What is Fortnite and why are parents being warned about its new 'strip' trend
With Christmas approaching, if you are a parent it is likely your child may requested the online video game Fortnite on their wish list this year.
The hugely popular apocalyptic survival game pits players against up to 100 others as they fight for survival on an island, crowing the last player standing as victorious.
The multiplayer game can be played on both Windows and Mac, and Xbox and Playstation platforms, and while it has amassed more than 125 million players worldwide, it has come under fire for its effect on youngsters.
Why is Fortnite so popular?
The game is free to play and allows you to play with multiple players from across the globe, battling a horde of enemy monsters, building forts and fighting for survival.
Originally released in July 2017, the game comes in two versions: Fortnite: Save the World (and Fortnite: Battle Royale.
Battle Royale is the more popular of the two, with more than 40 million downloads and allows players to buy colourful costumes and weapons, among other items.
The game has also gained popularity for its array of dance moves players can pull throughout, including 'The Floss', 'Llama Bell' and 'Electro Shuffle'.
Why is Fortnite controversial?
While Fortnite is a violent game by nature, it is not especially gory and parents' predominant concerns have instead been about the amount of hours children spend playing it.
As players are required to fight for survival until the bitter end, the game can become highly addictive and leave children feeling tired withdrawn after hours of playing.
Some youngsters have also racked up hefty bills after purchasing add-ons, which their parents have then had to pay off.
Should parents be concerned about Fortnite?
The National Crime Agency's Safer Internet Centre has encourage parents who have concerns about the game to play alongside their children, and have open and honest conversations about their life online.
Setting screen time limits is also an effective way to ensure your child isn't spending too much time on the platform.
Parents concerned about the violence should note that the official age rating from the Video Standards council is 12, with a warning of "frequent scenes of mild violence".
What is 'strip Fortnite'?
Parents are being warned of an emerging trend dubbed 'strip Fortnite', in which players of the online game are encouraged to take their clothes off on webcam.
The 'strip' trend invites users to remove their clothes when they achieve a kill (elimination in the game), but with the game having a user age restriction of 12 years-old, it poses a risk of indecent images of children being shared.
Middleton St. Mary's Primary School in Leeds issued the warning to parents on their Facebook page on Monday 26 November, advising parents and staff to report any inappropriate or unlawful contact with children online.