Wednesday, August 05, 2020
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EVENT UPDATE: It was a great event, we watched it on Youtube as it was impossible to get onto the servers even half an hour before hand. Now the storm seems to be behind a wall of sea and it is the wall of sea that now closes in and kills you if you don't escape in time.

I actually found this far more terrifying that a storm, an actual, 100's of feet high water wave. if you do get caught in it it forces you up, this means you cant run and jump into a helicopter. If you can get yourself out again, you will find yourself quite high up and will probably die of fall damage unless you have something to break your fall or can glide.

It remains to be seen if this will be part of season 3. The graphics are superb and beautiful to be in. As the wave gets closer it casts shadows of ripples across the land. I suspect that the wave will crash down and flood most of the map and that a normal storm will take over.

This game is aimed at 12+ age players but there are many younger people playing. It can be quite intense though possibly the children dont find the wave frightening at all as a lot of players seemed to be throwing themselves into it and swimming around before jumping out again!


Wednesday 17th June Fortnite launches Season 3. All terribly exciting stuff. New characters, new themes and the end of one of the most accessed seasons. Could be that the virus lockdown helped but to be fair, this was an action packed Season with plenty of extra interest, not to mention the arrival of Deadpool.

Fortnite fans have been given a last-minute event warning by Epic Games.

With The Device event scheduled to start at 7pm UK time, Epic has warned players to login early due to limited space within the game.

"The Storm rages on. Will Midas’ Machine break the Storm?" reads an Epic tweet.

"The Device is set to be activated on June 15 at 2PM ET. Space is limited! Show up 30 minutes early to help secure your spot and be there live."

If you want to make sure you have a good spot to watch the event, make sure you're playing at around 6.30pm BST.

There is said to be more water in the new season. We would love to see swimming under the water and even a new city that can only be accessed through the water leading you to dry ground under the floor of the ocean. A 2 man submarine would also be a nice addition and possibly dolphins, sharks and the occasional whale.

Started playing but confused? 

It can be a bit daunting if new to this sort of game play and with so many children playing, a little help is useful.

How the Battle Pass works. You have to buy it. if you do you get lots of rewards as your character gets  more experience. It is not necessary to have it to play the game.

Also your character is not penalised for not having it. All skins (the way your character looks) are equal. They do not possess any special abilities and everything you receive or buy does not add to their abilities either. This is all just cosmetic.

However, don't under estimate the power of a really good animated character, some of them do have their own emotes.

Console settings can all be set from within the game so if you are unsure how to jump, normally A button -  go into the settings and look at the controller part, it will give you all the settings or you can change them.

For regular updates with Fortnite  - (part of Happy Families, PG rated site) 

Fortnite For Children?

With an enforced shut down, many more children and adults are turning to the games console and finding their way to Fortnite. A game which has no blood or gory graphics and allows people to team up, socialise in creative and go up against other players in a battle to virtual death. Fortnite has had great criticism about the number of children that play and the effect it can have on their developing brains, though this can be said of any game. However, Fortnite also allows them to learn how to co-operate with other people and keeps them in contact with friends, even if that friend moves away or is unable to get to them.

Anything used incorrectly can be problem but something like Fortnite also has many benefits for children and teens provided it isn't over played. It is is not unusual to meet six and seven year olds whilst playing, sometimes you can hear their parents in the background. The cartoony appearance and the lack of gore or blood make it very enticing to young people. The creative part of the game lets them just play with people they want to. Also if they go into a match, it also teaches them about team work and getting on with others, not losing their temper and controlling frustration.

It would be nice to see Epic Games (the makers of Fortnite) have a new playground/battleground for children. Mircrosoft monitor the XBox and what goes on during games and bad sportsmanship, swearing and being aggressive to other players is not tolerated and a ban can be applied. This means the game is somewhat monitored so if a child becomes uncomfortable with anything that is said to them online, they can immediately report the player and it will be looked into. This does give some protection, not just for children but for all of us that don't like being sworn at whilst trying to enjoy a game. Not many games have such an immediate way to report something that is not in keeping with the spirit of the game.

That is something that should not be overlooked. The spirit of Fortnite is fun and frollick, player's avatars dance, show emotion, play ball games and much more whilst hiding out in the game or waiting for a game to start. Our own Red Moon Puppy character spends most of her time hiding in solo games. You can try and find her soon with our new game. 'Where's Red Moon Puppy?' More on this in May. I have always found a good feeling on Fortnite, most people do not take it too seriously and even those that do still get into the fun aspect of the game.

How we see Red Moon Puppy, however, she currently plays in disguise at present and usually can be found as a hedgehog tree. (you'll know it when you see it) 

As with everything there are things to remember, children's eye sight and brains are still developing, so they should not be left to stay on games consoles for too long. 

More on the effects of games, games to avoid and best games to follow.

A Trial of Witches

By Cameron Readman
Rogue Events £13.99
ISBN: 9781916195608
available from Amazon or Bothwell School of Witchcraft

The Bothwell school of witchcraft based at Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex runs 4 day courses where you act out a fantasy of being a student witch and follow a storyline.

They have now released a novel by Cameron Readmasn which creates a fictional back story to the creation of a Bothwell sanctuary in England by a Scottish coven decimated by the witch hunts instigated by James the King of Scotland and his unpopular minister Maitland.

Lord Earl Bothwell, Francis Stewart, is a powerful political figure and charming rogue but is also too impetuous for his own good let alone the coven that he is master of. Driven by his vanity and his hatred of Maitland he is too reckless and this costs him the lives of many close to him.

There are descriptions of torture and of a burning alive, as well as plenty of magic, and even an encounter with an elf, as well as betrayal. There are also two major plot twists toward the end, but no reveals from us!

The book's creator; Cameron Readman, is the Creative Director of Bothwell School of Witchcraft and has already created a rich background and lore around the school. While this is his first novel, he has been writing about Bothwell School of Witchcraft for the past two years, whether that be fictional articles for the student handbook, stories of the founders or simply the characters that people are given for the experience, it has all lead to this. The book was launched via the Crowdfunding platform; Kickstarter, on May 1st and it reached it's funding goal within two hours!

This is a fast paced story primarily set at the end of the sixteenth century from the time of James wedding to Anne of Denmark through the Berwick witch trials and Bothwell's fall from grace. It does feature real life characters such as Lord Bothwell and Agnes Sampson. There is even his half brother Hercules, although his fate differs from history.

Readman in his first full length novel has created a fine work which combines historical fact with a fictional account and mixed in some strong personal motivations for the main character, but there is no skimping on lesser characters and the witch finder Oswyn and King James are fully fleshed out.

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Mensa Kids Brain Busters

Carlton Kids £9.99
ISBN: 978-1-78739-282-3

Split in three levels (Starters, intermediate and advanced) there are over 240 puzzles and in each section you will find ones that seem easy and others fiendish. Most are of the what number comes next or what would the next variant of a picture be. Just now and again there is a text question.

You will need to know your basic maths and apply logic to overcome these but given time and patience you should crack most of these. There is, of course an answers section at the rear and it does explain how the answer was arrived at. Knowledge of prime numbers is amust and square roots as well.

This is aimed at children, but parents will find plenty of challenges here too.

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