Power company asks Epic to remove utility poles from Fortnite

Humza

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Computer games in general are a refreshing escape from the real world and its limitations, into a world of fantasies where our actions don't usually have any physical consequences, apart from sitting on the couch too much, in which case one's belly can serve as a base for a game controller and/or snacks. Games are mostly seen as an art form by developers and players alike and almost all of them do not expect anyone to imitate a game mechanic or a character's behavior in real life (Cosplay aside).

So, while Moms are now legally required to supervise Fortnite streaming sessions of their twelve-year-olds, who knew there was a looming risk of players going out and climbing utility poles like those in Fortnite.

Well apparently there is, according to Israel Electric Corporation, the nation's electricity provider, which has written an open letter to Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, requesting him to remove "dangerous content that encourages life-risking situations related to the use of electricity, such as climbing poles and public lighting facilities."

The letter mentions the game's title as "Fortnight," suggesting that the people who penned the document have yet to play the game or aren't that well exposed to the title. Games, after all, as a medium do have and take the liberty of forming their own vocabulary sometimes.

It could also be that since games are streamed as much as played these days, the content might influence some people into another Bird Box challenge. Different recipe, same result.

Though we doubt any Fortnite players out there have ever felt the urge to climb utility poles or do any other silly things from the game in real life, the advice given by the power company is sound and should be followed by everyone, Fortnite players and the rest. Epic has yet to respond to this development.

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
The concern is legitimate, particularly in this day and age where children, in the attempt to be cool and fit in can be convinced to do just about anything. Further exacerbated by disconcerting parents that simply don't watch out for their kids. Better still would be an alteration to the game to prevent anyone from climbing those poles but regardless of the approach Epic has some social responsibilities and if they refuse the courts would have every right to hold them responsible as contributors to any child's death that (a) had and plays the game, (b) imitates behavior seen by and taught by the game, (c) a company that is non-responsive and who's non-responsive behavior can be linked (by a&b) to behavior that resulted in death of injury.
Simply put, our corporations need to go back to being concerned for the effects of their products, services, etc and when they don't comply, they must be held liable.
 

gusticles41

TS Evangelist
This generation of parents is really not giving their kids enough credit. Ain't no one trying to climb effing power poles IRL because of Fortnite.
 

dangh

TS Enthusiast
So now we wait for a letter to Disney to not allow Spiderman swinging from the buildings, from a City Management Services, and so on.

Interesting that this company found that people can climb in the game so this is kinda dangerous, but ignored automatic guns and overall killing spree in there - apparently killing is acceptable, climbing - not this much;)

Still, I do appreciate the concern and general tone of the letter.
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Really? I get it... I really do, but parents are the first line of defense in making sure their kids know the difference between reality and entertainment and right and wrong. Perhaps this game needs to have a higher ESRB rating, not that any parents pay attention to that anyway. Unfortunately there are a lot of crappy parents out there.
 
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Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
Rumor has it that the Forestry Department at an illustrious Ivy League college is considering the possible placement of a request to remove all the trees.
(he, he, he)
 

elementalSG

TS Addict
I can only imagine what letters Rockstar Games' CEO got for Grand Theft Auto then, if utility poles are a problem in Fortnite.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
Well, considering we have people eating "Tide Pods"...can't blame them for thinking kids might mimic
the video game!
 

Gezzer

TS Enthusiast
The concern is legitimate, particularly in this day and age where children, in the attempt to be cool and fit in can be convinced to do just about anything. Further exacerbated by disconcerting parents that simply don't watch out for their kids. Better still would be an alteration to the game to prevent anyone from climbing those poles but regardless of the approach Epic has some social responsibilities and if they refuse the courts would have every right to hold them responsible as contributors to any child's death that (a) had and plays the game, (b) imitates behavior seen by and taught by the game, (c) a company that is non-responsive and who's non-responsive behavior can be linked (by a&b) to behavior that resulted in death of injury.
Simply put, our corporations need to go back to being concerned for the effects of their products, services, etc and when they don't comply, they must be held liable.
Better idea? Wrap them all in bubble wrap. Big kid or overly energetic? Lots and lots of bubble wrap..

