There has been growing attention in recent months around the multiplayer online game FORTNITE, and more specifically for young people the FORTNITE, Battle Royale version. To help support our parents and community the counsellors wanted to share some information and guidance about this game.
Players can currently play Fortnite: Battle Royale on a PC, Mac, Xbox, and PlayStation or download it from the App Store. Use of the game has grown rapidly amongst children and young people since the launch of the mobile game in March 2018. The game involves 100 players fighting each other in real time to be the final survivor.
There are many reasons why Fortnite has taken off with kids. One is that it combines two other genres that are big winners with young gamers. Another is that it has a more cartoonish look than some other more gory video games, so younger gamers are drawn to it. Kids can play with friends in Duos and Squads, creating a more social element and popular YouTube and Twitch gamers like DanTDM have also taken to playing the game on streaming sites. Plus, in the case of Battle Royale, it's free (although it does have in-app purchases).
Some kids aren't only playing Fortnite -- they're watching other people, including celebrities like Drake, play it on Twitch. Twitch is a social media platform for gamers where they can livestream themselves playing popular video games, including Fortnite. Livestreaming can be unpredictable, so make sure to check out which gamers kids are watching, and if kids say they want to livestream themselves, carefully consider the risks.
Feedback from young people is that the game is fun, social and helps ease stress. For our older students it seems to be an outlet to busy days in schools; however the concern is how balanced use is. As with any activity be mindful of how much time is being spent playing; have a open communication with your older children on what is a reasonable amount of time to play. For younger students please refer to the guidance below on some of the risks of playing Fortnite.