In this month’s blog I want to again talk about gaming but specifically about gaming for children, young people and adults, and about the new craze known as Fortnite. I will go through, briefly, what is gaming, what is Fortnite: some of the effects Fortnite has had upon children, young people and adults, and how this has affected their families: parents, significant others, and friendships. I will also give my top 10 tips to gaming safely online and finally, share with you my own views of gaming.

As you may know already, I have previously written a blog on gaming, and if it can be associated with violence. If you would like to read this blog, please follow this link –

What is Gaming?

Gaming is basically playing video or computer games whether it be on a console such as Play Station / X-Box or via a PC or laptop. Gaming is a hobby of many people worldwide and people ‘game’ each any every day. Gaming can be done both on and offline depending on the game being played. Games such as FIFA offer an online and offline game mode where as some games such as RuneScape only offer online gameplay. The term gaming originated as a synonym for “gambling” although now most electronic games today do not involve any gambling in the traditional sense. Gaming is mainly done as a hobby but there are also professional gamers who take part in competitions on their selected games to win prize money and compete for trophies for their team and/or self. These teams are known as Esports teams or if they are an individual an Esports player.

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is known as an apocalyptic survival video game which is by far the most popular game in the world at this moment in time. Fortnite is available to play both online and offline. The online game mode is where the popularity is; more enjoyable and it’s FREE. It is available to play and download on many platforms such as Play Station, X-Box, Windows PC’s, MAC, IOS (I-phone) and Nintendo Switch.

It pits up to 100 players against each other, on an island full of different locations for players to fight for survival, until there is only one person left standing who will be the winner and get that “victory royale”. The game mode is known as a battle royale. This mode can be played solo, in a duo (teams of 2) or in a squad (teams of 4).

It’s bright and cartoon like graphics prevent the game from descending into bloody violence, but it has still caused parents and even politicians to voice their concerns.

Released in July 2017, the game has become increasingly popular with over 40 million people downloading it worldwide. While the game is free, it does contain ‘in game purchases’ such as emotes which the character can do, i.e. performances: such as dances and can acquire different ‘skins’ that alters the characters costumes and appearances.

As mentioned earlier, the aim of the game is to stay alive as long as possible, whilst eliminating all other players until you are the last one standing. The average game lasts around 20 minutes dependant on your length of survival, and ultimately winning or coming second place.

Producers, Epic Games, also bring out limited time modes and new weapons via weekly updates, which are also free to keep players entertained and wanting to play more. Along with the new game modes and weapons come more skins and cosmetic items: such as ‘gliders’ (used to fly into the map) and emotions. These are not free and come in different levels of rarity from rare to legendary. The higher the rarity the more they cost. Fortnite use their own currency known as V Bucks which are purchased through in game store on the console or device it is being played on. There are different packages in which V Bucks can be purchased ranging from £7.99 for 1,000 V Bucks up to £79.99 for 10,000 V Bucks and 3,500 bonus V Bucks. The most expensive skins on the game cost 2,000 V Bucks which is around £16.00. There are so many skins available that if you wanted to get them all you would be spending thousands of pounds


The official age rating the Video Standards council have given is 12+ for “frequent scenes of mild violence” but while the game is violent it is not gory. It is also well known that many children under the age of 12 are playing this game, as it can be so easily accessed, and it is free.

Anyone downloading the game can simply lie and state they are the required playing age, by entering a fake date of birth without any proper checks taking place.

Although it may seem Fortnite has been very successful in terms of profits, the game has been at the centre of many controversial stories world-wide. I will now be going through some of these stories, and the repercussions upon all those involved.

Boy 10 uses mom’s bank card to spend hundreds on Fortnite but didn’t realise it was ‘real money’

In September 2018, a disabled, single mother was left with no money when her 10-year-old son spent more than £1,000 on the game Fortnite using her bank card. The mother from Cefn Glas, Bridgend, Wales, was left with an overdraft bill and no money to pay for electricity or food after her son spent a total of £1,193.25 on the online video game. It is believed the money was spent on ‘in-game purchases’ such as the skins and other cosmetic items I mentioned earlier in this blog.

