Fortnite is a free video game that has become wildly popular, with millions of people playing across multiple platforms. Its core battle royale mode pits up to 100 players against each other in a last-man standing showdown. It’s a technical heavyweight that can push even the best custom gaming PCs to the limit, yet it is also flexible enough to run on phones and tablets. It has a social element allowing users to play in groups of two or more, and is often broadcast on YouTube and other streaming sites by popular gamers and influencers. It can be highly immersive and is a big draw for kids.
While many parents understandably want their children to be able to enjoy games such as fortnite, there are a number of issues that need to be considered. In addition to the usual advice to monitor screen time and keep games in a shared family space, some kids can get absorbed by fortnite and need strict limits put on their access. The game is incredibly addictive and it can be hard to stop playing, especially if the user achieves a high score. It can also be very distracting for other family members and even a major issue for some children with ADHD or who struggle with social interaction.
It’s also important for parents to be aware that fortnite is a game that involves shooting other players and therefore does contain some violence. While the violence is cartoonish, it can still cause some upset in younger players. It’s rated PEGI 12 for frequent scenes of mild violence in the UK and the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rates it T for Teen, meaning it is only suitable for 13 year olds and above.
The fortnite business model is unusual in that it’s a free-to-play game that has an optional paid subscription called Battle Pass, which gives players access to a range of cosmetic goodies. While this approach is a common one in modern games, it’s worth bearing in mind that for some children it could lead to excessive spending on a game they may not necessarily need.
Epic Games have helped fuel fortnite’s success by partnering with popular content creators on YouTube and other streaming services to promote the game. This gives the game an advantage in terms of reach, and in return for promotion the creators receive a “creator code” which they can use when purchasing items in the game. This can be a significant source of income for some users and should be monitored carefully.