Central School in New Plymouth bans students from discussing Fortnite

A Taranaki school has banned students from talking about the online shooter-survival game Fortnite

Juliet Omrod, principal of Central School in New Plymouth, has told parents the school does not want students discussing the game while they're at school because of bullying. 

Problems among students at the school have stemmed from discussions around the game, Ms Omrod told Stuff. 

"We're not really banning [the game]. You can't ban it, but we're making parents aware of the bullying behavior that has been occurring because of it," she said. 

Parents of a number of schools in New Plymouth have been given information to help them understand how to deal with cyber-safety, New Plymouth Principals' Association president told Stuff.   

The game has been downloaded more than 40 million times since its launch last year - but its popularity has prompted a warning about the dangers of addiction.

The game pits 100 players against each other in a frantic fight for survival. 

Its popularity is so great the UK government has issued a warning about addiction, and that's prompted others to consider the dangers.

"Fortnite is really addictive because it's a free-to-play game and it doesn't make any difference if you play it for one hour or 100 hours, you're always going to get the same experience," says video games journalist James Jarvis.

Central School in New Plymouth has a filter on the internet so students cannot access the game.