If you're never heard of the game Fortnite, that's OK - you're probably an adult with tons of things to do. But one mum has warned of the dangers of the game after she claimed it had changed her ten-year-old son.
Leo's mum was on British breakfast TV show This Morning telling Phil Schofield and Holly Willoughby about how the PC/console sandbox survival game had changed her son and made him less social.
CHECK OUT THE MUM DISCUSSING FORTNITE ON THIS MORNING:
She explained that Fortnite had made him start ignoring family time in favour of being sat in front of his XBox, with the game's constant energy making him find normal life boring in comparison. Sounds like most ten-year-olds to me.
"Before he'd go up for an hour to play Xbox then he'd come back down and join in with the family," she said, explaining that she let him play it even though the game has a slightly older age rating. "But then Fortnite came along, it is 12s and Leo's nearly 11, I'm not super strict."
"It took a couple of weeks," she said. "I'm strict with time, two hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I never had to enforce that with Fifa, but with this I'd go up at 7.45, and he'd be yelling he's not ready."
WATCH THE FORTNITE: BATTLE ROYALE TRAILER BELOW:
Leo's mum said she was forced to sit Leo down and explain how playing Fortnite so regularly was altering his behaviour for the worse.
She has now confiscated the game from Leo, who told Holly and Phil that once he got used to it it actually 'kind of nice not to have it'. The kid seems to have taken it fairly well.
"I had to tell him you're not acting the way you normally act," she revealed. 'The game is so full of energy and adrenaline that when you pull them off - they are screaming at the television, they're hiding, they're calling each other, they are living in it with their friends.
"When they try and come out of it everything is boring, it can't compete."
Credit: Epic Games
Leo's predicament is not unusual - according to Business Insider, Fortnite is so popular that after just six months, it was briefly the most-watched game on game-streaming platform Twitch. It's currently second. Amazingly, 3.4 million people were playing the game at exactly the same time at one point in February.
The most popular version of the game, Fortnite: Battle Royale, is an alternative mode of Fortnite, a co-op sandbox survival game in which players band together to survive in the wake of a worldwide storm - a cross between Minecraft and Left 4 Dead.
Similar to other battle royale games, in Fortnite: Battle Royale players battle inside the eye of a storm, a space which gets increasingly smaller as time passes, forcing characters to move closer together rather than hide. With matches hosting up to 100 players in one go, that's a pretty packed space.
However, the most addictive part of this game is the construction element. When players land on the island they carry nothing but a pick-axe, forcing them to mine materials and build traps and barriers themselves.
Equally, though, anything players create on the map can be destroyed. A wall? A ceiling? A building? You name it. Apparently thinking you're safe, only to have someone blast through the ceiling you just built with a shotgun is commonplace. Death from above, indeed.
Credit: Epic Games
While that means that absolutely nowhere is safe, players can magically conjure walls out of nothing in front of them. That means that games are more based on silly, surreal fun rather than horror. No wonder spectators find it so fun to watch, and kids like Leo find it so fun to play.
Viewers of This Morning didn't seem impressed by Leo's mum's parenting, suggesting that she didn't take control of the situation properly.
"I can imagine worse things your son could be addicted to..." one said, suggesting heroine and cocaine. Yep, those would be pretty bad.
"Imagine thinking a game like Fortnite is endangering your child..if you think it's really a problem maybe don't let a kid play a game that has a certain age rating or you know.. be a parent and take control of the situation," another added.
All in all, the game sounds incredibly addictive to play. Maybe we should get around to playing it even if Leo can't.
Featured Image Credit: ITV/This Morning