Right now, if you walk down the halls of any school or browse around YouTube Gaming there are 2 games you will likely hear students talking about: Fortnite and PUBG. Both of these games are part of a new (and growing) genre of gaming known as “battle royale.” Without going too in-depth about gaming culture and the different mechanics or genres, in short, both games challenge players against each other in a 1 vs. 100, last-player-standing competition. Players can work as teams or on their own as individuals to win over the arena.
Recently, throughout our parents’ presentations we have seen an increase of parents and caregivers asking us questions and wanting our opinions on these games students are playing. Yes, there are guns, and yes there is violence. As we have always discussed, balance is key when it comes to gaming and ensure that content is age-appropriate and that it fits within your family values and ethics. If are wanting to read about whether guns and shooting are bad in games, that is not what this article is concerned about.
We decided to do a poll to our near-6,000 followers on our Instagram page asking students whom likes to play each game and why. We had a total of 828 responses to our poll inquiring about who plays Fortnite, and then 707 responses to our poll regarding who plays its competitor game, PUBG.
PUBG: 24% play, 76% do not play
Fortnite: 44% play, 56% do not play
77% of respondents prefer Fortnite and 23% prefer playing PUBG.
In these polls, we also asked for students to message us letting us know about these games from their own perspectives. Specifically, we wanted to know why they play, what they like, and what they don’t like. We have included the responses below to provide a new viewpoint and understanding on these games based on direct responses from our students. But in summary, here is what students are saying:
- For students who don’t like the violent parts of either game, they simply don’t play them
- Fortnite is much more cartoon-like and less realistic when it comes to the gun play/violence
- Both games require levels of strategy and planning to win
- Teamwork greatly enhances one’s chance of winning
- Fortnite allows strategic and creative building
- Since Fortnite is free-to-play, it can sometimes be more enticing
- Trash-talk and trolling happens in both games, though PUBG seems to attract a rougher crowd
- Fortnite being free to play makes money from in-game purchases, students are aware of this and some are concerned about getting sucked in to spending money
- With both games available to play on mobile, some students are expressing concern about others playing in class and being distracted
- PUBG is more realistic, more complicated, and requires more strategy
BIG thank you to Candace, our Social Media Coordinator, who organized all the polls and messages for this project.
Should there be any concern for adults? We think no, not really, as issues that exist in either of these games are in almost all other online games.
When we took the time to read and observe what is happening in these games, there are actually a lot of positives, like teambuilding, creative thinking, and strategizing. These skills are highly desirable and it is amazing how gaming can help foster positive human traits. Far too often adults and media organizations are too hasty to focus on all the gaming negatives and they often tend to concentrate on the abnormal or rare, sensationalized stories. Healthy skepticism should always be applied when evaluating the benefits of gaming. We recommending always ensuring the content of any game fits within a family’s core principles.
Games will always try to market and have students purchase in-game products to increase revenue. This is nothing new and this is how these companies make their money. Game developers use psychological influencers to entice further gameplay and they often successfully upsell players for updates and add-ons. There are stories of those who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on in-game purchases in other games. Or consequently, they ended up accumulating massive amounts of debt. These stories are few and far between, but they are helpful reminders of the persuasion that games can have to play for unhealthy amounts of time or to spend way too much money. There will most likely be stories like these with Fortnite and PUBG in the future. Don’t be alarmed at these isolated instances.
People will sometimes say some not-so-nice things, but this can happen in any other online environment. With these more fast-paced games, it makes it difficult to sustain violent communication. Our team is more concerned about aggressive communication in social media platforms over the dialogues in these games. When the game is over, you can play with entirely different people or log-off away from the game. With social media, the same people can routinely reconnect.
What We Recommend to Caregivers and Parents
Always ensure that there is a balance. These games offer wide skill development opportunities and all-round fun. From our perspective, any issues are minimal. However, do keep in mind a few things to make sure nothing less desirable may occur:
- For younger students with allowances, or even older teens who have part time jobs, keep an eye on their financial situation. Ensure that all their money is not going towards these games.
- If in-game purchases are happening, teach about financial responsibility, marketing tactics, and consequences of irresponsible spending.