The mother was completely unaware of any spending until she checked her bank account. Cleo (mother) was quoted saying the following; “I only found out about it all when I went to use the cash machine and there was only £8 left in my account.” Cleo only picks up £700.00 a month in benefits so you can imagine the sheer shock she received when she then received a text message from the bank to state she was into her overdraft. Cleo then stated “my son started crying and admitted everything he had done. He had used my bank details behind my back, typed the details into his X-Box and bought lots of games on Fortnite.” All this spending left Cleo £245.00 into her overdraft, which would lead to her having to pay back even more for the overdraft usage.

If you have been affected by a similar experience, or know someone who has, you can get support from services including The AoC / The Arts of Change by emailing at or telephoning: 01384 211168. Alternatively, you can join an excellent international online support forum. ( It’s only £5.95 for the year but well worth it.

Contact has been made to Fortnite developers Epic Games, but Cleo was still waiting to receive a response when this article was written. If you would like to read more about this article please click here –

Fortnite Player Arrested After ‘Threatening to Shoot’ 11-Year-Old Child

A 45-year-old man by the name of Michael Aliperti from New York was arrested, after allegedly threatening to shoot an 11-year-old child who beat him at the game. He was charged with second-degree aggravated harassment and acting in a manner to injure a child. The threats were sent online via messages and voice messages. Quotes from the messages were: “I am going to find you with a gun,” he allegedly said. “You dead. I will come to your house tonight and f**k your world up.”

You can read more about this article by clicking this link-


Fortnite may have caused 200 divorces this year alone!

According to, a UK based site that provides services, advice and an online community for people facing the end of their marriages, it has received over two hundred divorce petitions since the start of 2018, that identify an addiction to the popular video game Fortnite as one of the causes for couples separating.

The game has obviously caused a serious breakdown in many marriages, due to time spent playing the game instead of focusing on family life. It also proves that adults are becoming addicted as well as children.

If you are having troubles with your marriage or relationship please join our support forum for only £5.95 for the year and discuss your problems with others as well as seek advice from our professional team –

Lack of communication, and lack of shared interests as well as a plain lack of attention showed will always cause problems in relationships which is why it is very important to monitor the amount of time playing games in general, and not just Fortnite. If you would like to read more on this article please click here –


Fortnite game craze is putting children at risk from online paedophiles

The National Crime Agency has warned that children are at risk when playing online: as chats can take place during and in between games. Many mums and dads may be aware that it is so easy for this to happen, as Fortnite can match you up to 4 complete strangers to team up and play with. The selection is completely random, unless you invite your own personal friends to play. You could be matched with any online person playing at the same time from anywhere in the world.

As the game is very popular with children and teenagers, it could easily be targeted by online paedophiles looking to make contact, as there is a messaging chat that cannot be turned off, meaning all sorts of messages could be sent with no way of stopping them – whilst in game.

It is important that all this information is shared, so that all parents and carers are aware of the risks when children and teenagers are playing online. If you would like to read more about this article please follow this link –

Scouse mom’s furious reaction as pervert tries to groom son on X-Box game Fortnite

A mom from Liverpool, was left furious when she heard a man speaking with her son online whilst playing Fortnite. The man was apparently trying to groom her 12-year-old son through his in-game chat, via the X-Box console. The mom said she “felt sick to her stomach” when she heard the man’s voice propositioning her son; while he was playing on his game.

The man started to ask for naked pictures of her son whilst online playing the popular Fortnite. The man was also heard stating he would pay £50.00 for the 12-year-old to perform a sexual act on him and said to the youngster to “die slowly”.

When asked if he felt it was wrong to be speaking to a 12-year-old in that was the man replied “no, I don’t care.” Her son believed the man was one of his friends after they added one another on the console. To continue reading this article please click here –


Fortnite obsessed primary school kids ‘acting out’ violent scenes from video game “causing other children to get hurt”

Totley All Saints School based in Sheffield have issued a warning to parents after children at the school were hurt when recreating violent scenes from Fortnite. They were said to be copying the video game, where they were battling to be the last man or woman standing. The head teacher Karole Sargent, wrote an urgent warning to parents on the school’s website to state the game had a rating of 12+ meaning none of her pupils should have been playing the video game.

