‘Idiot’ pro players accused of ruining Fortnite

Battle Royale: New challenges were released yesterday for the second week into season nine.

Season nine is here, with new worlds and challenges to explore. However, some players say the game has become too difficult and time-consuming to win. Is there any point still playing?

One hundred players. A horde of weapons. A whole world to explore. One objective: be the last player standing.

Welcome to Fortnite, the world’s favourite video game, with 250 million registered users. On 2 February this year, the number of people playing at the same time was bigger than the population of Portugal.

Some players are complaining that the game is now too hard to get close to winning. Gaming experts say there is a widening division between “casuals” (who play with their friends for fun) and so-called “sweats” (expert players who compete in tournaments) for whom Fortnite is a full-time job.

But perhaps the last thing players need is encouragement to spend more time online.

In 2018, at the height of the Fortnite craze, the World Health Organisation officially classed gaming addiction as a mental illness.

Just last month, a GP in Leeds prescribed a two-week Fortnite ban for an 11-year-old boy.

However, Julie Cook, whose son recently started playing Fortnite, argues that the social benefits of the game are being ignored. “Alex was playing with his mates, not against them, and they were strategising and planning as a unit.”

A losing game?

Is Fortnite getting too hard for casual players? Can Epic, the company behind Fortnite, pull off a balancing act and keep both young casuals and hard-core sweats happy? Or is the game heading for a split, and the loss of half its fan base?

And if young players desert the world of Fortnite, is that good or bad? Julie Cook calls Fortnite: “The childhood equivalent of a work team-building exercise” when played with healthy time limits. Should we lament that young people are learning to socialise in a digital world rather than in real life? Or celebrate that gaming no longer means sitting in your room, isolated?

You Decide

  1. Do you like Fortnite? Give your reasons why or why not.

Activities

  1. Design your own, brand new Fortnite map. Name and label the different regions.

Some People Say...

“Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about rock-n-roll.”

Shigeru Miyamoto, game designer at Nintendo

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Fortnite is a first-person shooter game that was released by Epic Games in 2017. It has more than 250 million registered users around the world.
What do we not know?
How long Fortnite can maintain its dominance of the gaming world. The number of Google searches for Fortnite peaked in March 2018, and have been falling ever since.

Word Watch

Standing
So that players cannot just hide in a remote area forever, the safe area of the map slowly shrinks over the course of the game, forcing players to keep moving, and inevitably bringing them into contact with each other.
At the same time
There were 10.7 million players online, a Fortnite record.
Exacerbated
To make something worse.
V-Bucks
Players can spend real money to buy V-Bucks, or earn them by completing challenges.
Skins
Outfits you can use to embellish your character in the game.

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