Lorrine Marer, a behavioral specialist, is suggesting that Fortnite is not just the world’s most popular game but is basically heroin for kids.
“This game is like heroin,” said Marer. “Once you are hooked, it’s hard to get unhooked.”
Marer’s outspoken comments regarding the impact of Fortnite and how it is corrupting society’s youths come as part of a large report published by Bloomberg that argues that Fortnite addiction is spiraling out of control. One mother, Debbie Vitany, even reports that her son plays the game for 12 hours a day and that his parents have not been able to find a way to get his life back together. She even goes so far as to say that she has “never seen a game that has such control over kids’ minds.”
While one could also side with the counter argument offered by Forbes (“Don’t Blame ‘Fortnite‘ For Your Bad Parenting And Lazy Kids”), the Bloomberg article is quick to point out that the Fortnite phenomenon isn’t actually limited to kids. We’ve previously noted that Fortnite addiction has been cited in a shocking number of recent divorce cases and Bloomberg adds that a surprising number of professional athletes have become addicted to the game. David Price, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, reportedly even further injured his wrist as a result of long Fortnite sessions.
All of this information comes on the heels of a highly-controversial statement from the World Health Organization in which they announced that they had classified gaming addiction as its own psychological disorder. The controversy surrounding that classification wasn’t really based on an argument against the idea of gaming addiction but rather the idea that it should somehow be separated from addictions of any other kind.
That’s roughly where we land in regards to these latest statements regarding Fortnite. Is the game highly addictive? Potentially, yes. Is it aimed at children more so than more traditionally addictive substances like heroin? It is. However, the core of this problem seems to be addiction itself which has manifested itself via many mediums over the recorded history of humanity. Fortnite is just the latest example.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.