Karole Sargent stated, “The game has frequent scenes of violence which are often acted out at school, causing other children to get hurt, as well as some children to feel left out if their parents do the right thing of not allowing them to play it until they reach the correct age. Aside from the legal issues, research by child and educational psychologists shows that playing violent video games can become addictive leading to conflict within families & is also associated with real life anti-social & aggressive behaviour.”

To continue reading this article please click here –


“Fortnite made me a suicidal drug addict:” Dad saves son 17 from death plunge after he gets hooked on video game.

A 17-year-old boy says hit game (Fortnite) “sucks you in” and turned him into a debt-ridden, drug addict.  He found it “terrifying” that younger kids were also online playing the game.

The boy attempted suicide after the big hitting game Fortnite turned his life into a nightmare. Carl Thompson, 17, spiralled into debt and a drug addiction as he spent almost all his time playing Fortnite mainly in 12-hour stints.

Carl hardly ate or slept and says he was “miserable and unable to function.” A few months after playing, he decided there was only one way to escape. Carl tried to jump to his death from his third-floor bedroom window. Luckily, and by chance, Carl’s dad saw him as he was about to leap, and thankfully pulled him to safety. If you would like to get help with depression, anxiety or have suicidal thoughts, or know someone, you can contact The AoC/ The Arts of Change: or email: or alternatively, you can easily join the international support forum:

Read more about this article by following this link –

Schoolgirl Fortnite addict in rehab after wetting herself because she didn’t want to stop playing.

The 9-year-old girls’ parents told how she was admitted into intensive therapy, after being hooked on the game. The primary school pupil, would secretly get up in the night and play Fortnite until dawn, and neglected to go to the toilet when needed, as she could not bear to leave the TV screen; was psychically violent towards her father when he tried to confiscate the gaming console, and was dozing off in class due to her night time addiction to the game.

Experts are concerned that she is one of many children at risk of developing mental-health problems as a result of over exposure to the fight-to-the-death scenarios.

Over 40 million have downloaded the game since it was first launched in July 2017 (statistic as of June 2018) which has sparked a record number of digital addictions. To read more on this article please click here –

Scam Shame – Police warn over Fortnite game as fraud victims lose £146.00 each on fake V-Bucks.

Yet another fresh warning has been made to parents, as concerns about the addictive, cash-grabbing game grows. Police have warned parents about ‘scammers’ who are targeting people, especially children who play Fortnite, as they entice them into buying fake V-Bucks, which I mentioned earlier – are used as gaming currency to buy different ‘skins’ and ‘emotions.’ V-Bucks are purchased with real money, and then used to purchase in game extensions in the form of outfits etc.

Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting service. Action Fraud is the place to go to get information and advice about fraud, as well as to report fraud. Action Fraud have stated that gamers have handed over thousands off pounds to scammers in the last year alone (2018).

Action Fraud says it has received 35 reports of Fortnite-related fraud between April 2017 and March this year. The losses totalled an incredible £5,119, which works out at an average of £146 per victim. The police fraud agency says the reports are made “mainly by parents on behalf of their children”. It usually happens when an addicted youngster follows a phoney link for “free V-Bucks.” If you would like to continue reading this article please click here –

Parents hire $12-per-hour Fortnite coaches for their kids to make them better at the game and stop them being bullied at school.

In The USA, parents are reportedly getting coaches for their children as young as 6-years-old to play Fortnite proficiently. According to some parents, there is a pressure on children and young people to be good at the game.

Most coaches cost around $50.00 for a four-hour session, which are carried out in one successive online session. Many parents have begun hiring coaches now to help their children improve at Fortnite, so they do not get bullied in school. Parents are doing this out of worry. One parent who is funding a coach for her 10-year-old son stated, “there is not only a pressure to play but also to be good at the game.” Some parents have also hired coaches to help them learn the game, so they can engage more with their children who are obsessed with Fortnite.

If you would like to read more about this article please click here –


The Success Stories of Fortnite

I feel it is important, not only to highlight the negative news and articles surrounding this extraordinarily popular game – Fortnite, because it has also been at the centre of a lot of good and motivating stories, which I am now going to share briefly below, as well as some other views about the game, before sharing with you my own personal views.


