From the editor
Whenever hysteria mounts over the latest online game, I imagine a retro pop cartoon, parents with mouths like gaping holes and furrowed brows and a speech bubble saying, “Honey, I’ve zombied the kids!” I know many people who have been enthusiastic gamers who turned out just fine. Excessive gaming is like excessive anything. I would no more allow my kids to sit in their bedrooms, gaming hard for hours, than I would let them eat chocolate for 18 hours or play football from 4am to midnight. Then I think about Steve Adams — arguably the coolest ambassador there is, pleading gently to parents in his book, My Fight, My Life: get your kids into a team sport — because it encourages empathy. He admits he might still be on the couch playing Xbox were it not for basketball — and his family’s encouragement, of course. I also recently heard political scientist Nicholas Tampio in a radio interview talk about how we’ve lost our bearings and that Fortnite is a violent online game that teaches terrible lessons. Screen time does not replicate vital life lessons. It doesn’t encourage empathy, he says. This week we talk to parents who are really struggling with the influence of games like Fortnite and we talk with the kids, who are on varying points of the obsession spectrum.