Fortnite may quickly become our next national pastime, as parents are hiring coaches to help train their kids in the ways of the battle royale game.
The essentially vertical rise in popularity of Fortnite over the past year—combined with its low ESRB rating and free-to-play monetization model—made the game’s battle royale mode extremely accessible to younger demographics. This has turned it into a “social proving ground” in schools around the world, as The Wall Street Journal put it in a recent report. That’s led to parents hiring coaches to help their children keep up with their peers in the game.
One of these parents is mother Ally Hicks from England, who discussed her recent decision to hire a coach for her 10-year-old, Fortnite-playing son, Rob. Hicks hired the tutor from a freelance labor website—$50 for a four-hour online session—to train her son how to win at Fortnite.
“There’s pressure, not to just play it, but to be really good at it,” Hicks explained. “You can imagine what that was like for him at school.”
As for Rob, he is apparently a little apprehensive about his friends discovering the assistance he is getting. “They’ll probably think I’m cheating or something. That’s how 10-year-old kids work,” Rob said.
Hicks isn’t the only parent trying to up their kid’s Fortnite game. Nick Mennen from Texas throws down $20 per hour of Fortnite lessons for his son, Noble. Mennen hopes to see a return-on-investment by getting his son good enough to earn a scholarship for playing or win tournament money. The six hours of lessons a month have apparently shown promise, as Noble has gone from winning “infrequently” to racking up “10 to 20 wins” (presumably daily).
Some of these Fortnite coaching sessions aren’t just for the kids, either. Dale Federighi from California signed himself up for Fortnite coaching so he could play the game with his two young sons, Joel and Elliot, while JD Giles from Georgia signed both himself and his son Blake up for lessons. It started out as a birthday gift for Blake, leading to JD getting hooked himself.
“Within one week, I actually got a solo win,” Giles told the Journal. “The other dads I play with congratulated me. I earned a little credibility with my son and his friends—and my wife and daughter made fun of me.”
The coaching has also proved to be a catalyst for some healthy competition. Paul Rakovich of Colorado started talking lessons unbeknownst to his two sons, and now all three take separate lessons to stay ahead of each other.
Coaches can be found on various social media and contracting sites, such as Gamer Sensei and Bidvine. Bidvine claims to have hired out over 1,400 Fortnite coaches since March, with prices varying coach to coach.
Fornite is not only infecting our country’s family life, but our other games as well. YouTuber MasterofHyrule recently posted a video of Smash Bros. characters doing a dance emote from Fortnite, and it’s more horrifying than you might expect.
Source: The Wall Street Journal