England World Cup Squad Bond Over Fortnite Computer Game

It is no secret that England had a successful World Cup campaign by reaching the semi-final before narrowly losing to Croatia in Russia. In between games and training the England squad had taken their console’s to Russia to play Fortnite which helped a lot with their team bonding. England stars such as Dele Alli & Harry Kane all played the popular, hit game whilst in Russia and have since streamed the game online via Twitch.TV.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli claims to boast the best record on Fortnite claiming to have over 100 wins which means he has spent quite a lot of game time on Fortnite where as some of the other players were new to Fortnite. Dele Alli stated, “we play in teams, so it definitely brings us together. Everyone gets on well. We do a lot of things together.” England manager Gareth Southgate encouraged his players to bond to create a unity that was missing from previous England squads. If you would like to read more on this article please click here –

Ninja – The Record Breaker

Richard Tyler Blevins also known as Ninja or NinjasHyper is an American streamer and internet personality. Ninja became a streamer back in 2011 streaming games such as H1Z1, Halo and Player Unknown Battlegrounds (all similar games to Fortnite). He then began to stream Fortnite regularly which saw his viewership grow along with the game’s popularity. In September 2017 he had around 500,000 followers on streaming site Twitch.TV. Within 6 months that number grew by a huge 250% and in March Ninja went on to set a Twitch.TV record for a single individual stream whilst playing on Fortnite after he hosted a game with celebrities Drake, Travis Scott and Juju Smith-Schuster who are all fans of Ninja’s gameplay of Fortnite.

Later in April 2018 he broke his own viewer record during his event ‘Ninja Vegas 2018’ where he accumulated an audience of 667,000 live viewers. Ninja has over 17 million YouTube subscribers as of September 2018 and earns over $500,000 a month from streaming Fortnite as well as any tournament winnings he may gain in the process. Richard Tyler Blevins gives great credit to Fortnite and the creators Epic Games as they offered the free-to-play business model as a growth factor for both him, other streamers, aspiring streamers and their game. Blevins has since announced a sponsorship deal with Red Bull Esports and became the first Esports player to be featured on the cover of ESPN the magazine. The dedication and time Ninja has put into Fortnite to become the best has paid off for him as he is by the far the most popular streamer world wide and is now see as a role model for many children, young people and aspiring professional streamers.

If you would like to read more about Ninja’s success story please click here –

Image result for fortnite ninja

Fortnite Summer Skirmish Series

Epic Games created an event for all the worlds best Fortnite players to take part in throughout the summer. The event was known as Summer Skirmish Series which ran over 8 weeks taking place on a Saturday night UK time. All the best Fortnite players such as streamers Ninja, Nick Mercs and many more took part in the competition which paid out a total of $8,000,000 over the 8 weeks to the participants. All participants would win something out of the $8,000,000 but obviously the higher the leader board position the bigger pay out they would receive. Players would score points for different reasons such as the below;

  • Winning the game (Victory Royale) +3 points
  • 2nd-3rd place +2 points
  • 4th-10th place +1 point
  • 7+ eliminations/kills +3 points
  • 5-6 eliminations/kills +2 points
  • 3-4 eliminations/kills +1 point

The winner of the Summer Skirmish over the 8 weeks and the biggest earner was MORGAUSSETV who won a whopping $225,000. Epic Games have now started another tournament which is known as Fall Skirmish Series which is the same concept but with even more money up for grabs. I feel this is something positive as it benefits those who have put a lot of time and effort into the game to become one of the best & they get to take part in one of the biggest gaming events as well as potentially win some life changing money.

The event has also led to streamers such as Nick Mercs creating their own tournaments for his viewers and subscribers on Twitch.TV where he gives away prize money for the participants. I believe this gives people a good incentive to become well skilled at the game. You can see more about the Fall Skirmish Series and its current standings at this link –

Image result for fortnite summer skirmish

Why Playing Fortnite Has Helped my Relationship with my Son

An article written by a 30+ year-old mother explains how the game Fortnite has helped her bond with her son by learning how to play along side her son. She states that she now quite enjoys the game and understands the appeal. It has helped her, and her son hold a conversation rather than just a quick response such as “that’s nice.”

Catherine Phillips wrote the article back in May 2018 and since then Fortnite has grown and become even more popular. She stated she did not play for reasons such as getting a ‘dub’ which is a win but to get some idea of what the game was about since her son spoke about it a lot. By playing the game they had more common ground to start a discussion and spend time together. Catherine will be in a minority of moms who play the game but feels it is a good way to bond with your children or loved ones as well as see what all the fuss is about.

