"Fortnite" and "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" may be causing issues in educational institutions

By Joe DeRosa

It seems that the influence of video games grows more prevalent every day, even to a point where it might cause concerns. 

This idea is evident with the recent success of player-versus-player games, Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. These two games have found massive appeal amongst people around the country. According to pcgames.com, both games have reached a combined total of 6.5 million reoccurring players.

"I play PUBG when I should be doing work, and I'm in college," said Chris Brachlow, a senior international business major at Quinnipiac University. 

The games, both released in 2017, require the player to survive in a combat zone against 99 other people. While each game has their differences, such as Fortnite's building mechanic and PUBG's use of vehicles, the end goal is still the same for both games. This result is something that people who frequently play the games admire.

At the same time, the games also have their issues.

With the release of Fortnite for mobile devices, as well as the upcoming public mobile release of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, people are growing concerned that these apps are becoming a distraction to people in educational institutions of all levels.

"It's addicting," said Steele Brogdon, a junior at Seawanhaka High School in Floral Park, New York. 

When asked if people in his school play the game, Brogdon said that "tons of them" do.

"Once you start playing it, you just don't stop," Brogdon added.

Elena Bertozzi, a Quinnipiac game design and development professor, believes that the distraction these students may have from the game could be fixed by removing cell phone use from class rooms. 

"I know that having students on their phones during class is incredibly distracting, which is why I send people out of the room if I see them doing it," said Bertozzi. "I think it is harder for high schools to deal with this problem. I think the only solution is to not allow cell phone use during class."

With the concerns of distracted students becoming more common, EPIC Games, the developer of Fortnite has responded to the matter. The company placed a message on the mobile version of the game's loading screen, which specifically reads, "Mr. Hillman says stop playing in class."

This was done after the company heard a teacher's plea to have the company create a message to his students after they were getting distracted in his classroom.

With this message now in the mobile version of Fortnite it is yet to be seen if the public release of the mobile version of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will follow suit.