PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Prince Harry has a lot of people talking after he called for a ban of the hugely-popular online game “Fortnite.” The Duke of Sussex says the game is too addictive, especially for children.
According to a recent survey, 61% of teenagers in the U.S. have played “Fortnite” and one in four parents are concerned by the time consumption.
But would someone who practices soccer constantly be called an addict? That’s what gamers in Philly want to know.
Esport athletes don’t deny that video games can have addictive qualities, but told Eyewitness News that nowadays, it’s more the social media aspect that gets some players hooked.
“I believe it is social media that makes this game so addictive,” gamer Lamar Thrope said. “Everyone wants to see their name in lights like, ‘Oh, that’s me, I did that.'”
When it comes to the explosively-popular “Fortnite,” players are dropped onto a fantasy island where they battle it out, and the last player standing wins.
“My son plays it all the time and he gets so engrossed in the game, he forgets about everybody else,” one woman said.
This quality did not sit will with soon-to-be father Price Harry, who likened the game to an addiction and suggested a ban Thursday.
“Children and teenagers are naturally prone to addiction because their brain is not fully developed,” Dr. Ausim Azizi, chair of investigative neurology at Temple University, said.
Azizi said that any game or activity can become addictive if the user begins to depend on the dopamine release enjoyed while playing.
“If the kid is playing this game and neglecting his homework or friends, his or her hygiene, then those are warning signs,” Azizi said.
That brings us to Nerd Street Gamers, a Localhost Gaming Network in Northern Liberties. Here, players say a balance between gaming and socializing is found.
“It’s the idea that we can all come together and work on the thing that we actually have as a hobby,” Thorpe said.
It’s a hobby that has gone mainstream, with a $50 million Esport arena coming to Philadelphia, and gamers say there’s proof this is not a waste of time.
“There’s a thin line between, ‘Oh, this is addictive because he’s not getting anywhere,’ and ‘Oh, he worked so hard because he’s won almost $100,000 in just tournaments,” Thorpe said.
The adult gamers Eyewitness News spoke with all said that they do have to limit themselves sometimes. Of course, children are not always able to do that, so that’s where Azizi says parents need to step in.