If you would like to read more about Catherine’s views of Fortnite and how it helped her relationship with her son please follow this link –


10 Top Tips to Staying Safe & Well When Gaming Online



My Views on Fortnite

I use the website Twitch.TV, where gamers stream their favourite games as well as ‘real life’ streams. They can cook dance, or just speak with viewers about a certain topic. Twitch.TV is where I first heard of and saw Fortnite gameplay, as you can see a list of the most popular games that are being streamed and in the words of Cilla Black, ‘Surprise Surprise’ Fortnite was top of that list, and by some distance. Just in case you’re not aware of who Cilla Black is, she is a famous actress, singer and TV presenter from Liverpool, England famous for shows such as Coronation Street and as mentioned Surprise Surpise. I usually watch streams on games such as FIFA or Call of Duty, but something made me click onto one of the Fortnite streams to see what others were watching.

At first, I didn’t see the appeal, but I then found out Fortnite’s online game play was free on my console (Play Station 4). I then started to watch the game a lot more; seeing what I could learn before playing and eventually downloading Fortnite. I started very slowly, as I found the building mechanics difficult to get used to. In the Call of Duty typed games – you couldn’t build to protect yourself, so I was used to ‘running & gunning’ as gamers call it which is a phrase meaning you run around a lot in game rather than holding down one position.

I continued to play for a good while before I started to get the hang of it and got eliminations (kills in the game) consistently before I finally got my first solo win. It felt like a big relief, as I had been trying so hard for a while to achieve this. I did feel good and it gave me a sense of achievement that I survived longer than 99 other people in the world and won the game. From there, I wanted to achieve more and pick up wins on a regular basis, but this became harder as the skill level of other players also rose. I did play Fortnite as my ‘main game’ for a good couple of months, but only for an hour or two per day. I did however, find myself wanting to complete the daily and weekly challenges regularly, which meant I sometimes spent more time than planned to try to get these challenges completed. They would differ from day to day, and week to week such as getting eliminations and a certain location, and so on. By completing these challenges, you would receive experience points (XP) which helped towards levelling up, as well as stars which helped progress the battle pass which then led to new costumes, emotions and much more accessories for the game. The battle pass is purchased in game which players then earn XP towards to level up the battle pass which then leads to more items such as emotions and costumes being unlocked to use in game.

As time has gone on, more games have now been released such as FIFA 19 and Call of Duty Black Ops 4, which are two of my favourite games to play, so I’ve found myself playing Fortnite less now, although I do still find it enjoyable. The Fortnite community is still as popular as ever, and despite all these new games coming out it is still the most popular game to play and watch. I feel Fortnite will be around for a long time to come as developers Epic Games are always updating the game and adding in new content to keep players interested and it still remains free to play online.

I do, however feel that physical time playing the game should be monitored and limited for children and young people, as it could interfere with family and friendship interactions, school or college work if they spend too much time playing, and this could then lead to tiredness at school as well as a lack of concentration leading to work not getting completed, and potentially bad grades.

I have also been guilty of playing games too long. There have been times in the past when I was at school or college and as soon as I got home I turned on my console and sat playing games until it was time to go to bed. I did this whilst eating tea, with no breaks, apart from using the toilet. Luckily, I didn’t do this too often and still managed to complete all my college and school work, but had I not, I could have been less stressed instead of sometimes rushing to get work done. My mom would complain and call me a ‘Gremlin’ as I sat on the edge of my bed playing constantly.

I do think games can also lead to violence and anger although I do not feel it is the only reason, and there are deeper reasons to this anger or aggression. I too have got angry when gaming as I am one of the worst losers you can imagine. I have never gotten angry towards a loved one or friend by lashing out or shouting at them, but when I was younger I became so angry within myself for losing against the computer player (artificial intelligence / AI) that I burst into tears, and banged my controller against my bed. I still to this day hate losing, no matter what it’s at; whether it be connected to football, in either a league or cup match or even in training: between my own team mates. I even used to play dominoes for my dad’s pub team against the older generation, and really hated losing against anyone. I get this from my dad, who’s a bigger sore loser than I am! The below image is a well known dance from the Fortnite game known as ‘Take The L’ which is used to taunt your opponent once you have eliminated them or beaten them in game. This dance has become very famous world wide and is even being done by professional footballers such as World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.

