My Kids Are Not Playing Fortnite — Here’s Why

Mean Mom of the Year, right here, folks. Why? Because this weekend, my husband and I made the decision to pull the plug, so to speak, on Fortnite.

If you haven’t run across this game yet, then you either don’t have tweens or teens living in your house, or you live off the grid in Arizona. I see posts on Facebook daily from parents who either love the game, or hate it. Google it, and you’ll see forum posts like “Why are kids so obsessed with Fortnite?” and “I saw a kid in Taco Bell playing Fortnite” and blog posts like “How I Lost My Children to Fortnite.”

What’s the allure? It’s a free strategy survival game that works on several platforms. It combines Minecraft-type collection of resources and building, with team-based survival shooting like Call of Duty. Kids (and adults) can play with up to 100 strangers, creating teams and crafting strategy.

Photo: Playstation

It’s A Social Activity

One mom writes that gaming…”has now become a social activity amongst children (and adult men) breaking down barriers and connecting children from different communities. My kids are playing with their camp friends, school friends, and family friends from neighboring cities.., they are creating stronger bonds with some kids they rarely see and friends they see all the time.”

So what’s the big deal? Team work = good, right? (The same mom above is also complaining that her kids no longer remember to eat or bathe…)

My Son is An Expert on Assault Weapons

The big deal for me was when my 10 year old sat next to me on the couch and proceeded to explain the difference between a Gatling Gun and an AR-15. My 10 year old is suddenly an expert on…assault weapons.

Assault weapons. The very things used in some of the deadliest mass shootings in America. Las Vegas. Orlando. Parkland, and more. The United States has the honor of hosting nearly half of the deadliest mass shootings in the world over the last 30 years. I don’t need to tell you that no other country appears on the list as many times as we do. This country is obsessed — and I mean obsessed — with guns.

I feel strongly that the gun culture of America needs to change, and it needs to change now. There’s not much I can do single-handedly to make this happen — I will vote, I will use my voice when and where I can — but I can change what I teach my kids. Does playing violent video games lead to violence? The jury is still out. But, God help me if I allow my children to believe that shooting assault weapons is normal or fun. God help me if I allow them to become desensitized to violence and the idea of holding and firing a weapon.

37 Mass Shootings in America

563 children wounded or killed.

2,461 dead…

Adelle Gabrielson
It’s Adelle, like the singer except with two Ls, and, let’s just be clear, it was my name first. I was raised and lived most of my life in the crazy Silicon Valley of Northern California, and I’m now a recent transplant to the Seacoast of New Hampshire. I share this life with my husband of 20 years, Gabe, and our two sons, ages 14 and 10. In order to survive, I write about our wild and crazy existence. After being a working-mom in advertising and marketing for 13 years, I’m now at home and writing full-time. (Or rather, I’m a full-time mom and I write in the meager spare time that affords.) I’m a member of the Redbud Writer’s Guild, a regular contributor to ParentLifemagazine, the City Moms Blog Network, and a featured essayist in Everbloom: Stories of Deeply Rooted and Transformed Lives, April 2017. I love great fiction, design and decorating, Gabe’s hand-crafted lattés, and shoes. Stop by my website or follow me on Facebook to read more about my messy, imperfect, boy-mom life.

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