Ever since the first shooters came on the scene, concerned adults everywhere have railed against them as being a bad influence on children. Granted, we don’t have tons of automatic weapons lying around — oh wait, I’m in America, yes we do.

Still, most of us wouldn’t use the kinds of weapons we see in video games, and the link between video-game violence and real-life violence remains tenuous, at best.

Utility poles, on the other hand? Those represent the real danger to society, right?

The Israel Electric Corporation has sent a letter to Epic Games, directed at CEO Tim Sweeney, expressing concern about the “disturbing and worrying phenomenon” of players who “climb up electricity poles freely and without restriction” in Fortnite: Battle Royale. According to the letter, the IEC “invests enormous resources in educating the public about the dangers of climbing electric poles and careless use of its facilities.” As a “leading international game company,” Epic should “remove dangerous content that encourages life-risking situations related to the use of electricity, such as climbing poles and public lighting facilities,” the letter concludes.

I have to say, I didn’t even know you could climb poles in Fortnite — or “Fortnight,” as the letter calls it once — but now I’m worried about the youth of Israel. Is there a pole-climbing epidemic going on there, like one of those “I saw it on YouTube” challenges? If so, is Fortnite to blame?

In any case, of all the bad behavior that video games have been blamed for, this seems like one of the least worrying. Sure, climbing poles with electrical equipment carries the potential for danger, but probably less so than gunplay, drug use, reckless driving, and fighting dragons. I used to fight dragons, too, until I took an … online self-help class.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


  1. What about the people that climbed telephone poles BEFORE the Fortnite game even existed, or video games in general…where are your protests about THOSE people, Israel Electric Company? Which Kevin or Karen at your company that obviously has too much time, power, and influence, and too little common sense, sanity, or intelligence, thought that protesting against a video game over something that has been literally going on for years was a good idea in the first place? Let me clue you in on something…people are stupid by nature, and, here is the kicker, even IF you ARE smart, as well as work on telephone poles for a living, those people climb telephone poles, as do tons of very stupid animals. Yes, you may know what you are doing, but just because you all have safety in mind does not mean that things are always going to end safely for you because, in fact, people in your industry die every year from work related accidents and no matter how hard, how diligent, how well, and how prepared that you all think that you are from preventing accidents to your workers, stupid animals from wrecking, and/or climbing, onto your equipment, or even confronting legitimately stupid people from those things, you will never, EVER eliminate those problems from happening in real life. Over twenty years ago, I lived in a small town in rural Tennessee, USA, and there was a road widening project that had occurred then and part of that road widening project was to remove some old telephone poles and then install brand new telephone towers, like those giant metal ones that are like around 100 feet tall or so. Anyway, the way that the company that was putting in these new telephone poles, or, more accurately, electrical towers, was that they had used a helicopter to string up the wires and things were going well at first, but then, on the day of the accident, the weather conditions were not favorable in regards to the further installation of the new telephone wire on these electrical towers. The long story short is that everyone on the helicopter died, the helicopter blew up, and one person got chopped into bits like they were in a Fatality from Mortal Kombat, so the next time that you whine about people climbing telephone poles in a video game that you have never played, I will remind you about your hypocrisy in allowing a fellow telephone pole and tower installation company, who, by the way, is supposed to have even stricter standards than yourself in these matters, to ignore weather, personal, and aircraft safety standards just so that they can rush to get a project done, all in the name of greed and speed.

  2. Two things i want to touch base on. First off, we do not have loads of automatic guns in america. That is very illegal. The automatic part by the way is what is illegal. We do not have a lot of guns, at least if you compare our estimated numbers to other countries, but arguably not alot of guns when you look at estimated numbers compared to population.

    The second thing is, if they really worded it that way. As in “remove dangerous content that encourages life-risking situations related to the use of electricity, such as climbing poles and public lighting facilities” then they already lost the “battle”. At no point does epic “Encourage” anyone to climb these pulls or do anything life risking. All they did was put them up. If just putting things up or at places then that means bridges encourage people to jump. Cars encourage people to crash. Knifed and guns encourage self mutilation and violence. Of which every single on of those i disagree with.

  3. Oh my god! what hell! Its only game! Let it go, if governments want to start taping in on our game models and mechanics there’s something wrong in society. Governments need to Unplug their rubbish theories and stop trying to use games as an excuse to do the work they don’t do.

  4. leave the pole in..if people are stupid enough to do that in real life and get hurt or worse…oh well…there fault not epic games…maybe people should think before they do something….


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