Fortnite is a co-op game that is developed by Epic Games and according to Metro, it has accumulated nearly three and a half million players. This makes Fortnite Battle Royale one of the biggest games of the year so far. The game is so popular that the number one streamer on Twitch is Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins who has amassed more than 100,000 subscribers so far. Viewers pay a monthly subscription fee just to watch him play. But apparently, not everyone is such a fan of Fortnite as a mother recently went on ITV’s This Morning to describe how the co-op game changed her 10-year-old son.
The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where people fight to survive and only one person can remain standing. 100 players are parachuted out of a plane and only one person can be left standing. The game is rated for 12 years of age and up and is currently free of charge.
Suzanne Sellman and her son, Leo, appeared on the show to talk to hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about how the online game caused her to ‘lose’ her son. Suzanne claims that the game caused her son to find ‘normal life boring by comparison’ and that his moods have changed since playing the game.
In the interview, Suzanne said: ‘[Before Fortnite] He’d go up maybe for an hour and play, and then he’d come down and join in on the family. […] But then Fortnite came along—it is [for 12-year-olds] and Leo is nearly 11. I’m not super strict.’
Suzanne went on to explain how she noticed changes in his mood after Christmas, around the time that she bought him the game. ‘It took a couple of weeks. I’m strict with time, two hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I never had to enforce that with Fifa, but with this, I’d go up at 7.45pm and he’d be yelling he’s not ready.’ She continued: ‘I had to tell him you’re not acting the way you normally act. The game is so full of energy and adrenaline that when you pull them off, they’re screaming at the television; they’re hiding, they’re calling each other, they’re living in it with their friends.’
Leo said that the game has since been confiscated from him and he is glad to return to ‘normality.’ Leo said: ‘this game sucks you in and you don’t want to die, it’s just so exciting.’ He continued: ‘it’s fun, you can have your mics and talk and try to kill people and come first. [But] after a day or two I was like ‘this is kind of nice to not have it.’’
While some parents agreed with Suzanne, others offered a different perspective on the online game. ‘I don’t have any issues with both my boys playing Fortnite. They do their homework beforehand. They are communicating with friends, working as a team, troubleshooting, being creative, and quick thinking. My boys are 11 and 13. They enjoy it and at least I know where they are.’ Others agreed with that sentiment by saying: ‘you haven’t lost your son! YOU as a PARENT have not taken control of the situation and have not reinforced the rules to your son! Might I add I can imagine worse things your son could be addicted to.’
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