Depiction of wolves in new Fortnite release is inaccurate, irresponsible and could have lasting consequences
Chad Richardson, Communications Director, International Wolf Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – One of the world’s most popular video games, Fortnite, released an update Tuesday that depicts wolves as red-eyed, snarling beasts that attack players and can kill them. To fend off wolves, players use a variety of weapons to kill the attacking wolves.
“It is inaccurate depictions like these that can shape the minds of the next generation of decision makers,” said Grant Spickelmier, the Executive Director of the International Wolf Center. “For hundreds of years, myths and fairy tales have misinformed the world’s children about wolves. Now, Fortnite is spreading those myths and glorifying violence against wolves to a whole new audience. Players are led to believe that wolves are dangerous to people. In reality, you are probably far more likely to win the lottery than you are to be attacked by a wolf.”
Online videos show what the interactions with wolves look like. Players encounter wolves as they run across the map. Wolves then organize into packs and circle the player. If the player doesn’t act, the wolves attack the player and can kill him. Alternatively, players can pull out a weapon and attack the wolf, eventually killing it. There’s also an option to tame a wolf and turn it into a pet.
Wolves and wolf-dog hybrids usually do not make suitable pets, Spickelmier said.
In many countries, wolves are endangered because of humans. Wolves were once removed from much of the United States through a government campaign and, without question, there are significant challenges facing wolf populations across the world.
“While we understand that this is a video game, we believe that mischaracterizations like these can have a profound effect on people’s perceptions about wolves,” Spickelmier said. “There can be lasting consequences for this kind of inaccurate portrayal.”
It is estimated that 350 million people have registered to play the game, which is about four percent of the world’s population.
For a scientifically accurate representation of wolf behavior in a video game, we encourage gamers to try WolfQuest. The game is available on mobile devices, PCs and Macs.
The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future. For more information about the International Wolf Center, visit wolf.org.
Gameplay examples are shown above.