That's over 200 of the 4,665 petitions for divorce they've received this year. The company is one of the UK’s largest filers for divorce petitions, and to them, it’s “no surprise that more and more people are having relationship problems because of our digital addictions.” The birth of the internet has caused many issues in marriages, they say, and is joining the ranks of drugs, alcohol and gambling.
It’s no secret that Fortnite has become something of a global sensation, with over 125 million registered players and several million players online at any given time. But let’s look at what that 5% statistic really means if we apply it to the American population.
A commonly quoted statistic is that somewhere in America a person files for divorce every 13 seconds, meaning someone files for divorce blaming Fortnite and other online games every 5 minutes. I’m not sure where the 13 seconds originates from, but using the American census data from 2016, I calculated that a divorce occurred every 38 seconds. That would be a gaming-related divorce every 12.5 minutes today.
That would also imply that there will be over 40,000 divorces this year caused by gaming addiction. Yikes.
Gaming addiction is becoming a heavily debated topic, with the World Health Organization classifying it as a mental health disorder, and several treatment centers already opening. Concerned parents and several politicians have claimed it promotes violence, while many gamers insist it’s just a healthy hobby.
If it is ruining your relationship, though, it might not be a bad idea to get treatment.