‘I play nonstop:’ Wildly popular ‘Fortnite’ video game has players hooked & parents concerned

Author: CBS New York
MGN via Facebook/Fortnite

There’s a growing frenzy over a new video game called “Fortnite,” where mass groups of players fight each other online to see who’s the last one standing.

The game has become so widespread and addicting, parents say they’re finding it hard to pull their kids away. Gamers are flying into the virtual world and staying there, sometimes for hours on end.

“Fortnite: Battle Royale” came out in the fall and has some 40 million players connected online. Justin Lopez is one of them, admitting he’ll play the game and avoid house chores with his mom.

“She’ll tell me to do the dishes and instead of doing dishes I’ll play Fortnite which will get her really mad,” he told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner. “I play nonstop, religiously, all the time. That’s how I connect with my friends.”

Up to 100 people at a time can play, killing each other off until only one is left.

“It’s like survival of the fittest,” player James Harrison said. “It’s like Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, Call of Duty, Witchcraft, but it’s a cartoon thing all in one.”

Hidden in the world are weapons like crossbows, rifles, and grenade launchers. Players have to arm themselves while exploring landscapes and buildings. The manager at the Gamestop in Huntington says he hasn’t seen a craze like this in nearly a decade.

“It’s fun for kids, for adults, it’s a team effort if you guys want to play with friends,” Angel Salazar said. “It’s a team effort, fi you guys want to play with friends, a squad of four, or if you wanna play solo. It’s you against 98 people. It’s insane.”

The game is free, however players can purchase costumes for their characters. Many who spoke with CBS2 admit they’ve spent hundreds of dollars.

Some parents say their children have become addicted, so to get them away from the screen they’ve resorted to bribing them with dessert or even hiding their remote and headset.

“If they’re there for 10-12 hours a day that’s a red flag,” parenting expert Tammy Gold said. “If they’re staying up late at night and breaking curfew, that’s a red flag.”

Gold says bribing is a bad idea. If your child sets off a red flag, take the game into your own hands and set the rules. Parents can offer time with the game as a reward for good behavior. If kids still don’t want to listen, they can resort to downloading apps that will shut gaming devices off automatically.

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