Tutors for Fortnite? Parents have hired tutors for math, and tutors for chess, and now they are increasingly requesting tutors for the popular video game, says the chief executive and founder of Varsity Tutors, a nationwide online platform that connects tutors with students.
And they’re not just asking for it for the kids – they’re paying more than $50 an hour to learn Fortnite: Battle Royale themselves so they can engage in the social activity with their children, Varsity Tutors' Chuck Cohn says. “They’re so bad that it’s not really fun and their kids don’t want to play with them,” Cohn says.
Like many other video games, Fortnite involves a fight to the death, this time in a colorful, cartoonish setting. Competitors engage in games that can last up to 20 minutes each, playing in groups of 100 random players. Characters are running through terrain, hiding and trying to be the last player standing. Tutors teach, for instance, how to switch play between smart phones, gaming consoles and PCs, as well as tips, tricks and tactics to give players an advantage in the game, Cohn says.
Demand has skyrocketed recently since an article about the trend appeared in The Wall Street Journal, mentioning different tutoring companies and interviewing families using the tutors and spurring other media outlets to follow suit with their own stories, Cohn says. “People simply weren’t aware that this service existed to elevate your overall play level for video games,” Cohn says. Varsity Tutors is scrambling to figure out who among its 40,000 current tutors is capable of giving Fortnite lessons, Cohn says. “We’re getting an average of 50 to 75 inquiries an hour during the middle of the day and evening,” he says. “We are somewhat struggling to place people quickly.”
Erin Kozodoy, a reading teacher from West Babylon whose son Sean, 13, plays Fortnite, laughed when she heard about the idea of Fornite tutoring. “I think that’s a little weird,” she says. “I don’t think I would waste my money on that.”