- Don’t allow a student to play games online 24/7. Remember, there is more to life than video games.
- These are only games, being competitive is good, but watch for overly-aggressive language and behaviour
- Get the smartphone, tablet, computer, and gaming system out of the students’ bedrooms at night. These games are designed to keep players playing – bad idea for a student with school the next morning. Allowing access to play at night alone can lead to sleep deprivation issues and other behavioural concerns.
Videos games can offer a good venue for entertainment but can also help develop useful skills. However, moderation is key as unhealthy habits and behaviours lead to less than desirable outcomes. Games mixed healthy sportsmanship and a balance of offline activities is imperative.
Messages from Our Instagram Followers
DO YOU PLAY FORTNITE? WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT FORTNITE?
“It’s fun. There’s so many different things you can do.”
“I don’t like it because, it’s a killing game. And it’s not very friendly. It also gets people very easily addicted.”
“I like Fortnite because it is a good strategy game and you really have to think while playing it. I also like it because the producers of the game are always changing things and always keep the servers running smoothly. There is nothing that I don’t like about it. Oh, and it’s free so that’s really good.”
“I like the fact that it requires strategies in the way of deciding on which weapons are best for the current match up and the defense aspect. The thing that I don’t like about it is that all of the cosmetics are locked behind a paywall along with an XP boost.”
“It’s fun to play with other people.”
“Fortnite is a game where you and your friends team up and jump from a cartoon bus to kill cartoon people.”
“I like how it can get you to focus more and get creative with how you play. What I dislike is the lack of movement for your character and bad hit boxes.”
“I don’t play it, but there is still something I like about it. I like that they include well known characters. Like before it was John Wick and now it’s Thanos from Infinity War.”
“I play Fortnite and I like the “fort editor” (doors, make corners, etc) and if I made a base, I would put doors all around so I can escape a combat situation. I don’t like people hacking in the game. They have the time on their hands to hack the game to get certain abilities where you can just win the game easily.”
“I like how it is intense, competitive, and I can play with my friends.”
“I like how it’s such a simple concept and a simple game, but it’s still super fun.”
“I don’t play it, but I have seen videos of people playing it and it looks really cool! I like how it’s somewhat cartoony and you can dance and build in it.”
“I stopped playing Fortnite because I kept pooling in cash and in the end, it was pointless.”
“Free to play game, people are playing it, no pay-2-win system, accessible to everyone (Xbox, PS4, PC, Mobile), easy to play, battle royale game.”
“Well, it’s a game where it’s battle royale and there’s guns and you shoot people. However, there is something called duos and squads and in that you can talk to people and that may include hackers trying to do something because on duos and squads you can click “play” and it could put you with a random person.”
“I really like how I can play online with my friends and just relax for a while, but I don’t like the amount of people in the community of the game who always talk trash about how they’re so good and I’m not, etc.” “It’s all about choosing places to go and about teamwork.”
“I really like Fortnite because I like trying to figure out the best tactics of how to win.”
“I like that you can build and the game is addicting and the graphics are cartoonish.”
“I think it’s fun to play with friends, but the game has annoying glitches and hitboxes.”
“I do not like Fortnite because everybody plugs in a keyboard and mouse, ramp rushes you and 1 taps you in the head with their shot gun.”
“Fortnite is a change of genre. Video games used to be dominated by Call of Duty until this new game came upon. Fun colours, easy to learn, lots of teamwork, and just the sensation of winning!”
“I like competitive games and in Fortnite you’re competing for first place.”
“Fortnite is fun because you can build and strengthen your ability to think faster. One thing I don’t like about it is the movement inside of it.” “It’s fun and enjoyable to play. It’s like a “Hunger Games,” but a cartoon-ish feel to it.” “I don’t play it. Personally, I think it’s a waste of time but I do love the dancing!”
“I like playing with friends.” “Better anti-cheat than PUBG.”
“I like how you can develop strategy. There’s always a new way to play. The hard part is trying to snipe.” “I like that it’s animated and you could build virtually and skydive.” “I play it to pass time.” “What I like about Fortnite is the graphics and quality of the game. Also, the dance moves are hilarious and off things real people do. What I don’t like about it is the people in the “Fandom” or the “Community” because it can get extremely negative and stuff and it gets crazy fast at times but besides that it’s fun!”
