In early April, Prince Harry attended a discussion on the effect of video games on mental health. During the conversation, he made a bold suggestion: countries around the world should ban the popular video game Fortnite. Read on to discover what exactly he said and the serious backlash he faced…
Prince Harry: Fortnite Is Addicting
Earlier this month, the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, visited a YMCA in London, attending a discussion about mental health. In particular, the panel, which consisted of the Prince and various experts, covered the topic of video games. According to The Daily Express, Prince Harry said video games are dangerous and countries, the UK in particular, should ban specific titles.
According to the paper, the Prince discussed the dangers of video games, and specifically, Fortnite. If you’re not in the know, Fortnite is a typical shooter but presented in a “battle royale” style. This means the game continues until only one player remains. Fortnite is also one of the most popular games in the world, boasting close to 250 million users. However, not everyone’s a fan. Prince Harry said, “It’s created to addict. An addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible.”
Fortnite‘s Criticism & Lawsuits
This isn’t the first time Fortnite‘s received criticism. The more severe criticisms claim the game is “predatory and addictive,” as there are loot boxes you pay for to get cosmetic content. Parents have reported children using their credit cards without permission, charging vast amounts. Some even view this as particularly sinister “trap” because children’s minds are undeveloped and they have no concept of the potential damage. Furthermore, many parents have stated their children now spend long hours on the game, rather than socializing.
As reports of the”video game addictions on the rise, Harry acknowledged how difficult it can be for working parents to limit game time. The Prince also pointed out that researches show gaming can be more addictive than drugs and alcohol, as it is so available to everyone online. In fact, next month, at the World’s Health Assembly, “gaming disorder” will become the newest addition to the International Classification of Diseases.
Prince Harry faced serious backlash from the gaming world after his statement. First, many pointed out that Harry showed no evidence that Fornite, in particular, is harmful or addictive. Others found his arguments “populist,” that he’s merely leaping onto a bandwagon to look good. Finally, some thought it odd that Harry acted like everyone playing is a Fortnite addict. In fact, plenty of users, adults and kids alike, simply play it for a few hours to escape and de-stress.
However, while some agreed with the Prince that Fortnite can be addicting, they felt he put the blame on the wrong source. They felt Harry lifted all responsibility from parents. Fortnite includes a feature that allows parents to limit game time, stopping kids from playing too much. Some Fortnite fans think that it’s a parent’s responsibility to set boundaries and punish them appropriately when broken. One cannot blame a video game for parents’ lack of discipline.
Either way, neither Fortnite‘s value nor usership budged after the Prince’s statement. However, one thing’s for sure: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle‘s forthcoming royal baby certainly won’t be playing Fortnite!