Is the Fortnite Battle Royale appropriate for kids 10-11 years of age?
I would generally say yes but as I often do for online thing, I'd say give it some careful consideration. The game itself would be fine for most kids in that age bracket, it's a common enough style of play for guns to start being of a stronger interests at this time. However, the communities of online games, which Fortnite is, can be much more inappropriate. Cursing, name calling, racial and gendered slurs, and even some fishing for personal information happen on occasion in many online gaming communities but I've not played enough of this one to see how they are on the scale.
I do know a lot of players use outside voice chat applications, which, like most online sign ups, request you to be 13 or older. I won't say require because almost everyone is terrible at acually enforcing it, but technically kids are supposed to be over the age of 13 for most kinds of content. Personally I wish more parents kept it in mind before giving the kids utterly free reign of their internet usage but I have no business telling parents how they should approach mostly arbitrary age limitations when raising their kids. As a caution though, I've had my friends have long term problems with hackers, identity thieves, and trolls because of low security password, information they've provided online, and so many other silly things, even as adults, so it isn't for no reason we try to limit kids exposure when they are younger.
So for online things I generally ask the question how people interact if it is an online thing. If it has an aim for children as a primary audience with it will often be fine, but otherwise I have to look into how users communicate, such as if it's through voice, text, or none. Also if the culture in the thing have a tendency to circumnavigate rules by using separate applications.
So for Fortnite, if it is for console I'd say go ahead with few reservations, but for a computer version just keep aware of how your child is playing it. Know if they are downloading additional things to play it and ask about who they are meeting and how they feel about them just like you would any new friends. And in either case, remember to set up some reasonable rules (I've got a few answers about that too. ) and that they are developing people.
The game is rated T for teen. The ESRB's defintion of T is 13+. So no, right?
Not exactly. The ESRB was built, by strangers for all the children in America. It might not be accurate to your children, or even use your same standards. In my experience, the ESRB is relatively harsh, so a T rating means the vast majority of 13-year-olds should be fine. Which probably means a decent fraction of 10–11-year-olds too. My recommendation is to watch some gameplay footage on YouTube and decide for yourself. Barring that, read Common Sense Media's description of the game. CommonSense itself gives the game 13+, but the parent ratings on their site say 11+, and the childrens' ratings say 10+.
And, of course, you could give the kids the game, and watch them to see if it affects their behavior outside of the game. Just keep in mind that games are rarely the sole cause of behavior problems, and they make a bad scapegoat.
That said, I played Metroid Prime (also rated T) at about 10–11 and I'm fine now at 18. It's actually pretty hard to screw up your kid by letting them play a video game.
At the same time, you know your children. I don't. Neither does the ESRB, neither does Common Sense Media. I'm just some 18-year-old guy on Quora.
My son is eleven and loves this game. He had become really good at PubG which is more realistic and age restricted and had won many times against adults of all ages. When he got a new XBoxX fortnite was the second game he asked for. It's been really great since all his friends play it and so his social interactions have been with friends rather than strangers which of course has many more real world social benefits.
I definitely concur with the others comments here, our gaming devices are all in public spaces and not in his room. There is no doubt that gaming is significantly better than TV and the more challenging and skillful the game, the more beneficial (in theory). I wrote a blog post about the 5 Life Lessons my son learned from playing World of Warcraft which has relevance to this question too...
Yes the game can be played by children of age 10+ but the problem is that, it includes online teams and other opponents in the game who are of different ages can communicate via voice chat. Hence, it involves usage of profanity. Thus making your child prone to swear words and more aggressive contents or languages. Explanation is given at Age Rating JuJu | Know What are the Age Rating for Movies, Games, TV Series, Videos and Web Series. Age Restriction reason - What and Why
Warning from parent of normally placid sensible 12yr old. After little playing, in game frustration with other players starts and becomes totally immersive, affecting behaviour. Yesterday after short period of playing anger resulted in child damaging LCD tv which is now unusable. After a period of reflection tv may be replaced, but not with Fortnite I'm afraid.
Age rating needs serious reconsidering or careful parent intervention.
As long as you mute other online players mics, yes. There is no blood. There are guns that you shoot other players with, but if you restrict a 10 or 11 year old from that, you're a pretty strict parent