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Fortnite the latest gaming craze What Parents need to know

Image Credit: Epic Games

With over 40 million players worldwide Fortnite, Battle Royale is now one of the biggest gaming phenomenon’s out there.

It’s likely your daughter, sister, uncle or son is playing the brutal and colourful battle game with many players reporting they are ‘addicted’ to, as the Guardian calls it, the ‘mass online brawl’.

Fortnite Battle Royale is HUGE.  600,000 tuned in to watch Drake and Ninja play the game recently on Twitch and relationship issues due to addiction to the game have been reported all over the internet.   Though the tables have turned after release on mobile has attracted non gamer girls, with many guys saying their once disgruntled Fortnite-widow girlfriends have no time for them, now they’re busy with Mobile Fortnite’ J.

What is Fortnite Battle Royale?

It’s a fight to the death. With the winner being the last man or woman standing.  To survive players collect weapons and armory and build structures to defend or hide in while battling everyone else in the game.  Inspired by The Hunger Games and Battle Royale it can be played on X Box, PC and PS4. It’s also soon to be released as a Free version on smartphone, currently by invite only.

More on that later.

Kids (and adults) Fortnite because..

It’s free, great fun and you can team up with friends to form squads so it’s very social.  It’s also a great spectator sport. This has been harnessed by many Youtubers and Gamers whose fans spend hours watching them play!.

As I said it’s free, though there are of course upgrades. And everyone wants them.  You can pay extra to purchase coveted new outfits, play the next tier right now and get season passes.

Where it can go wrong.

The game is violent but not ultra or .  The weapons and battles are brutal. But no more so and perhaps less so than many games out there due to it’s colourful cartoon design.  But the main risk for children and young people are harassment and malicious comments from other gamers, of varied ages. Top Tip is to ensure for the younger kids that parental controls are on and that you have them set to inform you and control who they’re playing against. Best to keep it to people they know well offline. Also set time limits on the games. Each battle takes 20 minutes so if you set it for 30 mins to an hour they should get 2 games in. As with most games it’s designed to become addictive so they may get ratty if kicked off during a game. So just use your judgement

In the US Fortnite Mobile has caused uproar in schools with students and teachers.  Students report wifi problems as ‘everyone’s on Fortnite’, distraction in class and one teacher said ‘instead of socialising all they do is play Fortnite’. Maybe that is Socialising-2018 J. Either way it’s the latest craze to disrupt schools and homes and looks like it’s here for a while.

Parental Controls

Parents have a couple of options here.  If the game is being played via Xbox or PS system it’s always a good idea to set up the Parental controls on your particular device which can help with limiting the time spent playing the game as well as preventing purchases being made to advance the game.

On Smartphone’s ioS and Andriod if you use a third party Parental control solution this should be able to help with screen time management as well as limiting the time spent playing the game or indeed other apps  – many parental control apps allow Parents to allocate a daily time limit on games.

It’s also a good idea to ensure that on both iOS and Andriod ‘in-app’ purchases are disabled so you don’t get any billing surprises.  According to a recent article on 9to5Mac ‘Fortnite for iOS generated over $1M of in-app purchases during first 3 days on the App Store with game reaching the top of the App Store charts in 47 countries soon after its release.


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1447111624_label_blue_buyPosted By Wayne Denner

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