Nine-year-old girl placed into rehab for her Fortnite addiction

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Battle Royale games continue to be incredibly popular—the mode was confirmed to appear in the upcoming Battlefield V at EA’s E3 conference yesterday. And while former king PUBG keeps losing players, Fortnite: Battle Royale is going from strength to strength, no doubt helped by endorsements from celebrities and athletes who are fans of the game.

While Epic Games’ free title is especially popular among younger players, it proved too addictive for one gamer, who decided to wet herself rather than walk away from the screen to use the bathroom.

The Mirror reports that the girl’s parents bought her an Xbox One in January and she downloaded Fortnite. But by mid-March she was showing signs of addiction. "We got called in by her head ­teacher asking if ­everything was OK. She had fallen asleep twice in lessons and her grades were slipping," said mother Carol.

"When we asked our daughter what the ­problem was, she became unusually ­argumentative and aggressive, which we just put down to her hormones."

The family also started noticing regular payments of £50 ($67) per month on their credit card, which the daughter said could be from some extras she’d paid for on Fortnite. When they confiscated the console, the girl reportedly hit her father in the face.

The parents said they had limited their daughter’s playtime on the Xbox to one hour during school nights and two hours on a weekend. But the seriousness of the situation was made apparent when her father found her sitting on a urine-soaked cushion while playing the game. “I found her backside was red-raw. She was so hooked to the game she wouldn’t even go to the toilet,” said Carol.

That incident, and after admitting she was secretly playing the game throughout the night for up to 10 hours at a time, led to her parents seeking professional help for their daughter. She is now receiving psychotherapy to help break her Fortnite addiction.

It seems that as video games become ever more mainstream, they’re once again facing the same unfounded accusations that we saw decades ago. Recent school shootings saw ‘violent’ titles put under the spotlight, and the World Health Organization’s decision to classify ‘gaming disorder’ as an official condition didn’t help things. In the case of the nine-year-old who couldn't stop playing Fortnite, which has a PEGI rating of 12, perhaps people should look more toward the parents instead of the game.

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ET3D

TechSpot Paladin
Next time my wife argues that we should move the kids' entertainment away from the living room so they don't hog the TV I'll bring this up. At least when all entertainment systems are in our way we know what the kids are doing.

My 8 year old asked to play Fortnite (because 'all his friends' are playing it), and we ended up agreeing that he play 20 minutes a day. He stopped after a short while. He's now playing Rabbids Go Home (for which we didn't put a hard time limit).
 

Vulcanproject

TS Evangelist
It's entirely up to the parents here not noticing very quickly. If they allow the young child to have a TV and a games console in her room or a separate room privately for example then that's on them.

At 9 years old I have defined limits on these activities. I also certainly wouldn't be allowing them a private TV or computer in their room for many years, until they have proven their responsibility.
 
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Nobina

TS Evangelist
How do you even become so addicted you can't even take a piss? I used to play games a lot as a kid but even I knew some boundries. My parents didn't limit me anything much. When I got older I naturally knew to stop playing for a few hours at least cause sitting for a long time feels ****.

Parents are in the wrong for sure but people criticising them are addicted as well to some form of tech.
 

frostyshield

TS Booster
Some think that about Techspot, so where is the harm in one site quoting another? Especially when you are going to have at least one person who thinks that about every site online.
What I meant was the mirror has a history about being absolutely dramatic about everything, one hour "DO NOT BUY THE S9" the next hour "Buy the S9 NOW!!!" like for real... why... I can't even take them seriously one bit lol
 

Shepherdess

TS Rookie
The Xbox has the most comprehensive, most user-friendly, most *****-proof parental controls out of any console ever made starting with the 360. Even my parents could figure it out for my little brother, although it was a huge parenting fail on their part when they disengaged some of those controls so he could play a mature game.

