Millions of kids spent much of their summer on an island, running through fields, exploring caves, and building forts. They weren’t at summer camp, however. They were playing Fortnite Battle Royale. Since the wildly popular game was released last September, more than 125 million players around the world have joined the action.
But many people don’t think Fortnite is right for kids. Players shoot each other and win only after 99 other players in each game have been killed. The violence earned the game a rating of T (for Teen)—meaning it’s not suitable for kids under the age of 13. Plus, critics argue that kids spend hours at a time trying to win the game, which keeps them from doing more important things.
“Playing too much Fortnite can interfere with sleep, homework, and responsibilities,” says Sierra Filucci. She works at Common Sense Media, a group that reviews games, movies, and music to determine whether they’re appropriate for kids.
But others say there’s no harm in Fortnite, as long as kids don’t play too much. Fortnite fans point out that the game looks like a cartoon, and the violence isn’t realistic. Many people argue that taking part in Fortnite battles helps sharpen their problem-solving and team-building skills when players work together to find ways to survive.
“If you’re playing in duos or squads, there’s a lot of cooperation, coordination, and communication that needs to happen,” Filucci explains. “If you’re going to win, you need to have a strategy.”