Primary schools are warning parents that video game of the moment, Fortnite, could be affecting their children’s education.
Earlier this week details emerged of a girl of nine being admitted to rehab after becoming so addicted to the latest must-play game she wet herself to keep playing.
Her horrified parents have revealed how their daughter is now in intensive therapy after getting hooked on the fight-to-the-death game.
Over 40 million have downloaded the game since it was launched last July. The game’s most popular format is the Battle Royale in which 100 players fight each other until one is left standing.
But now education experts are warning parents that the compulsive game could prove to be a distraction to children at school.
According to The Mail several schools across the country are issuing guidelines to parents about restricting their children’s game play.
The publication reports that in an email to parents, one head, who runs a primary school in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, wrote: “Unfortunately discussions around this game are being brought … into the classroom which is distracting children from their learning.”
Another school in Bristol told The Mail that children as young as seven were playing the game, despite it having an age limit of 12. A post on the school’s website said: “We’ve heard some of our children, including in Year 3, are playing a game online called Fortnite… if your child is playing this game talk to them and make sure you know what they are doing.”
The warnings come as MPs are considering introducing laws which could see companies fined for failing to police video gaming age restrictions.
A quick scroll of parenting site Mumsnet reveals dozens of posts from parents discussing the pros and cons of Fortnite and games like it.
Earlier this year a mum took to the forum after believing her son’s behaviour had changed after playing the game.
“Since getting it about 10 days ago he has got in trouble for ‘threatening’ other kids with plastic knives and saying ‘die die’,” she wrote.
While some parents agreed that was worrying, others didn’t believe the game was to blame.
“It’s really not that bad. I’ve played it with DS and he’s certainly not going around threatening other children or talking about blowing peoples heads off!” one parent wrote.
“Erm, that is very worrying behaviour and I’m not sure you can blame it on a computer game. My children have played this game from the age of 10 and not reacted like that,” another added.
For parents worried about their children playing Fortnite and other video games, Dr Hackett, founder of cyberbullying charity Ditch the Label, has compiled some tips to help children stay safe.
Yahoo Style UK has contacted Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, for comment and will update the article if we hear back.