and have been for many years - and it’s amazing how many otherwise intelligent, kind, educated people have no clue how to say “no” to their children.
    ShagnWagn likes this.
  14. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,219   +1,657

    This is funny because it is true. Long ago, my mother bought me a PS1 for Christmas and bought some games for it as well based off the sales person's recommendations. One of the games was the first GTA. lol!
  15. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,661   +321

    Well said.

    As for the issue:

    First of all, anyone who makes a comment about parenting and hasn't had any experience parenting, their opinion should be dismissed.

    Secondly, even if 99% of parents are great, that would leave 2 million kids (assuming for a second that all Fortnite players are kids) with parents who aren't great. Anyone expecting 100% of parents to do a perfect job is delusional.

    This goes back to what stewi0001 said. It's a lot easier for Epic to do something about this. This might not be totally effective either, but it would at least be practical, compared to expecting 100% of parents to be able to handle this, and it would take a tiny fraction of the work a hundred million parents would have to put in.

    And, yes, in general, parents are doing an imperfect job. Expecting them to do a perfect job is terribly strange. Parents are expected to learn on their own how to be educators and psychologists, and have full knowledge of what is affecting their kids, all while working full time. These days, both parents work, and typically for many hours, and at the same time they're expected to dedicate a lot of time to the kids. Parents are also expected to empower their kids and be gentle with them, while at the same time control them.

    This is close to impossible to accomplish. Being a parent and staying sane is a task in itself. So yes, we might expect parents to at least try, but we should help them as much as we can, instead of just blaming them, which does absolutely no good.

    We have laws that prevent kids from gambling or drinking alcohol, for example. Why? Because we accept that parents can't be counted on to fully control kids, especially when it comes to addictions. When we have a law, that not only makes the parent's job easier, because it removes the burden of having to justify the limitations, but it also makes it harder for parents to disregard the issue.

    There's currently a problem, and gaming is one of the areas where it manifests itself, that companies are deliberately trying to make content addictive. They have psychologists working towards that, they use A/B testing to check what would make people spend more time with the content, or pay more. I don't know what happens at Epic, but I'd be surprised if it's not at the very least doing A/B testing to make its game more addictive and make players pay more. "Demonizing video games for their addictiveness" might have been around for years, but these days it's a deliberate art. The demon really is here.

    Blaming the parents won't help. Parents don't have the tools to combat this.
    BSim500 likes this.
  16. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,473   +1,046

    BS. Unless the kid owns the platform, game, house, electricity, and anything else used to play games for "more than they should", it is 100% the parent's fault for not controlling their kid better under their roof. They most certainly have the tools to control this stuff, if not the ability to revoke privileges while the kid is in the house. And being ignorant about it (or how to use different tools) isn't a good excuse either.

    Now, whether they want to control it (because playing games means "peace and quiet"), or they play the game somewhere else (which still can be controlled to a point), is another thing.

    Parents need blame placed on them where it's due, because at the end of the day they're the first ones responsible for the kid.

    Ps. I'm not saying that the kid getting addicted is fully the parent's fault, but that they're to blame for allowing that addiction to thrive (in their house).
    cliffordcooley and pit1209 like this.
  17. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 769   +596

    It's ok to interrupt her to break her focus, but getting away from digital into the real world I think would be key. If a person only lives in fantasy land I think they would have a problem socializing. We see it now in millennials who travel staring down at their phone all day.

    I would say to lead your daughter by example. Kids pick up a lot of ideas and habits from their parents, and also pass them onto their own kids. The saying "monkey see, monkey do"? :)

    A lot of parents these days are so caught up with their own life and selfishness that they let electronics "babysit" for them. They don't ever want their kid to be mad, so they let them do whatever they want even bad habits. I know this from my own childhood as well. In the end, each person has a free will. All you can do is try to lead them down the better path.

    My idea of a game is to have fun. I am seeing a growing number of developers that focus on raking in cash and make it so it hooks everyone and their wallet in exclusively.
    ShObiT and poohbear like this.
  18. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +712

    I just can't get over how people are actually trying to defend the parents when they say that they can't do anything about the problem, or they themselves don't take any real actions... When I was growing up and my dad had enough of me playing my "Nintendo" (I actually always had Playstation products) he would simply unplug the console and take it away, or I'd come home from school and it would be gone. Fine I'd resent him for doing this but as a kid, you just have to deal with it and get over it. If parents these days don't have the balls to do that, or fear their child's reaction, rapture Jesus help us all...
    ShagnWagn and cliffordcooley like this.
  19. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,280   +1,484

    This is terrible advice.
    The 'tool' is called discipline, and parents today don't use it.
    ShagnWagn, Adhmuz and cliffordcooley like this.
  20. poohbear

    poohbear TS Maniac Posts: 311   +213

  21. jackal2687

    jackal2687 TS Enthusiast Posts: 96   +14

    When I was younger I was playing Counter Strike daily. I would wake up at 4AM. Play until I had to leave for school last second (get dressed in between rounds). I would talk about CS all day. Run home and play until 11PM every day. On weekends I would sleep in and play from the moment I woke to midnight.

    My parents hated it. I f'ing loved it.

    No ragrets.
    Panda218 likes this.
  22. loki1944

    loki1944 TS Addict Posts: 179   +120

    There ain't a way if there is no computer/console/phone. Discipline is pretty straightforward; it's not a complex social equation. A good beating is also a great tool.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  23. loki1944

    loki1944 TS Addict Posts: 179   +120

    God forbid parents take responsibility in disciplining their kids. The horror.
    jackal2687, Adhmuz and cliffordcooley like this.
  24. MomShari44

    MomShari44 TS Rookie

    Absolutely correct. It IS the parents responsibility to make sure your kid isnt playing ANY game too much and its Fortnites job to make an awesome game. These brats acting ridiculous online are a duect reflection of shitty parents. I have a 10 year old that loves Fortnite but he knows he cant play it for over an hour and he doesnt act like a psycho like kids Ive seen on tv. If adults are letting games consume their lives, whatever, they are adults. There is no excuse for parents letting games raise their kids. Lazy and irresponsible.
    Adhmuz and cliffordcooley like this.
  25. McMurdeR

    McMurdeR TS Addict Posts: 149   +118

    While you're right in principle, nothings simple when it comes to parenting. It's easy to talk about enforcing boundaries and eduucating your kids, but in practice, when you're exhausted from work and the kids are tired and non cooperative, then it's easy to let things slip.

    Don't be so quick to judgement, even the very best people make mistakes when it comes to their kids.!

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