People can’t seem to stop playing Fortnite. Two weeks ago, the story of a mother whose son was addicted to Fortnite received mass media attention. People saw the situation as being extremely over-the-top and more of a parenting failure rather than a problem with gaming. While that may or may not have been the case with that story, a new article from Quartz has appeared bringing the issue of Fortnite addiction back into the spotlight.
According to a report from Divorce Online, the UK’s first online divorce service, 5% of the divorce petitions received this year have cited “addiction to Fortnite” as being the reason for divorce.
A spokesperson for the company noted that in the past, addiction to substance abuse was one of the more prominent addictions cited as a reason for divorce, but now this is slowly evolving to digital addictions.
“Addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling have often been cited as reasons for relationship breakdowns but the dawn of the digital revolution has introduced new addictions.”
How much is 5%? Divorce Online reveals the total number of divorce petitions received since January of this year to be 4,665. In other words, about 233 of these cited “Fortnite addiction” as the reason for the divorce.
Not only is this a considerable number, but unlike the story of the Fortnite-addicted kid, we’re talking about adults with these statistics. Honestly, it’s counterproductive to play the blame game here, and instead what we should be focusing on with these two stories is the highly addictive nature of gaming. The sad reality is that there exists a significant percentage of people that can’t control their game time and the questions we should be asking ourselves is, “what can be done about it?” and “should anything be done about it?”
Is gaming addiction something that the industry needs to take charge of, or local governments, or is it ultimately just something that individuals need to manage themselves?
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