I mean really? Really?!? Give your head a shake there man. Stupid people (which include stupid kids) are just that, stupid. It's virtually impossible to protect them from their stupidity completely and only stupid people actually attempt to. After a certain point you have to concede to darwinism and let the little buggers extinct themselves.

If you don't you end up with them posting drivival on a tech site instead....
 

Mighty Duck

TS Addict
Why don't get rid of the guns while they are at it. Kids could feel encouraged to start a real battle royale between their friends.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Tide pod challenge, are people really this stupid? No wonder most of the world is adhd. The stupidness of young people today is just amazing. Common sense is completely gone in todays world.
 

mgwerner

TS Booster
The author has not been around middle school students recently. A group who play games voraciously, are filled with the need to out-do each other, and have very little commons sense. While they might not be firing RPGs or driving into buildings to avoid the police, the are jumping off of high places and breaking things, parts of themselves included, because "It worked in the game."

I see games like this as Darwinian tools for improvement of the species. Get more of these into their hands earlier!
 

Wooty

TS Rookie
Remove guns, because this will teach kids to seek out a gun and kill people. Ban any vehicles, as it will teach kids how to perform a hit and run. And make sure you ban anything fire related, as fires can burn buildings to the ground. Oh, right, make sure to remove multiplayer as well because talking to strangers will teach them ideas that don't align with my own. Scratch all that, we should ban technology and go back to the dark ages.

Alright Epic games, did you get all that? Chop chop!
 

Wooty

TS Rookie
Tide pod challenge, are people really this stupid? No wonder most of the world is adhd. The stupidness of young people today is just amazing. Common sense is completely gone in todays world.
I like the tide pod challenge, it's getting rid of *****'s for me!
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
The concern is legitimate, particularly in this day and age where children, in the attempt to be cool and fit in can be convinced to do just about anything. Further exacerbated by disconcerting parents that simply don't watch out for their kids. Better still would be an alteration to the game to prevent anyone from climbing those poles but regardless of the approach Epic has some social responsibilities and if they refuse the courts would have every right to hold them responsible as contributors to any child's death that (a) had and plays the game, (b) imitates behavior seen by and taught by the game, (c) a company that is non-responsive and who's non-responsive behavior can be linked (by a&b) to behavior that resulted in death of injury.
Simply put, our corporations need to go back to being concerned for the effects of their products, services, etc and when they don't comply, they must be held liable.
I agree - from real-life experience.

When I was a child, my parents bought a 48-foot antenna tower for our TV antenna. I put it up, and the neighbors kids, then probably less than 10-years old, saw me climbing it. Then one day, I saw the two of them climbing the tower. While I admire the curiosity, I had to tell them to get off of it for their own safety.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Really? I get it... I really do, but parents are the first line of defense in making sure their kids know the difference between reality and entertainment and right and wrong. Perhaps this game needs to have a higher ESRB rating, not that any parents pay attention to that anyway. Unfortunately there are a lot of crappy parents out there.
Yet no matter what some parents say to their kids, the kids will have to learn that lesson for themselves. As I see it, children simply do not have the life experience to make decisions that come from wisdom, and no amount of teaching will necessarily impart that level of wisdom to a child.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
So now we wait for a letter to Disney to not allow Spiderman swinging from the buildings, from a City Management Services, and so on.

Interesting that this company found that people can climb in the game so this is kinda dangerous, but ignored automatic guns and overall killing spree in there - apparently killing is acceptable, climbing - not this much;)

Still, I do appreciate the concern and general tone of the letter.
One has to consider the source. You can carry a gun almost anywhere in Israel and people are taught how to responsibly handle them at an early age. Screw around with a firearm there and you will immediately regret it. Israelis live in an environment where a terrorist could try to kill you at any moment so their somewhat desensitized to the possibility. But kids are still kids anywhere you go and they'll try stupid things they see in the media. Thankfully this power pole issue isn't really a concern in America because most of our youth aren't healthy enough to climb anything.