Does Fortnite pose a threat to our children, and how do we protect them?

Fortnite became one of the most popular games in the world overnight, especially after it was introduced on the Android system on August 9, when it has tens of millions of users.
The game is developed by Epic Games, and was first released for personal computers in 2017, and its most famous release is “Fortnite Battle Royale“, and it attracted more than 125 million players in less than a year, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per month.

Fortnite is one of the shooting games, where the player lands in an unknown area and must search for weapons and other players to kill them one by one in a survival struggle in which the victor is only one player, with the possibility of building alliances in combat.

In the context of identifying the risks of this popular game that is currently available on all devices, including personal computers, game platforms and smartphones, Al-Jazeera hosted Dr. Osama Halabi, Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering, Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Qatar University.

When asked about violence in the game, and whether it could affect children’s behavior and push them to imitate it, Halabi said that almost all games contain violence, but the game was so smart that it did not make the violence visually real, so when a person is killed in the game, it disappears with a certain aura No blood or corpse appears.

Halabi, a specialist in the development of multimedia interactive computer environments, virtual reality and augmented reality, added that the game depicts reality in an unreal way, in a comic or cartoonish way, which reduces damage.

He also pointed out that recent studies have proven the error of the prevailing belief that violence in games is transmitted to reality, indicating that the fear in reality is not from the transmission of violence to reality, but rather from addiction to games.

The expert in the development of video games explained that a recent study by the World Health Organization revealed that the biggest risk of games is addiction to them, not violence.

Share them and don’t bother them
And on how to avoid children becoming victims of addiction to such games, the expert said that the solution is not to prevent children from playing, but rather to monitor them and allocate a specific time for games, “so a little harmful is better than many beneficial.”

He added that according to the World Health Organization, the best time for children to play during weekdays is one hour per day, and on holidays from two to three hours, after completing his homework.

In these cases, a “timer” can be used, so that the child does not exceed the specified time, and in the event that he exceeds it, he should be punished by depriving him of playing on other days, for example, because increasing the playing time has negative effects that can reach addiction to the game.

Halabi stressed that the game requires cooperation between people, and one of the reasons for being attracted to it is that the child is at school under the fear of the teacher, and at home under the fear of his parents, and therefore the game represents a third world that he enters with his peers and friends, and parents can take advantage of the opportunity and form a group with their children, so they enter into an atmosphere The game is with them.

According to the game developer’s opinion, the game may be the beginning of forming friendship and dialogue between parents and their children. “Before you break them down, you can play with them and then discuss with them,” because they will enter these games in one way or another due to the spread of technology.

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