The Long-Lasting Social Effects of Games Like PUBG and Fortnite
PUBG and Fortnite are two of the titles to have contributed heavily to a revolution in gaming over recent years. Both games are massively popular around the world but are seen as being social experiences, as well as games.
Fortnite in particular has embraced this angle, with the game's world used to host concerts and screenings of movies during the coronavirus crisis.
But not everyone thinks PUBG and Fortnite are a good thing. Some experts believe there could be long-lasting social effects due to the popularity of games like this. Let's take a look at why.
Fortnite addiction compared to drugs
Most people can play games without any problems, but some individuals can develop addiction issues as a result of spending too much time on titles such as PUBG and Fortnite.
Behavioural specialists in America believe some children are dropping out of school and stopping playing sports so that they can spend more time playing Fortnite. Director of the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital Michael Rich said in an interview with the Boston Globe that kids addicted to Fortnite are not sleeping either.
"We have one kid who destroyed the family car because he thought his parents had locked his device inside. He took a hammer to the windshield," he said.
Rich Domenico, a therapist from Boston-based LiveWell Therapy Associates, added treating addiction to games is "similar to working with parents who have a child addicted to drugs".
An unhealthy attitude towards games like Fortnite is not just confined to young people, but they do appear to be more susceptible to addiction issues when it comes to gaming.
Suicide spike leads to PUBG ban
PUBG addiction in Pakistan has led to the game being temporarily banned in the country after a small number of the title's regular players committed suicide.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority explained its belief that the game impacted the physical and psychological health after a trio of young players killed themselves.
After one of the deaths, local police said: "It was purely a case of addiction as the boy used to play PUBG games for several hours a day."
Islamabad-based clinical psychologist Dr Sarah Nadeem Zaigham told Gulf News that a "damaging effect on the mental and physical health of people" can be caused by exposure to violence in games, as well as too much screen time.
Online slots a better option?
It is clear that games such as Fortnite and PUBG are not suitable for everyone. So what would be a good alternative for people who still want to enjoy playing online?
Perhaps online slots could be the answer. In recent times it has been possible to see a steady growth in the gaming options and this trend is likely to continue in the coming months.
There is a lot of choice when it comes to online slots, with some titles being based on popular TV shows and movies in a bid to draw people in.
Naturally, playing slots at online casinos can be risky if people choose to play with real money. However, nowadays it is very possible to play risk-free by choosing to use the demo mode.
No deposit casinos also offer people free spins to use on online slots, so it is very possible to test out online slot games without having to put any real cash down on the table.
Fortnite 'created to addict'
Developers and studios naturally want people to play their games, but has Fortnite gone too far? Last year, Prince Harry added his weight to growing calls for the game to be banned.
"That game shouldn't be allowed," he said of Fortnite. "Where is the benefit of having it in your household? It's 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 is said to have more than 75 million active monthly players, with the game nothing short of a phenomenon. Over the course of the past year, more than 100 million people have also started playing the game. Fortnite dances have spread rapidly across the planet, with football stars like World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann among the A-list fans of the game.
But with the increase in global profile and audience, criticism of Fortnite has been building too. Research has shown that over a period of nine months in 2018, some 200 divorces in the UK cited Fortnite as a factor involved in the breakdown of the relationship.
Excessive gaming is now recognized as being a mental health disorder by the World Health Organization, so perhaps games will have to take their social responsibilities more seriously.
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