Are your kids obsessing about Fortnite? Have you seen costumes, clothing, music, or even dances in your Facebook feed about Fortnite? Wondering what this thing is? If you are a total newbie to gaming, or the world of Fortnite, this is a guide for you.

Fortnite is a video game that was first released in 2017. By 2018, there were over 45 million active players. There can be millions of people playing it at the same time. The game is colorful, cartoonish looking, and not very realistic, which makes it seem family friendly.

Most people who hear about Fortnite, who don’t play the game, hear about it through their tween age children, who enjoy showing off some of the various dances from the game. (Kids don’t have to play the game to learn the dances, many just come home repeating what their friends are doing).

Here’s a quick Youtube to get you caught up on the Fortnite dances:

Alright, hit me with the details about the game…

Fortnite is a third person shooter video game. A third person video game is one that puts the camera behind the character you are playing. Throughout the game, you can see your whole character’s body and you direct him on the screen. In a first person video game, the character is you, and the camera looks around at the video play as if from your eyes.

Call of Duty and Battlefield are well known first person games. Grand Theft Auto (GTA) and Assassin’s Creed as well known third person games.

This might sound silly to mention (or ask), but I’ll just say it. Is there a second person shooter game? In general, there are no second person shooter games. If, in a first person game, you can basically look through the eyes of the shooter, and in the third person game, you watch the character and control him but you don’t look through his eyes, then the second person shooter game would be viewing the play from the point of view of the bad guys who are getting shot (rather than the characters doing the shooting).

Where can one play Fortnite?

Fortnite is a game that is available on just about every console, and there is even a mobile version for Android and iOS. When I say “console” I mean all of the various game boxes, such as Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, etc. You can also play on your PC or Mac.  Yes, your children can play this game just about anywhere. At home on your personal computer. Even at school. You may want to consider whether it is a good idea to let your school aged child have access to Fortnite through their smartphone, considering how distracting it can be.

What happens in this game?

This is a game that mixes up a lot of the elements of Minecraft and survival shooting games. (Minecraft is also about gathering, surviving, and building). When you play Fortnite, you play a character in a world which has suffered an apocalypse (think zombies). As you play the game, explore, discover, gather resources, and build forts. There are also opportunities to fight the zombies, (aka “husks”) after you find and collect weapons and ammunition. You can play the game alone or in teams, and collaborate on a strategy.

When you first get started in the game, you work to set up and master your “home base.” Once you have mastered the home base fort (building, etc), then you go out into the more active portion of the game. Violence (shooting) is a key component to this part of the game. As a player, you utilize various firearms, electricity, spikes, and poisonous gas among other weapons to beat the zombie husks. There are generally a lot of explosions and cries of pain/suffering. The bodies of the killed zombies simply disappear. But in comparison to a lot of shooter games out there on the market, it is not particularly bloody or gory.

Free or paid?

When the game was first released, it was a regular pay for the game sort of game called Save the World (costs around $50). However, the maker of Fortnite later released a version of Fortnite called Battle Royale. This features 100 players in a match, where the last man (or woman) standing wins (makes me think of the Hunger Games in a way). You can play alone or in groups, and face off against other real people. The goal in Battle Royale is to utilize the Fortnite skills of building forts and collecting resources to beat the other players/teams. Funny enough, the play area shrinks during the match, so that the players must eventually confront each other. The free version of the game does have some paid features, such as character customization and “emotes” (meaning your character can do cool stuff like dance).

Fortnite Gaming as Entertainment

Fortnite is popular among gamers of all ages, even young children, though it is said to have “frequent scenes of mild violence.” It has received a ranking of “T” in the United States, which means that it is supposedly not suitable for persons under the age of 13. That being said, there are a lot of families who allow much younger children play this game, think kindergarten or even younger.

Fortnite is one of those games where the players can interact, and talk to each other. Parents who are reading this article should consider whether or not it is appropriate for their children to play this game without the supervision of a parent, because there are many opportunities for strangers to interact with them. Further, there are a lot of individuals in the world who do not edit their language, so there might be a lot of swearing during Battle Royale matches.

Not only are millions of people playing Fortnite, just as many enjoy watching it. There has been a huge surge in the practice of streaming gameplay live through personal websites, Youtube, or on Twitch. The biggest of these gamers is Tyler Blevins, aka “Ninja.”  It is reported that Ninja makes more than $500,000 per month streaming his Fortnite gameplay.

Makes you want to quit your day job and start playing Fortnite full time, doesn’t it?

For more a more in-depth review of Fortnite Battle Royale check out: https://thetechseer.com/fortnite-an-epic-battle-royale-review/ and also this article comparing the mobile version of Fortnite to the console versions: https://thetechseer.com/fortnite-mobile-2018/.

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