A member of the UK royal family has called for “addictive” videogames to be banned. Speaking to mental health experts about the effects of social media and violent video games, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, says that Epic’s battle royale “shouldn’t be allowed.”
According to The Daily Express, Prince Harry said that Fortnite is “created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible,” branding the game “irresponsible,” and asking “where is the benefit of having it in your household?” The Duke went on to say that “parents have got their hands up – they don’t know what to do about it. It’s like waiting for the damage to be done.”
Fortnite has repeatedly come under fire from UK press since its battle royale mode exploded in popularity last year amid concerns that children were spending too much time playing the game. But it’s not just children – in 2018, addiction to online games is thought to have contributed to 5% of all UK divorces.
Prince Harry also took aim at social media, saying that “it’s more dangerous because it’s normalised and there are no restrictions to it. Without that human connection, when you do have a problem you have nowhere to do, the only place you might go is online and you will probably end up getting bullied.”
While the suggestion that parents should be on the lookout for screen addiction is admirable, I’m a little surprised by Harry’s take, particular given his known love of football. During last year’s World Cup, England captain Harry Kane said that his team enjoyed working towards a victory royale in down-time between games. England made it to the semi-finals of the competition, and while Fortnite can’t take all the credit, that must mean it’s not all bad, right?