Gamers go­ing crazy for Fort­nite

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY-NICHOLSON

IT’S de­scribed as Minecraft meets Hunger Games — a video game called Fort­nite Bat­tle Royale that has teens ad­dicted, par­ents con­cerned about ex­ces­sive screen time — and one group try­ing to ban it.

But there’s no deny­ing the game’s pop­u­lar­ity.

It al­lows you to se­lect an avatar that is parachuted onto an is­land where you must com­pete against 99 other play­ers to gather weapons, build struc­tures — and kill the rest to stay alive. But you can bust out a sig­na­ture dance move when­ever the mood strikes.

Cre­ated by Epic Games, Fort­nite was re­leased in July last year but it wasn’t un­til Septem­ber, when a sec­ond, free ver­sion of the game launched pit­ting player against player, that its pop­u­lar­ity sky­rock­eted.

The de­vel­op­ers make money through in-game pur­chases.

One Aus­tralian group is pe­ti­tion­ing the Aus­tralian Clas­si­fi­ca­tion Board to ban Fort­nite and has more than 918 sup­port­ers so far, ar­gu­ing it will cre­ate “the next gen­er­a­tion of vi­o­lent con­victs”.

Cy­ber safety ed­u­ca­tor Leonie Smith said the game was de­signed for chil­dren aged 12 and over, vi­o­lence is pre­sented in a car­toon-style and par­ents should decide whether to al­low their chil­dren to play the game.

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