Still, the parents are the ones who need to be in treatment. They're not teaching her self control nor healthy limitations and boundaries, clearly. For one, they're letting her play a game that is maybe a bit too mature for her in the first place content-wise, which they probably excused with "well she's mature for her age" (obviousl not). For another, they gave her access to their credit card?? Out of control parents make for out of control kids.

The system has a gameplay timer feature, but instead of using it they just a 9 year old child's word for it. Yeah, ok. She's not going to learn how to work within structure when she isn't given any.
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
Parenting fail.
^

If the parents would have done their job, they could have avoided this.
Blaming parents for children's issues is why no one knew about ADHD until like 1990 - 'Oh he's just rambunctious' they'd say - or 'can't his parent's keep him under control' No.. there's actually an issue that requires medication.

The parents did the right thing by seeking professional help, but I don't think the game was the cause of the issues- just the trigger.
 

wwwwwwwwwww

TS Rookie
Next time my wife argues that we should move the kids' entertainment away from the living room so they don't hog the TV I'll bring this up. At least when all entertainment systems are in our way we know what the kids are doing.

My 8 year old asked to play Fortnite (because 'all his friends' are playing it), and we ended up agreeing that he play 20 minutes a day. He stopped after a short while. He's now playing Rabbids Go Home (for which we didn't put a hard time limit).
No wonder he stopped playing, 20 minutes is way to small of an amount, 20 minutes is enough to play just ONE fortnite match at least if he gets top twenty. I'd say have him play for 2 hours for any game so he has a choice to play fortnite or to play something else for those 2 hours.
 

Facilitat0r

TS Rookie
Maybe she was wayching porn right before he noticed? Jk but who knows. Move the tv and console into the bathroom and she can just remain on the toilet. Lol jk again...
 

qking

TS Booster
" led to her parents seeking professional help for their daughter." - are you freaking kidding me?

Parents need a goddamn rocket up their backside. This is why we need parenting licenses.....
 
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qking

TS Booster
OMG you want things to be worse. Government stepping in and telling people how they can't parent, was the start of the problem. People are afraid to parent for all the regulations that would see them in jail.
We don't need more people, and the new people we get are mostly *****s. I genuinely would like to see parents have to sit a test or license before they are allowed to have children :)
 

LordFox

TS Rookie
This is the result of several issues, not 1 problem …

1) Parents aren't properly monitoring their child, (where are they for all these hours she is up playing at night, or urinating, or extended play times she has?)

sorry but my child has known whereabouts, why aren't they taking this kid swimming, biking, or spending time with her period ???
Very common for modern parents to give kids toys and then go off to do their thing (alcoholics, selfish)

2) Modern games are made to suck more and more money from kids, they are designed to draw in those with gambling issues (whales) … are we surprised it brings out that behavior people ? (microtransactions, RNG loot crates)

3) The parents aren't properly spending time with their child to educate or love … if you are there, these things can't happen.

Now we can surely blame games, there are only countless people like me and others who have played for decades without issue … Because lets face it, it's easier to blame things then ourselves or parents for anything …. just like how guns need blamed instead of parents locking their guns or bullies to stop school shootings ..

What a sad ****hole of a country America has become, no 1 willing to be responsible
 

SirChocula

TS Maniac
It looks like we have many readers who are experts in parenting and dealing with addiction.
Yea, don't you know that we have tons of arm chair generals and nuclear physicists in our lovely forum at Techspot? People love to talk out of their a**, especially when things are hindsight and especially when it's out of the area of their expertise.
 
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Beastman

TS Rookie
Both the kid and the parents need a swat upside the head. Unplug the damn game and make her do something else. Shes 9 years old. If she hits you spank her *** and send her to her room. Lock up the game system or ipad or whatever device shes playing on. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
Yea, don't you know that we have tons of arm chair generals and nuclear physicists in our lovely forum at Techspot?
For once there is sufficient evidence, the parents did nothing to control their nine year old. We don't need a high IQ to see how badly they failed. But then again failure suggest they tried. If they had tried, they wouldn't be asking for help with rehabilitation for a nine year old.
 
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