fortnite addiction by colin

Fortnite Addiction??

    I’m sure many of you already know about the now-popular video and mobile game Fortnite Battle Royale, and how it’s marketed as a shoot-’em-up designed for a younger audience to play. What people haven’t told you, and are just starting to talk about is just how damaging games like this can be to a variety of age groups, due to their highly addictive qualities.

Fortnite is attractive to a wide variety of people, due to its colorful graphics, vast array of “skins” obtainable through in-game microtransactions and people’s ability to participate in huge deathmatches against 99 other players. Players vary greatly in age, from 6 to 20+. Fortnite Mobile, according to this article, was the second most-downloaded game for the iPhone in 2016.

The creation of Fortnite Mobile is, according to many teachers and students, an enormous problem for schools. In some cases, the school’s wi-fi network is bogged down by students who are using its bandwidth to play the game, and in many cases, the game becomes so addictive that students are unable to focus on schoolwork for even a single moment of their day. Many students have already changed their career aspirations to being a professional gamer, or a Twitch streamer.

As someone who seldom plays video games anymore (I used to be hugely into Minecraft, so I know what video game addiction feels like), I am surprised and appalled by the rate at which this infernal game is taking over the lives of most of my friends. About two years ago, I made the choice to more or less abandon video games altogether, and instead ride BMX as much as humanly possible, and I feel like that was one of the best decisions of my young-adult life. Many of my fellow riders on the other hand, have become so absorbed in Fortnite that they have many times cancelled our meet-ups to sit at home and play.

I hope that this game does not retain such a following for long, because for one, it’s pretty much all people are talking about. I was actually thinking about getting into Fortnite not too long ago, but people are so disturbingly obsessed with it that any desire to play it eventually vanished. Another reason I hope this game goes away, or at least becomes less popular (though that isn’t very likely at this point), is because even though these occurrences aren’t supported by any video evidence or reliable sources, there have been rumors of physical fights breaking out in class over things that happen in-game.

I really hope that people come to their senses about this. I probably sound like some old fuddy-duddy for going after the latest gaming trend, blah blah blah, but video game addiction does happen. The American Psychological Association is even considering the possibility of adding “Internet Gaming Disorder,” or “IGD” to their list of recognized disorders (link here).

The reason that video game addiction’s existence continues to be debated by psychologists is because there are a huge number of “scare headlines” out there. Scare Headlines are Psychology Today’s way of describing news/tabloid headlines that are designed to both attract and scare a large number of readers into believing their content is the truth, even when it may not be. I hope you have enjoyed my long rant about how terrible Fortnite is.