Fortnite Frenzy: New Survey of Parents and Teens Reveals Concerns and Attitudes About the Video Game Everyone Seems to Be Playing

Common Sense Media/SurveyMonkey Poll Finds That One in Four Teens Has Played Fortnite During Class and Half of Teens Say Playing Fortnite Helps Them Keep Up with Their Friends

San Mateo, Calif. — December 6, 2018 — If you’re a parent of one of the millions of players of the enormously popular multiplayer third-person-shooter video game Fortnite: Battle Royale, you know that getting kids to stop playing can turn into a battle of its own. According to a new survey of parents and teens from Common Sense and SurveyMonkey, about a quarter (24 percent) of parents whose 8- to 17-year-old children play Fortnite expressed concern about how much time their kids dedicate to playing, and nearly the same number (28 percent) express worry over kids’ exposure to violence in the game.

This latest survey is part of a SurveyMonkey partnership with Common Sense to examine the most concerning technology challenges affecting kids and their parents and share actionable data and insights for families.

Other key findings:

  • Fortnite is super popular — but Instagram and Snapchat still have teens’ hearts. More than six in 10 teenagers (61 percent) say they have played Fortnite, coming close to the percentages of teens who say they use Snapchat (73 percent) and Instagram (74 percent), found in a previous survey from Common Sense and SurveyMonkey.
  • Girls play, too! (But not as much as boys.) Although teen boys are much more likely to say they’ve played (75 percent), 47 percent of teen girls report the same.
    • Daily habits. Of teens who play, about 22 percent of boys play at least once a day, compared to 9 percent of girls.
  • It might be more tempting than geometry. More than one in four teens (27 percent) say they’ve played Fortnite during class at school.
  • Swearing and harassment exposure. A third of teens (33 percent) say they’ve been exposed to inappropriate language or harassment while chatting with other players.
  • Fortnite = friends (especially for boys). Half of teens (50 percent) say playing Fortnite helps them keep up with their friends, 50 percent say it has helped them learn teamwork, 44 percent have made a friend online, 40 percent have improved their communication skills, and 39 percent have bonded with a sibling.
    • Boys are more likely than girls to claim positive benefits from playing Fortnite. Notably, teen girls are more likely than boys to say they have bonded with a sibling by playing Fortnite.

“At Common Sense we hear from many parents who are concerned about how much time their kids spend playing Fortnite, especially at the expense of other activities like school work, playing outside, or simply communicating face-to-face,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. “This collaboration with SurveyMonkey looks beyond the sensational headlines to understand what is really going on, so we can develop tips and resources for parents to help their kids develop healthy media habits.”

“Fortnite seems to have captured the imagination of a generation, and this poll provides essential context to understanding the implications of widespread usage,” said Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey. “Our data show the game is neither the destructive force parents fear nor as utopian as teenagers would wish it were. The actionable data can help demystify the game for some parents and navigate this new world with their kids.”

The results of the survey can be viewed at Common Sense Media. Along with the results, parents and educators can access tips and advice from Common Sense about Fortnite.

About SurveyMonkey

Founded in 1999, SurveyMonkey changed the way people gather feedback by making it easy for anyone to create their own online surveys. Today, SurveyMonkey’s mission is to power curious individuals and organizations to measure, benchmark and act on the opinions that drive success. The company’s People Powered Data platform enables conversations at scale to deliver impactful customer, employee and market insights. SurveyMonkey’s 750+ employees are dedicated to fueling the curiosity of over 16 million active users globally.

About Common Sense

Common Sense is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.

Press Contact:
Irina Efremova
irinae@surveymonkey.com
(650) 681-3464

Colby Zintl
czintl@commonsense.org
(650) 681-3464