The high popularity of Fortnite among students caused enough concern in Australia that one school there recently asked parents to ban the game at home. The school fears that its students are too young to play such a game, leaving them open to online predators.
Fortnite is a co-op sandbox adventure game that allows players to form teams to survive a post-apocalyptic Earth ravaged by storms. It’s currently very popular, particularly with younger gamers, and reached 1 million players as of August 2017. It offers up a battle royale style of combat, meaning that it’s a free-for-all where players kill or get killed. Players also engage in creating weapons and forts and are encouraged to do so with the help of their team.
According to GoTo.game, a school in Sydney, Australia sent the following note home with its students:
“I just wanted to highlight a concern that we have with the boys playing a game called fortnite. Although I have not heard it mentioned in __ many Year 5 boys are playing it at home. This game does not allow for messaging to be turned off so the boys are accessible to hundreds of online strangers. The game is played in teams of 4 so can be quite addictive as the boys feel they are letting their team down of they are not playing.”
Setting aside the typos and bad grammar, the letter also seems misinformed. One of the concerns is about messaging, but the game actually does allow players to turn that off and block it. The game even has a profanity filter that allows control of what words kids see when playing. Perhaps encouraging parents to check out these settings on the game, rather than calling for an outright ban, would make more sense.
However, this seems to follow a trend of people who really hate how popular Fortnite is and wish for it to just go away. One petition popped up on Change.org that called for a complete ban of the game. It started out as a joke, but then people signed the petition with serious reasons the game should end. Some complained about the game’s unending violence. Others complained that it was just too popular and they were sick of it. Some hated how much of a cash and grab it was. Some just really seemed to hate the game in general. In total, over 7,000 people have signed the petition to date.
What’s even funnier, though, is that the person who created the petition hated the game, but then started playing it and updated the petition in defense of the title:
“It was originally made as a joke and Initially i hated fortnite but i started playing It and it’s actually kinda fun.”
Although Fortnite’s growth has slowed some, the game itself doesn’t show any signs of stopping soon. Players still remain engaged with the title and keep up with its updates. This remains the case even in spite of Sony refusing to allow crossplay of the title on the PlayStation 4. Whether people like it or not, it seems that Fortnite is here to stay.