Lawsuit against Fortnite and identifying video game addiction - 96.9 WINK FM

Lawsuit against Fortnite and identifying video game addiction


Parents are suing the creators of Fortnite since many kids have stopped eating, showering, and even sleeping to play more.

Fortnite, an online interactive combat game with non-stop action, appeals to so many of its more than 250,000,000 registered users.

Playing Fortnite on a computer. CREDIT: WINK News

Parents are saying that their children’s dedication to Fortnite is beyond obsessive and might be dangerous.

Dr. Sara Polley is an addiction specialist with Hazeldon Betty Ford in Naples, and she talked with WINK News about the addiction possibility.

“Kids are particularly susceptible to the impact of video games and other kinds of media delivery systems. which offer really short bursts of information,” Dr. Polley said.

Dr. Polley said these very real virtual reality games can create very real addictions.

“When we see short videos or really short snippets, or we get rewards like tokens or lives or things like that, we get dopamine increases in our brain,” Dr. Polley said. “And that process can actually be addictive, in the same way that an adult might become addicted to things like gambling or other types of behaviors that produce dopamine.”

What are the options people have in navigating these circumstances?

In Canada, a class action lawsuit against Epic Games, a video game and software developing company, was greenlit to move ahead.

Parents claim the game is designed to hook kids.

The World Health Organization categorized video game addiction as a mental disorder and that breaking away from the game often involves withdrawal.

Dr. Polley explained that recognizing the problem is the first step, then slowly weaning kids off is the best course of treatment.

“Really, it’s about helping your young person have some guide rails or some limits on how much they’re using,” Dr. Polley said.

Redirecting time and attention requires time and dedication.


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