'Fortnite' Ban? Women Demand Action as Game 'Brainwashes' Their Boyfriends

A popular petition website has been hit with an increasing number of appeals for Fortnite—the popular "battle royale"-style game—to be banned, outlawed and boycotted because it is either intensely irritating or frustratingly distracting.

While most are obviously tongue-in-cheek, as noted by Metro the sentiment is clear: many have begun to blame the game for stealing their loved one's attention. It probably doesn't help that the title was just released for iOS and Android, meaning everyone can now carry it around in their pockets.

"Our crushes, significant others, and/or siblings have been corrupted by this game," petitioner Ana Gonzales pleaded with Fortnite's studio, Epic Games. "It is the cause of the ending of relationships, friendships, even the cause of losing yourself!

"Hours and hours in front of the TV, screaming and playing, being completely unconscious to their surroundings," Gonzales continued. "Where is that text back?"

In another, titled "Delete Fortnite," Iria Diaz wrote: "Ladies, aren't you tired of your man taking forever to text you back because he's playing Fortnite? Let's get this s--t deleted." In a third Change.org petition, headlined "Get rid of Fortnite", Chloe DePalma had a similar appeal. "Girls have to deal with their boyfriends playing it all day and ignoring them," she stated. "Together we can stop this dumb game from existing. It's taking over our boyfriends' lives and brainwashing them."

Luckily for Fortnite advocates around the world—and there are now millions of them out there—none of the petitions have gained much support on the website. In February, the game beat its closest rival, PC giant PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, in player statistics for the first time, reaching a massive 3.4 million concurrents.

To academics, its popularity is due to its engagement (a winner-takes-all set-up which pits 100 players against each other until one remains) and while it may be annoying for some, the jury is still out on whether it can be considered addictive, as some critics suggest. Andrew Reid, a researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University, told BBC News in March that the game actually had "positive characteristics."

Reid claimed that to suggest it was truly addictive "would be to stigmatize the medium as an evil to our society, despite a growing portfolio of video games and research that reinforce the positive characteristics of play and interactivity." For now, Fortnite is constantly being updated and Epic Games shows no signs of slowing down its development—no matter how many boyfriends, wives or partners it ruffles.

Fortnite Vending Machine gameplay
Here’s what a ‘Fortnite’ Vending Machine looks like in-game. Epic Games/DooM H1GGSY @ YouTube