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‘Fortnite’ Among Top Contenders for Children’s Word of the Year

Fortnite” was one of the top words used in stories submitted to BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show’s 500 words contest, an annual short story writing competition for children.

Though “plastic” was ultimately chosen as BBC’s children’s the word of the year, among the 134,790 stories submitted by 5 to 13-year-olds examined by Oxford University Press, “Fortnite” was named as one of the top “subjects that influenced children’s language,” along with unicorns and slime.

“Fortnite” has dominated streaming service Twitch since its release in 2017, and is the most watched and most streamed title on the site according to TwitchStats. The free-to-play “Fortnite Battle Royale” brought on even more players and is widely accessible to younger players likely because of multi-platform availability (including mobile devices) and the cartoon violence, mild relative to other popular battle royale titles like “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”  

Gaming related terms are seeping into children’s vocabulary more and more it would seem, as the use of the word “game” increased 66% in this year’s writing competition. Other terms like “console,” “noob” and “inexperienced player” also increased, with boys aged five to nine the most likely to use gaming vocabulary in their stories.

Along with such vocabulary, mention of gaming addiction also appeared in some of the short stories.

Despite “Fortnite” already being one of the most popular games with young players, it’s likely the fervor will still grow further, with the Switch version announcement coming up and the possibility of the title becoming a professional esport in the future.

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