‘Strip Fortnite’: Everything you need to know about the trend

Fortnite is currently one of the most popular online games out there and receives a lot of its
publicity through videos posted on YouTube of influencers playing the game. As it becomes more
and more popular, it also becomes a more competitive market to have a presence in for
YouTubers. Due to this, many of these influencers join in on new trends, desperately trying to grow
their subscriber base and get more views. ‘Strip Fortnite’ is one such niche trend which has
emerged lately.

What is ‘Strip Fortnite’?

Strip Fortnite is a way of playing the game in which a player (usually male) and a companion
(usually female) play a normal match of Fortnite. However, for every kill the player manages to get,
the companion has to remove one item of clothing. The ‘strip’ concept is something that has been
applied to other games in the past and can essentially be applied to any competition-based game
so there is nothing new about the phenomenon. But what makes Strip Fortnite stand out is the
immense following it has received on YouTube and social media.

Why has it become popular?

As mentioned, the Fortnite video landscape has become increasingly competitive as the game has
become more and more popular. By producing videos with a niche angle, YouTubers increase
their chances of gaining more views and subscribers. At the same time, by implying that the videos
are of a sexual nature, viewers are tempted to click the video out of curiosity.

However, the YouTube guidelines state that pornographic content is not permitted on the platform
and the videos therefore never actually show any real nudity. Viewers are drawn in by provocative
thumbnail images and titles and led to believe they will be shown a strip show. The guidelines also
specify that thumbnail images should be appropriate to the content shown in the video as to not
mislead viewers but most publishers who make these kinds of videos tend to ignore this.

When viewers play the video, they will often find that either the player’s companion is wearing a
ridiculous amount of clothing, or that the video is rigged so that just before the underwear is
coming off, the player will be “interrupted” by someone walking into their room or otherwise
shutting down the session. Unfortunately, these videos often receive millions of views and are
rather easy to come by on YouTube.

The famous YouTuber ‘RiceGum’, who has over 10 million subscribers, produce some of the most
watched Strip Fortnite videos, often pretending to “borrow” his friends’ girlfriends to use for the
videos who end up with nearly naked and looking very uncomfortable. Perhaps the most extreme
controversy surrounding the trend to date happened earlier this year when the YouTuber Carmie
Sellitto, otherwise known as ‘touchdalight’, posted a video in which he claimed to be playing Strip Fortnite with his 13-year-old sister. The video was removed from the platform and it turned out that the companion had not been his sister nor 13 years old, but it shows the extreme lengths some are
willing to go to in order to get views.

Can my child access it?

Surprisingly, the videos on YouTube generally do not have an age rating and can be accessed
without the need to sign in. Make sure that your child is using the YouTube Kids app if you don’t
want them to be able to access sexually explicit or violent content.

If you put ‘Strip Fortnite’ into a search engine, chances are that links to several adult sites such as
Pornhub will come up. The main purpose of these sites is to host pornographic content so if your
child accesses them, nothing is censored and they will, in all likelihood, be able to watch Strip
Fortnite videos which end up in full-frontal nudity. Make sure that you have applied the appropriate
filters to your search engines so that they weed out all pornographic content.

However, research has shown that filtering mechanisms are not 100 per cent effective and the
most effective thing you can do is to talk to your child and open up a conversation about what is
OK to watch and what isn’t. Children may not be actively looking for this content but click on it out
of curiosity because they are not aware that the content is inappropriate

What do I need to look out for?

There are a number of risks associated with this new trend but luckily, we have not been able to
find any reported real-life cases of underage children trying this out for themselves. At the moment,
it seems to be something mainly created to function as clickbait, but there is a chance that children
might try to replicate what they see in these videos in the hopes of kickstarting their own YouTube
career. It is therefore important that children know that the type of behaviour shown in these videos
is not something they should aim to copy.

Strip Fortnite also objectifies women since they are included in the videos for no other reason than
to get undressed. If children are continuously exposed to this type of content, they can be led to
believe that misogyny and sexism is OK and shape their own views of women accordingly.
If you stumble upon any inappropriate or illegal content, it is important that it is reported to the law
enforcement body NCA-CEOP (www.ceop.police.uk) who handles cases of child sexual
exploitation online.