Fortnite is a very popular game that was released in 2017. There are 2 different versions of the game; Fortnite: Save the World and Fortnite: Battle Royale. Fortnite: Battle Royale is the version that is really popular with students.
What is Fortnite: Battle Royale?
- Fortnite: Battle Royale is a multiplayer shooting game available on console, PC, or iOS devices
- Gameplay involves a contest between many players. As many as 100 players can join in a single round
- Players fight each other until only one player is left
- At the beginning of each round, players jump out of a plane onto an island
- There are weapons and resources hidden around the island
- Players can arm themselves or use the resources they find to build a shelter for themselves
- Over the course of the game, the gameplay area shrinks so players are pushed closer together
- Players can chat with each other using headsets or text
- The reason Fortnite: Battle Royale is so popular with students is because silly humor is very much a part of the gameplay. Players can wear funny costumes and perform dance moves
- Friends can team up together in duo mode or squad mode
- Fortnite: Battle Royale is one of the first games to let players play together across most platforms. So, players on mobile can play with their friends who are playing on an Xbox
What is Fortnite: Save the World?
- Similar to Minecraft, the game play on Fortnite: Save the World emphasizes exploring and building
- The player’s objective is to stockpile resources and build shelters that will help them survive a zombie apocalypse
- In addition to building and exploring for survival, players can shoot at zombies
- Players can play with a group of friends
- Fortnite: Save the World is available on console and PC
Fortnite in the News
With more than 40m players worldwide, the chances are either your children or their friends are already passionate fans [of Fortnite]. For some, that fandom may well be bordering on obsession. –The Guardian
‘Fortnite’ Is Earning $1M A Day On Mobile, Players Are Spending More Time With It Than Tinder –Forbes
[Fortnite] is a high-tension game with the tantalizing prospect of a rare win every time, and forcing a kid to turn the game off when they’re in the top 5 will make you unpopular in a heartbeat. –Forbes
While there’s no blood or gore in Fortnite: Battle Royale it is absolutely not a game for children. It’s simply too violent and too stressful. –Polygon
Why should parents care?
- Fortnite is incredibly popular with students
- The developers add new features and play modes every week to entice people to play more
- Every month the game makes $100 million which means players are spending a lot of money on upgrades and additional features
- In addition to purchasing upgrades within the game (called Premium Battle Pass), a lot of players use 3rd party upgrades to make gameplay easier or to get certain upgrades. Some of these 3rd party upgrades have been reported as being malicious in nature
- Games can last up to 20 minutes and users typically play with strangers
- Fortnite is designed to keep players coming back which can be difficult for teens and tweens who haven’t yet developed a healthy relationship with screen time. Games like these can trigger obsessive behavior in people
- Students can come across profanity or inappropriate language from other players through text or voice chatting
- There are reports of hackers targeting Fortnite accounts to spend hundred of dollars on in-game purchases. Some players who have been hacked have been refunded the amount the hackers stole from the developers
- At the time of this video, the developers of Fortnite are suing a 14 year old player for cheating in the game and posting a video about it on YouTube
What parents say about Fortnite: Battle Royale
Minecraft Meets A Toned-Down Version of Call-Of-Duty
Fortnite has a Minecraft-like creative aspect, as players can build structures. Assault weapon guns are used to hunt people and shoot them dead, but there is no blood. Players are randomly assigned a male or female character. The female characters are over-sexualized with big chests, skin-tight clothes, small waists, and large rear ends. Also, be prepared for $25 in-game purchases (additional weapons, etc.) that your child will beg for.
This is THE game played by 13/14 yr old boys at my kid’s school
So this is supposedly the game the tweens and teens are all flocking to right now. I read the other reviews — harmless fun, cartoonish graphics, great strategy. That might all be true, but parents should know that many of your kids are up all night playing this game. All night, even on school nights. I believe they are doing real time chat via Discord when playing, which is likely how my kid knows his peers were up all night. It’s mostly kids who have computers in their rooms and few screen time limitations.
Source: Common Sense Media]
What can parents do?
- Be where your kids are. Use and be familiar with the apps your student uses.
- Check in often. Children are more likely to stay safe online when their parents check in regularly.
- Before giving them access to the game, teach your children to have a healthy balance when it comes to screen time and time spent offline. Set screen time limits before giving students access to devices
- Parents can turn off chat in the settings of the game
- If your student plays Fortnite on a console you can use parental controls to limit how much time they can play
- Consider using a visual timer, like an egg timer or phone timer, to track how much time your children have left to play
- Talk about spending guidelines with your children and ensure that they ask before downloading any new apps or making any in-app purchases
- Teach students to never share personal information with strangers online or on games
- Consider joining Parent University to get videos you can watch WITH your kids so they will learn how to be safe and smart online