Some parents are paying over £25 an hour for their children to be coached to play the video game Fornite.
While the hype to have ‘#1 Victory Royale’ pop up on your screen seems to have worn off a bit, there’s still many people who spend hours playing Fortnite.
A lot of parents no doubt get frustrated when their child is stuck in front of a computer screen for hours on end, and probably roll their eyes when they see the animated characters burst out into their victory dance.
The Wall Street Journal found that there are some people out there who are spending real money to help improve their children’s Fortnite playing skills, by hiring professional Fortnite coaches.
Now, I’m not exactly sure how someone comes to be classified as a ‘Fortnite coach’ – surely they’ve just played the game a lot? I think I know a lot of people who could, and would be more than happy to, take on that role.
One mother from Winchester hired a coach to train her son on the game in the hopes that it would help him improve, and alleviate some of the pressure felt to be good at the game.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, she said:
There’s pressure not to just play it but to be really good at it. You can imagine what that was like for him at school.
I suppose it’s only like fuelling a hobby such as football or dancing lessons – just, it’s the computer characters that are getting the healthy exercise, rather than the children.
The coaches usually charge between £11 and £26 an hour for the passing of their Fortnite wisdom, and were scouted by parents from social media, contracting sites, or even whole sites dedicated to coaching, such as Gamer Sensei.
I can imagine it’s all very Karate Kid. Move the mouse like you’re waxing the car. That’ll be £10 please.
Some of the parents who paid for their children’s Fortnite classes have bigger dreams than simply giving their kid bragging rights.
They have hopes that their children’s newfound skills will lead to them having e-sports careers, or a scholarship for university.
In some cases, parents are hoping the money spent on lessons will come back in the form of winnings from Epic Games’ $100 million prize for competitive playing.
Despite this almost acceptable reasoning behind the lessons, even the Fortnite coaches are surprised at the fact the parents are willing to shell out.
18-year-old Fortnite coach and professional gamer Logan Werner said:
My dad would have never paid for me to take video game lessons.
Mine either, Logan. The closest my dad came to helping me win a video game was when he’d complete the quidditch challenge for me on Harry Potter for PS2.
A lot of people have mixed opinions about this use of coaches for children, and took to social media to share:
Where do I sign up to be a Fortnite coach? I will gladly teach kids video games for $25 an hour #dumbparents
— T O (@toco_oconnor) August 1, 2018
Yo parents are actually paying for people to coach their kids in Fortnite, no joke.
— Eli (@elidmoney23) August 2, 2018
Getting super pissed off at the thought of someone’s kid asking for their credit card so they can hire a fortnite coach
— demi levato fan page (@filthyfaygo) August 1, 2018
However, the parents are defending their choices, insisting that paying for a Fortnite coach is the same as paying for private lessons in any other skill.
I bet they’re praying that their kids don’t get bored of the game as soon as a new one comes out. I’m sure they’d be regretting paying for those Fortnite lessons if their child’s school scholarship plan falls through…
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.