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Fortnite-mania is Runnin' Wild

Posted: 8:38 AM, May 31, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-31 12:38:46Z

Kids and even some adults around the country are being sucked into the video game Fortnite. The game's creator says there around 45 million people playing worldwide. FOX 47's Marcus Dash tells us why it has such a hold on them and what parents need to look out for.

At first glance, it looks like just another shooting video game. It's not. The thing that sets it apart from other games like it, it's low price of $0.

"You can just download and get into it. It's just super straightforward and simple," said MSU eSport Executive Director Chris Gelety.

Beyond the simplicity of the game, its cartoonish look is appealing to younger kids. Adding just another complication to the role of parenting for mother's like Tonya Harris

"I'll have stuff that I need to do around here and it's hard to get him off of it because he'll be actually in the middle of the game," said Tonya Harris.

Getting lost in any video game can be dangerous it can take you away from everyday interactions with your friends and family. Family therapist Travis Johnson says it can even affect kids in the classroom.

"Grades could also suffer if you have a really bad imbalance between spending a lot of time on the game and not spending it on grades," said Travis Johnson.

Johnson says it's up to parents to help kids keep that balance, by setting some sort of structure for children to follow. Something the Harris household takes seriously.

"During the week hours I try to keep him off of it at least an hour after his schooling, to make sure he is getting all of his work done," said Harris.

According to Superdata research Fortnite brought in $296,000,000 in April.  You may ask yourself how can that be since the game is free and has no advertisements?  There are in-game add-ons known as v-bucks that players can buy to enhance their gaming experience. Experts say this can be a problem.

"It is very quick and easy to spend $2.50 at a time that you don't really think about that, because it's only 2 bucks, but after you open 10 or 15 crates that adds up very, very quickly," said Gelety.

Harris says this part of the game is something that she uses to teach her kids the value of money and hard work.

"Whether it's him working for my business or doing some work around here, he is always doing things to earn his money," said Harris.

With summertime approaching, Harris anticipates there will be many fort nights ahead.

As of right now, Fortnite is available on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Apple devices. An Android version is scheduled to be released sometime this summer.