Fortnite is one of the most popular games of all time, and it has broken many records. The game is so popular that there have been reports that parents are paying for Fortnite classes to enable their kids to excel in the game. Now there are reports that parents are sending children to rehab to help them overcome Fortnite addiction.
What are parents saying?
Fortnite appeals so much to younger audiences that parents are now complaining that the game is interfering with their children’s lives. In some cases, the Fortnite addiction has grown so strong that some parents are sending their children to rehab, according to Bloomberg.
One mother told Bloomberg that her son spends 12 hours a day playing Fortnite. Because of this, he sleeps in class and his grades have dropped. Further, she said she has never seen a game have so much control over her son’s mind.
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“We’d made some progress in getting him to cut down his Fortnite hours and get better sleep, but he’s slipped back into his old habits,” she told Bloomberg.
Fortnite addiction has become so serious that some parents are sending their kids into rehab pic.twitter.com/znyi5Peuqd
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) November 28, 2018
Many other parents who have sent their children to rehab for Fortnite addiction echoed the same comments. Bloomberg also spoke with child behavioral specialist Lorrine Marer, who compared the game with heroin.
“Once you are hooked, it’s hard to get unhooked,” she said.
Fornite addiction is bad for others as well
Video game addiction is not a new thing. Such complaints have been around since the time of Atari consoles. However, the issue has reached unprecedented levels with Fortnite, and addiction isn’t the only problem video games have caused. For example, several countries have banned the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series for extreme violence and sexual content. Additionally, a study by Dutch gaming regulators in April claimed “loot boxes” could be promoting gambling among children.
This is also not the first time Fortnite addiction has been named as a serious social issue. A couple of months ago, there were reports that the battle royale game was responsible for more than 200 divorce cases in the U.K.
Professional athletes are also facing issues from Fortnite addiction. The National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks banned the game because players were too focused on it. Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price also missed his start against the New York Yankees, and many claimed it was due to his video game habits, especially with Fortnite.
Moreover, it is not the just addiction, but parents have also lost a lot of money on in-game purchases, which allow players to buy exotic weapons and “skins.” For example, Epic recently introduced National Football League-based jerseys.
Ninja criticizes parents
The game has mostly become popular because its battle royale version is free to play and is available on almost every platform. Fortnite is available on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, mobile devices and PC.
Fortnite reportedly has a user base of over 200 million. Epic continues to capitalize on the game’s popularity. Last month, the company raised $1.25 billion from investors, including KKR & Co., Vulcan Capital and Kleiner Perkins. Based on that deal, the company’s valuation stood at $15 billion.
Epic Games has yet to comment on the matter, but fans have already come out in its defense, including popular Twitch streamer and expert Fortnite player Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who blames parents for allowing their children to become addicted to the game. He said the Bloomberg article’s headline should have read: “Terrible parents don’t know how to take their kids gaming system away” instead of “Fortnite Addiction Is Forcing Kids Into Video-Game Rehab.”
Title should be “Terrible parents don’t know how to take their kids gaming system away”
— Ninja (@Ninja) November 28, 2018
Ninja may be right, and Fortnite has given back to the community. The game has organized several tournaments and handed out massive cash prizes. Further, the game has been life changing for content creators professionally.
Despite its contributions to society, if the game is responsible for addiction among children, it is a grave issue. Epic and parents will have to come together to address this issue. Parents must try to keep their children away from the game or set some time limits. For its part, Epic could introduce some limitations on the hours spent on the game based on age or something else which limits the child’s engagement.