Back in April, the BBC published an article discussing whether Prince Harry is right in wanting to ban Fortnite. At a recent event the Duke of Sussex said “That game shouldn’t be allowed. Where is the benefit of having it in your household?
“It’s created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible.
He continued “It’s like waiting for the damage to be done and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down.”
He also said that social media was “more addictive than alcohol and drugs”. Do you agree?
What is Fortnite?
Fortnite was released in 2017 by Epic Games. It offers three main game modes, the most popular one being it’s free-to-play Battle Royale. 100 real-life players take part in a fight to be the last player standing. Each player can roam the map in search for loot containing weapons, items, and modes of transport.
The idea is to either work in groups, teams, or as individuals to kill enemy players and be the last remaining player (or players). As of March 2019, there are over 200 million active players worldwide. Over half of the players (potentially addicted) to the game are aged between 10 and 25; that’s across all the available platforms.
Around 15% of Fortnite players have reportedly missed going to School in order to play the game, or to recuperate after staying up all night. Vicky Winstanley recently made an appearance on ITV’s This Morning show after her 12-year-old son was hospitalised following multiple seizures after playing the game excessively.
Can games be addictive?
A talking point which has been going on for many years is whether games can be addictive. Health professionals, the gaming industry, gamers, and parents have been battling this topic for as long as I can remember. As an avid gamer myself (and a parent), I can see both sides of the coin.
My own gaming addiction came about from the release of World of Warcraft back in 2004. I can vividly remember getting home from work and logging onto the game, usually missing dinner. I’d only realise what time it was when the 3AM shutdown occurred for the game to apply updates or weekly maintenance. On many occasions I had to weigh up whether I should go to bed or wait the half an hour to continue playing.
Hours and days often merged into each other to the point I was feeling the effects both at work and my home life. I was struggling to function due to the lack of sleep. I was forgetting to eat/drink, and from staring at a screen for hours on end. In 2007 I became a parent for the first time (I now have 3 children); thankfully my kids were the main reason I dug myself out of this trap!
According to PsychGuides.com video game addiction is very much a real thing. They state that video games are designed to be addictive; they’re not difficult enough to make you give up, but aren’t so easy that you can always complete them, leaving you wanting more. They compare video game addiction to a recognised addiction – gambling. We’d love to know your thoughts on this!
Should some video games be banned?
This is such a tough question to answer, and I don’t think it ever truly can be answered. If it could be answered, is it even enforceable? The issue is, every single person will have a view on this; gamers, parents, psychologists, developers, etc. What one person deems a game to be banned, another will argue the case. If we ban some video games, where’s the line? How can you justify banning one type of game and not another?
I’m a firm believer of “everything in moderation”. If you’re going to let your kids play games like Fortnite, set a curfew. If you yourself feel like you’re addicted to a game, try and replace it with something else for a while. I’ve been honest and admitted I was well and truly addicted to WoW. I won’t lie, I still play plenty of video games – I love them! But I now know how to control my video game ‘intake’. I hope that I can pass this on and instill this into my children too.
Take a look at our latest Fortnite post, how to defeat the Storm King .