Fortnite, for the few still blissfully unaware, is a wildly popular third-person shooter where everyone from preteens to Drake come together to slaughter goofily-dressed avatars in a virtual realm. Basically, each game starts out with 100 players who whittle each other down, Battle Royale-style, until the last player or team standing is crowned champion. There is also dancing.
The game is so mercilessly addictive that people have started penning panicked screeds about their children's Fortnite addictions. But apparently not all parents are so bugged out about screen time—some just want to make sure their kids are winning. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, parents have started shelling out as much as $20 an hour to pay Fortnite tutors to coach their kids how to better lay waste at Tilted Towers or whatever.
"There’s pressure not to just play it but to be really good at it," Ally Hicks told the Journal after paying around $50 for four hours of online Fortnite lessons for her ten-year-old son. "You can imagine what that was like for him at school."
"I want them to excel at what they enjoy," Euan Robertson, another parent who recently hired a Fortnite coach for his two tween boys, said. Plus, Robertson added, there's an added safety benefit to his kids' Fortnite habit. "They’re not going to break a leg playing video games," he said, apparently unaware that the game can come with its own unique set of hazards.
Coaches charge anywhere from $50 for a four-hour lesson to $20 an hour and hire out their services on freelancing sites like Gamer Sensei, the Journal reports. Sometimes, the parents wind up taking lessons themselves. "The other dads I play with congratulated me," JD Giles said after he and his kids upped their Fortnite skills with a professional trainer. "I earned a little credibility with my son and his friends—and my wife and daughter made fun of me."
This is the world we live in, everybody. The planet may be dissolving into a hellscape, but we can all rest assured knowing that the next generation of our nation's leaders will have what it takes to pwn noobs online.
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