“I mean it’s really addicting. The fact that you can also play with friends from any device. It’s also a lot less graphic than other shooters which I think is a good thing. It’s just overall addicting.”
“It’s easy to socialize with friends, but if you don’t want to play with someone you can just turn your status off.”
“I like competitive games and in Fortnite, you’re competing for first place.” “I like the general format and concept of the game, how you can build and battle at the same time. I have no dislikes.” “I like everything about it!”
“It’s super fun and addicting and I think it’s pretty hard to win so it makes it not good.”
“Fortnite is a complete waste of time. It is effecting students at school. I am in high school and I see boys playing Fortnite in class and then cheating to do work.”
“The realistic-ness provides a adrenaline rushing experience for both the veteran and the newbie. Quite a bit of cheaters… more than there should be.”
DO YOU PLAY PUBG? WHAT DO YOU LIKE AND WHAT DO YOU NOT LIKE ABOUT PUBG?
“It’s more realistic and it has more content.”
“I don’t like it because it’s less competitive.”
“Because you can kill people.”
“It’s fun. And when you win you get a chicken dinner.”
“I don’t play, but I used to.”
“I like it because you can drive vehicles and there is more scope variety.” “I play the game because I find it to be a challenge. I enjoy the strategy and precision it takes to win a game. I’m also good at the game so it’s fun to play.” “I like it because it’s fun and there are more weapons and you can drive.”
“Fortnite sucks PUBG is better lol.”
“I’ve played PUBG before. I didn’t really like it though, because the graphics were too realistic and hard to see the enemy players. Plus, the controls were a lot more complicated
“It’s really dumb and overhyped. Same with Fortnite.”
“Yes, I do, because PUBG is an amazing game and it may not be optimized perfectly how everyone would like, it’s so much more fun because the intensity, satisfaction of winning, and the fun experience you get with your friends are unachievable with that silly Fortnite game.”
“Fortnite is more fun and the people that play Fortnite are nicer than the ones that play PUBG.”
“I also play PUBG. It’s available for Xbox, PC, and mobile version. I play both PC and mobile. I like how you can drive vehicles and that there’s a big map. I also like having accessories to put on the gun and being able to speak to other people during the game. I have nothing to dislike about the game. It’s a really great game.
“It’s fun and competitive.”
“PUBG has more diversity and new content than Fortnite.”
“PUBG is more realistic. You can’t just run into a field and build a fort. You have to plan out where’s the next move and how you’re gonna do it. Communication is key. There is a lot of hackers that’s the down side.” “I’ve played PUBG before. I didn’t really like it though, because the graphics were too realistic and hard to see the enemy players. Plus, the controls were a lot more complicated than Fortnite.”
“PUBG is a better game in nearly every way. It is only less popular as it’s way less accessible than Fortnite.”
WHICH ONE IS BETTER? WHY IS ONE BETTER THAN THE OTHER?
“Fortnite, ‘cause Fortnite is more popular.”
“There are more characters to choose from in PUBG.”
“They’re both great games, but I think PUBG is better because it provides vehicles to drive and accessories to put on the gun.”
“I think Fortnite is better than PUBG because Fortnite is more cartoon-like and I just generally am more relaxed and have more fun playing it.”
“Fortnite has a better anticheat serverside. And a better config for battle eye (client side).”
“PUBG has better graphics.”
“I like PUBG better but I play both. I like it better because it’s grittier and more tactical and realistic than Fortnite.”
“I don’t play video games. They’re not healthy.”
“I like PUBG better cause of the realism and I feel like it’s more simple compared to Fortnite.”
“I like Fortnite cause everyone is bad at it so I get easy chicken dinners.”
“Fortnite is better because there’s more interesting stuff and you can get new characters/skins and you can get cool add-on things. Also, the graphics are wayyyyy better.”
“PUBG is more competitive, realistic, and strategic than any other battle Royale games right now.”
“I have more friends on Fortnite and it’s free.”
“PUBG is better for the realism and vehicles, as well as the community that plays it.”