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August 02, 2018 04:38 PM

In an age where many parents are trying to limit their children’s screen time, the phenomenon that is Fortnite seems to be changing the game.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that some parents are paying professional gamers as much as $50 an hour to help their kids improve at playing Fortnite, a wildly popular battle royale video game in which 100 players are dropped onto an island and must fight each other to be the last person standing. 

The newspaper interviewed several parents who have hired Fortnite coaches for their kids. One mother from Winchester, England, told the Journal, “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.”

Some of the parents said they hoped their children’s Fortnite skills would lead to a lucrative career in e-sports, a college scholarship, or a piece of the $100 million prize money awarded to top players by Fortnite developer Epic Games.

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Even Fortnite coaches are surprised by the new trend.

“My dad would have never paid for me to take video game lessons,” Logan Werner, an 18-year-old Fortnite coach and professional gamer, told the Journal.

As of Fortnite’s one-year launch anniversary in June, the game had 125 million registered players.

Some of those players are the parents themselves, hoping to improve their skills so they can share in the Fortnite fun with their kids.

“Not dying in the first two minutes would be nice,” dad Adrian Luff told the Journal. 

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