What is Fortnite? Why’s it such a big deal? Is it suitable for kids?
Fortnite is a co-op, multi-player, sandbox, survival/shooter game with close to 125 million people around the world playing it. One of the big reasons behind its popularity is the game is free-to-play. It’s also available on nearly every gaming device (Consoles: Playstation & Xbox, Desktop: PC, Mobile: ios & Android). A big draw of the game is also the social aspect. Players can interact and talk through voice chat. There are also team modes for co-operative play (e.g. 50v50, duo).
There have been some concerns surrounding Fortnite. In the past few months, there have been an increasing number of reports from parents, teachers, experts & psychologists of gamers (and particularly kids) becoming addicted to Fortnite. The appropriate age for for kids to start playing the game is also hotly debated – not just because of the violence, but nature of the online gameplay. Even if parents deem the game itself suitable, kids can still be exposed to profanity & verbal abuse from other gamers through voice chat. Some experts also warn of personal security issues, such as kids giving away information about themselves and where they live.
So, what is Fortnite all about?
Fortnite is set in an alternate version of earth, where a sudden, worldwide storm causes 98% of the world’s population to disappear. The remaining 2% are under threat of attack by zombie like creatures.
Fortnite has two main modes. The first is ‘Save the World’, a co-operative PvE (Player-vs-Environment – where humans fight computer-controlled enemies) that focuses on exploration, crafting items, crafting weapons, scavenging items, building fortified structures, and fighting waves of invading monsters. The ‘Battle Royale’ mode is by far the most popular of the two. 100 players are dropped onto an island from a party bus. They must find weapons, gather resources and fight to survive – all while fleeing an approaching storm as it closes in and gradually swallows the entire island.
Despite, being free to play, Fortnite has made hundreds of millions of dollars through selling Season Passes and a virtual currency known as V-Bucks. A season pass entitles players to several cosmetic upgrades/items/perks during a single season (these items only affect the look of their player, and not the gameplay itself). As of September 2018, Fortnite is currently in Season 5. V-bucks can also be used to buy individual cosmetic upgrades, such as special costumes, dances & gliders.
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