If you have children who frequently game online, then you're undoubtedly familiar with Fortnite. Holding its own as the most popular multiplayer video game, it is still entertaining kids and adults alike, with its pop-friendly dance moves and highly coveted skins and levels. As parents everywhere groan when the kids insist on playing, upgrading, and spending, there are nuggets of financial lessons to be learned. Today, we'll highlight some of the benefits of Fortnite and how it can be used as money and finance-related teaching tools for your kids.
Limited time! New skins available at midnight! These gimmicks are designed to impulse players into making purchases and upgrades within their gameplay. Children tend to respond to impulse messaging, and due to their maturity, sometimes they don't have a grasp on having patience just yet. This presents an excellent opportunity to teach a valuable lesson. When your child asks you to purchase the newest pack, agree to do so, but only if they wait a week first. Explain that while you're deciding to invest in their request, you want them to wait a full seven days to consider first. If at the end of that seven day wait period, they still want the pack, you'll agree to do so. What happens is within the next week of waiting, your child realizes he or she may not need the purchase as badly. They may get distracted entirely and forget they had asked you to buy altogether. Bring the topic up again on the seventh day. If they're still adamant about the purchase, you can proceed with doing so. If they've changed their minds, you can use this as an opportunity to show them how impulse buying works, and how to avoid needless impulse spending.
Chances are, your Fortnite loving players would buy all available skins, packs, and upgrades if they could. Consider having the conversation with them about making a list of the top ten purchases they would make right now if you allowed it. Once they've compiled their list, instruct them that you only plan to purchase at a five or ten dollar amount. Give them a few days before you plan to make the purchase, so they have time to deliberate and prioritize. In doing so, you're reinforcing the life lesson. While we all would like the ability to purchase everything we want, as adults, we have to prioritize our needs, then wants and extras, for smarter spending.
Many times upgrades are available in the game for purchase, which can also be earned through actual gameplay. Kids can get stuck on challenging levels and come to you for permission to buy, simply because they gave up on the difficult levels. Use this as a teaching tool and conversation about working for what you want. It's ok to fail and struggle, as long as you keep trying. Encourage them to stick with those problematic levels and use the upgrades as incentives for their tenacity.
Socializing, Sharing & Trust
Some of the best benefits of Fortnite revolve around ideas of socializing, sharing, and trust. Players can create and join groups with others for gameplay online. They can also share caches of weapons and supplies. Fortnite can create a battleground of enemy combat play, but it can also be a great tool for social connection and collaboration. Kids inherently are trusting of others and will sometimes run into 'hackers' or players who attract the naïve with promises of sharing items, friendship, and teamwork. Only, when the little guys buy into the newfound friendship, the trojan horse player ends up stealing the best weapons, destroying your kid's fort and then kicking them out of the group. This is an ideal time to talk to your kids about rules of socializing with strangers, sharing your valuables and trust. In life, people make terrible financial and investment decisions under the same premise as these 'hackers' in Fortnite. Teach your kids to be aware, be cautious, and reinforce that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Money and finance topics are sometimes hard to discuss with the little ones. Take advantage of life lessons that present themselves at their level. Fortnite and online gaming, in general, offers plenty of opportunities to do just that. There are more benefits of Fortnite and other games than just entertainment.