Have your parents ever gotten you a tutor in the hope of improving your grades in English or Science? Some parents have decided to take it to the next level. Last week The Wall Street Journal published a feature exploring the parents who have hired tutors to improve their children’s Fortnite game. But the idea of paying twenty dollars an hour for your twelve-year-old to get lessons in Fortnite might not be a ridiculous as you think.
Fortnite is a highly interactive game, allowing players to play against strangers all over the world but can also be played with and against friends. Some parents are worried that their children may fall behind socially if they don’t keep up with their peers in the highly competitive online world of Fortnite, which has taken over playground chit-chat in schools across America, Britain, and even Australia.
Worries over having their kids lag socially is not the only motivation for some parents when it comes to Fortnite tutoring. On a similar note, chess tutors have been around for years which seems to make sense to people, as chess is a highly skilled game of strategy. Maybe we should look at Fortnite with the same eyes. Fortnite should not be dismissed as just a mindless game of people running around killing each other with weapons until there is only one left. There is more to Fortnite that just violence, the best players need to use strategy to survive, you won’t get anywhere in the game without well-thought-out tactics. Like chess, you must find the best places to move to and need to manipulate the other players into making mistakes. It is a game full of pressure, survival tactics and fast thinking. If a Fortnite tutor instructs their student well, they could end up leaving the game with broader knowledge than just knowing how to win a video game.
Some parents have even bigger goals in mind: a potential career for the children. Video games are not just a hobby anymore. There are professional video game players with huge online followings with product deals with major retail brands. Advertising doesn’t just belong to sport stars and models anymore, video gamers are getting in on it as well.
As well as contracts and promotion deals, there are video game tournaments with hundreds of thousands of dollars up for grabs. Some parents hope their skilled children could be noticed and offered sponsorship, or could have a chance of winning a share of the hundred million dollars in tournament prize money that Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) have pledged in tournament prizes. Some parents may hire tutors with the hope of college scholarships, with some colleges scouting potential talent to join their highly skilled university teams. There is big money in video games and a huge audience for video game competitions, with millions of people watching other people play video games online every month.
Tutoring is often used to try and increase a teen’s chance of getting into a good university and so with university scholarships up for grabs for skilled video game players, maybe video game tutors are not actually that ridiculous after all.