Although it is very worrying that children and young people can be matched online with complete strangers, this cannot only be blamed on Fortnite alone, as there are hundreds and thousands of other games where this can happen also. I think for parents and carers, it is important again to monitor who your child or young person is playing with, especially if they are speaking through their headset to strangers – as this would then allow them to engage in more of a conversation. It is possible that private messages can also be sent via gaming consoles. So, be sure to check that children and young people aren’t receiving any suspicious or harmful messages. If they are receiving messages or playing with a stranger who seems suspicious, a player can be reported to the console maker such as Sony or Microsoft, or blocked by you so they can no longer contact or play with the child or young person.

Although most people playing online will prove to be harmless, there are stories and some proof that online predators do exist. There are gamers who have been playing games before online gaming ever existed on consoles such as the Sega Mega Drive, Game Cube and many more.  These gamers have had to adapt to the new gaming consoles as they have gotten older and technology has enhanced, so they may not want to play with strangers online and would prefer to play alone which in some cases and on some games is not always possible. To expand on this point, I have some quotes from a colleague of mine who stated the following;

“I’m not much of a gamer myself though there is one game that I play daily which is ‘Forge of Empires’, even though I’ve just turned 40, I wouldn’t like to consider myself as an older gamer, but I guess I am, as I don’t have much knowledge or even play any of these games that younger people do. I found it interesting that the game I do play is also predominantly played by an older age group, most of the players in my team are older than me. I think this is mainly due to the game style, which at times can be longer (I have been playing FOE for over 3 years now) than a lot of other quicker format games. FOE is about developing a city over a prolonged period, slowly building resources and supplies, and increasing special buildings that can continually grow with no upper limit and requires a lot of patience.

I know several parents with young children that play these games (i.e. Fortnite) because it offers them a way to engage with their children, and to bond with them. I feel the main reason for this is due to a lack of other parenting skills.

As well as that, there is the flip side that I refer to as the ‘Peter Pan effect’: there is the older generation that as kids themselves, grew up when computers were in their early days of the Amstrads, Sinclair’s, Commodores etc. Those people of that generation I feel still play computer games – as a way of keeping in touch with their childhood and use it as an escape from adult life; very much like Peter Pan as the boy that never wanted to grow up.”

I do think my colleague makes a good point regarding ‘The Peter Pan Effect’ as I also feel people who have been gaming ever since the days of consoles such as the Amstrad etc will like to continue gaming to receive a sense of nostalgia and youth. I feel that they should be able to do this without being mocked or potentially labelled as a predator for playing with the younger generation online. Although, we must still be vigilant when letting our children and young people play online as some will be targeted and could be easily manipulated and exploited in more ways than one.

Finally I think it is good to see parents and carers learning about Fortnite to forge a stronger bond with their children and loved ones although it is equally as important to find the right balance as other discussions and activities need to take place for your relationship to blossom further. By playing with your child and learning more you are also able to keep a closer eye on them when gaming meaning you will see who they are playing with or talking to when online and how harmful this could potentially be.

As mentioned, Fortnite Battle Royale is FREE to play online and can be downloaded or played on many consoles and computers. It can be downloaded from the play station store and X-box store by simply searching for its name and downloading. It can be found on laptops on computers via Steam which is a separate download you will need to have first. This can be obtained simply searching ‘download Steam’ on Google or other search engines. Physical copies of the game can also be purchased from some retailers such as Game, Argos and Amazon. I have also linked in a video the basics of how to play Fortnite so you can see for yourself the gameplay and potentially learn should you want to –

Please note that the above video was recorded back in September 2017 so the Fortnite game will now have a lot of changes such as different weapons, map layout and locations. Fortnite updates weekly and throughout its seasons so changes to the game are common.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gaming related issue such as addiction then please do not hesitate to contact The AoC who can offer multiple ways of support from 1-1 sessions to support and advice via our international online forum. You can contact us on 01384 211 168, or 

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and feel free to leave any comments you have have as well as stories you would like to share. I will also be interested to hear if you have tested Fortnite by playing online.

Many thanks. Bloggie Ben.