Why Teens Should Abandon Fortnite For Multi Use Games AreasMonday, 6th August 2018 1:11 pm
Multi use games areas (MUGAs) provide a wonderful opportunity for young people to meet and develop their teamwork skills. Fortnite is a revolutionary new computer game taking the world by storm. Most parents will be familiar with their children sloping off and participating in combat games in the comfort of their own bedrooms. Both encourage team play in very different ways but do children forfeit their health and wellbeing while conquering a virtual world?
Fortnite is immensely popular with millions of children who share the battlefield with their friends. There is concern about the violent nature of the game and children becoming addicted to it. Apparently friendly characters, playground mode and restricting screen time is sufficient to allay these fears. The chances are this is another fad like Minecraft and Roblox and will run its course resulting in children reconnecting in the real world.
Multi-use games areas have been around for decades and will still be there for children to use after computer games lose their appeal. They provide the perfect opportunity for children to develop team building, problem-solving, social and cognitive skills. Children benefit from physical exercise which sets them up for good health in the future. Let’s compare Fortnite and multi-use games areas to see which is most beneficial to children.
Multi Use Games Areas
The whole purpose of multi-use games areas is to provide a meeting point for children and teenagers. They are present in school playgrounds, leisure centres and recreational areas where they are easy to access. Many different team games take place in MUGAS either under the supervision of a coach, teacher or as recreational play. They address the issue of disappearing playing fields and provide safe areas to enjoy team sports.
As well as the obvious physical benefits of multi-use games areas they also fortify children with important life skills.
All children and teenagers in particular benefit from social interaction. They learn how to form friendships, deal with conflict learn the pecking order and how to deal with different personalities. These experiences are fundamental for teenage development and dealing with the grown-up world. Social media distorts reality and allows them to hide behind different personas while the real world requires them to accept who they are. Younger children also benefit from social interaction and are able to develop their personalities so they enjoy new friendships.
Being part of a team gives children the opportunity to learn life skills including; cooperation, friendship, leadership skills, mutual appreciation, respect for peers and leaders, sense of belonging and social interaction. (Source: School A to Z). Children also discover the importance of commitment and not letting each other down. They learn resilience and how to resolve conflict amicably without holding grudges. These skills are vitally important in the work environment and in social situations as they get older.
The government advises us to participate in half an hour’s activity every day. This applies to any kind of physical activity including team games, visiting the gym, running, walking, in fact, anything that involves moving around. Kicking a football to each other or shooting a basketball is better than no exercise whatsoever.
Doctors claim physical exercise is the best medicine as it improves lung and heart health, produces feel-good endorphins and relieves depression. Being in the fresh air exposes children to vitamin D which is great for bone strength. Exercising young ensures children don’t suffer from obesity, form good habits and improve their lifelong health.
In terms of computer games Fortnite is top dollar, children are so addicted to it they forget to go to the toilet and eat. They often spend copious amounts of time sat in front of a screen and hardly move a muscle. They meet their friends online and play with each other without having to walk anywhere. Children learn many skills such as concentration, persistence and fine motor skills.
Computer skills are vital for future employment but are they enough to provide children with a rich play experience?
Children sign in to games so they are able to play together. It is available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PC and PS4 so it requires a device to play on. A new version known as Fortnite Playground allows four friends to play together. The chat facility involves voice chat and potentially exposes children to adults they don’t know (as do many games). Most of the time children play the game without communicating with another human being.
The aim of the game is to shoot characters and the teamwork element requires lots of people to shoot lots of other people. Which is apparently not as bad as it sounds because the characters are cute and funky. Your death signifies the end of the game and you start the whole procedure all over again.
According to studies sitting for a long time results in an early death. This is because your body essentially shuts down and goes into standby mode. You become less fit and your immune system weakens. Hearts and lungs weaken, muscle mass depletes and lack of vitamin D weakens bones. Aldous Huxley mentions a drug called Soma in his book, ‘Brave New World’. People just sat and enjoyed the effects of the drug and perished due to inactivity. The effect of Fortnite on children is very similar.
Looking objectively at the benefits of multi-use games areas and Fortnite there is no comparison. It is time for parents to hide the games consoles, switch off the Wifi and send their children to the nearest MUGAS or they will outlive their children.
If you would like to find out more about multi-use games areas please contact us and we would be happy to offer advice.