Recently, at and event at a YMCA in west London, Prince Harry said some interesting remarks on social media and gaming. When talking about Fortnite, he stated, “That game shouldn’t be allowed. Where is the benefit of having it in your household? Its created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible. It’s like waiting for the damage to be done and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down.”
Fortnite, a 100 virtual player Battle Royale shooting game as become a global phenomenon over the past year and a half. The goal of the game is simple - survive for as long as possible. Each game is at most around 20 minutes, depending on how early you are eliminated. Currently, the game has 200 million registered players worldwide and is free two download. The game has clear positives. It provides a great time for kids, brings people together in multiplayer playlists, and can possibly bring you from rags to riches. Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, has been giving out millions of dollars in tournaments over the past year to winning players. Over the summer, some parents even started hiring fortnite tutors, hoping that one day their kids can also win these tournaments. Also, content creators who stream the game or upload videos of the game on websites like Twitch and Youtube are making a living off of it. Ninja, a widely known Fortnite content creator, has about 13.5 Million followers on instagram and a $10 million net worth because of fortnite. Clearly, the game has its benefits.
However, as Prince Harry said, it is highly addictive. Nowadays, more doctors are seeing links between gaming and effects on both physical and mental health of video game players. In fact, The World Health Organization classifies ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental health condition. They defined ‘gaming disorder’ as “a pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.” In order for the disease to be diagnosed, the behavior must result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and be evident for at least 12 months. However, according to The World Health Organization, studies show that gaming disorder affects a small proportion of people who play video games.
In reality, Prince Harry is over exaggerating the effects of the game. It’s really just a fun pass time for kids to do with their friends, as well as a way for some people to make money. Only a small proportion of people truly get addicted and retain gaming disorder, so it definitely should not be banned. Besides, people should be able to do what they want with their lives as long as it isn’t harming themselves or anyone else, which a little bit of video games should never do.