Fortnite gameplay among kids linked to friendly and positive behaviors

Certain pockets of society have been demonizing video games for decades, accusing them of everything from making kids stupid to increasing rates of violence. Actual research into gameplay among kids tends to turn up the opposite, however, with past studies linking video games to increased motor skills, improved problem-solving skills, and other positive things.Fortnite remains one of the most popular video games among kids, making it an ideal title for a newly published study. Researchers tasked 845 elementary school kids with playing either pinball or Fortnite, the latter of which has a unique blend of violence and cooperation among players. The kids were told they'd get $150 for participating in the study.

There are two aspects to Fortnite: it has violence, though without gore, and it requires teams of players to work together to win. The experts behind the study looked into whether playing the game would ultimately result in an increase in prosocial behaviors like friendliness rather than an increase in violence.

That was indeed the case, with Fortnite players who teamed up with a partner expressing a greater willingness to donate money and time compared to the kids who played pinball, a non-violent game. The same sort of prosocial behaviors were more greatly observed in Fortnite players who didn't play with a partner compared to pinball players who did play with a partner.

The kids in the Fortnite group also reported experiencing more positive emotions compared to the kids in the pinball group, potentially explaining why the benefits were seen in that group and not the pinball group. Though some questions remain, the findings indicate that violence in video games alone is not enough to judge whether playing the games will result in antisocial behaviors.