Fortnite is a great game, and it being on mobile is fantastic. Except that the primary target of mobile games is teenagers. Which is great for Epic Games, but not so great for schools. It appears tons of schools have become overrun with students playing Fortnite and destroying the school’s wifi network overloading it with instances of the battle royale shooter.
As Kotaku reports:
Many schools have rules against cell phones, but judging from posts on social media, nothing can stop students from booting up the ruthless shooter. Everyone is playing it, teens say, so schools have tried to ban it. It’s a huge enough problem that some schools are reportedly having Wi-Fi problems as teens try their best to survive the battle royale through shared networks. People are fighting over the game, or they’re ignoring schoolwork. In some schools, it’s all Fortnite all the time now.
Playing games in school instead of paying attention to the teachers or doing their homework is something teenagers have been doing since the dawn of handheld consoles. However, Fortnite is a slightly more disruptive beast because it’s free to play, most every kid has a cell phone, and it’s great to watch even if you can’t play well. Spectating Fortnite is so fun, the game has held the top spot on Twitch for weeks. Because Fornite is such a social game, it has combined the forces of video games and social media to create one massive in-school distraction machine.
According to Kotaku:
According to Nick Fisher, the teacher with the Fortnite mobile confiscation bin Tweet, part of what makes Fornite so viral for kids is that its culture is tied to social media. Players feel compelled to talk about Fortnite with other people, to make their prowess public.
“When you mix in the fact that you have to Snapchat every ‘dub’ (win) you get or Snapchat your friends losing it merges two of the biggest distractions in school…I would say Snapchat is a bigger issue than games. But Fortnite marries the two of them into a monster.”
Phones are enough of a neccesity that students can use them during designated times, like lunch breaks, but there’s still some marvel over how much Fortniteis taking over student’s lives. “[My] school allows phones during the lunch breaks and instead of socialising all they do is play Fortnite,” said high school teacher Priscilla Cullen.
And if that wasn’t enough, Fortnite has managed to quickly rank up to the top tier of the iOS download charts, making it a teenager’s most wanted game, while also existing on teachers’ most wanted list for entirely different reasons.