Revealed: Crimes triggered by Fortnite computer game

Essex Police has revealed the incidents it has been called out to related to the Fortnite computer g

Essex Police has revealed the incidents it has been called out to related to the Fortnite computer game. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

It’s a computer game that has become a worldwide phenomena – and made one Essex teenager a millionaire.

But it has also been called "irresponsible" by Prince Harry who has said the game should be banned.

A request to Essex Police has now revealed the level of violence that Fortnite can trigger among players.

Since 2018 the force has had to deal with three offences associated with the game.

In 2018 Essex Police had to investigate one incident of common assault, while this year the force has already logged two incidents where letters or notes were sent with the intent to cause distress or anxiety.

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There are two versions of Fortnite, the most popular is Fortnite Battle Royale, which pits 100 players against each other in a fight for survival and the last man standing wins.

There are 125million people playing around the world on platforms including Windows, Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation - as well as mobile.

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The other version, Save the World, sees players working together to fight zombies after 98 per cent of the world's population was wiped out.

Published by Epic Games in September 2017 after several years in development the game is free to play.

Players can play solo or in small teams and fight your way through the game by staying in a constantly shrinking safe zone, while scavenging weapons and killing off rivals.

At an event at a YMCA in west London, the Duke of Sussex launched a scathing attack on social media and gaming - singling out Fortnite for particular criticism.

He said: "That game shouldn't be allowed. Where is the benefit of having it in your household?

"It's created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It's so irresponsible.

"It's like waiting for the damage to be done and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down."

He added that social media was "more addictive than alcohol and drugs".

But Essex schoolboy Jaden Ashman was over the moon after winning almost £1m at the Fortnite World Cup.

Jaden Ashman said he was happy to show his mum that he was not just wasting time in his bedroom when he would spend several hours playing the popular game.

He split $2.25million (£1.8 million) with his Dutch partner after the pair came second in the gaming tournament last month in New York.

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