Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale has easily taken over the world, logging in millions of players and becoming a sensation on social media, television and more. But one report suggests that its addiction level could be on the dangerous side.
The report comes from ABC 8 News, based out of Richmond, Virginia; and according to health experts they spoke with, Fortnite could have players addicted just as badly as heroin.
According to the report, the experts even note how the game could “get in the way of your child’s brain development,” and “the thing about these games is it gets kids’ dopamine systems involved -- and it releases addictive chemicals which are very similar to a drug addiction.”
The experts reportedly note that “it literally causes cravings that they can’t live without, and they just get obsessed with it.”
It then talks about how they performed testing with a number of teenage boys, and how one extreme example involved a kid who continued to play Fortnite even as a tornado was touching down, and only after power lines were cut did he manage to break away with his family to find safety.
As concerning as this might sound, there are a couple of problems with the report.
First off, these “health experts” are never specified. The news team simply calls them that and doesn’t mention them being part of a certain group, so we can’t look at the research for the study.
Secondly, if it’s truly as addictive as it notes, wouldn’t we have heard more cases about it? Sometimes people go to extremes to stop their kids from playing games, but we haven’t heard too many scenarios in which Fortnite has truly taken over...unless parents aren’t speaking up, that is.
And Fortnite has also managed to bring some families together for gaming as well. We’ve heard about parents who pay experts to help their kids play Fortnite, and maybe teach them a thing or two as well. So if it’s really that harmful, then why would parents continue to engage with their younger ones and become more connected?
Without more specifics, it’s best to take this report with a grain of salt. Sure, it could be addictive, but the same could be said for any game, and not just Epic Games’ release. Ask anyone that played Defender in the 80’s and built up enough extra lives to take a pee break and come back in the hopes of getting a truly high score.