'Fortnite' frenzy takes over gaming world

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Action News Investigates: Fortnite frenzy: Chad Pradelli reports on Action News at 11 p.m., February 26, 2018

There's a new video game shattering records and leaving parents wondering how to pull their kids away.

Young brothers Sam and Jack Rostin are just two of the many who can't get enough of Fortnite.

"You can build forts and get weapons," said Sam Rostin.

Jack Rostin said, "It's just like a cool game to play."

The Rostin brothers are often glued to their TV screen, at all hours of the night.

"I tell him at least once a night 'Jack, put it away,'" said their father Michael Rostin.

Fortnite is a game where players try to survive against 99 other players - think a video game version of the Hunger Games movie.

The game has more than 45 million devoted fans. And earlier this month, it broke the record for players playing at one time, at 3.4 million.

Frank Lee is the founder of the game design program at Drexel University. He says the game's popularity is tied to its simple concept and to the fact developer, Epic Games, is constantly providing updates.

So players like Sam and Jack have something to look forward to every time they turn on the game.

"The other critical reason it's so popular is streaming, the rise of streaming," said Lee. "What I mean is people watching other people playing games."

Dr. Jesse Suh treats gaming addiction. He says parents need not panic if their child is glued to Fortnite or any other game.

"These games are very engaging," said Suh. "They pull you in."

Suh said they simply need to set boundaries to make sure gaming is not affecting other parts of their life, like interacting with family and friends and ditching school work.

"When that gets impaired, that's when one should be worried about the gaming overuse," he said.

Action News reached out to Epic Games to discuss the game's popularity, but the company has yet to return our messages.

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