A hot potato: To say that Fortnite is very popular is an understatement. As is the case with many titles, a major part of the appeal is its addictive nature, but the same element that makes it compelling has come in for criticism, especially as the Battle Royale game is so popular with kids. Now, its most popular player, Twitch streamer Ninja, has voiced his opinion, blaming "terrible parents" who allow their children to become addicted.
Young children being forced into rehab for their Fortnite addiction have been making headlines for quite a while now, but the subject was again under the spotlight earlier this week following an article by Bloomberg. In it, there are examples of players whose lives have been taken over by the last-man-standing game, which has over 200 million registered players, and being forced into rehab centers. One behavioral scientist describes it as being “like heroin.”
Much like blaming the medium for mass shootings, demonizing video games for their addictiveness has been around for decades, but the incredible popularity of Fortnite has seen it come under scrutiny like no other—it was even cited as the reason behind the breakup of 200 marriages this year.
The answer many people are looking for is: who’s to blame for all this? Should Epic Games, which is now valued at $15 billion, be held accountable for making a game that’s so addictive and designed to appeal to kids? Maybe Fortnite should come with a higher age rating—not that such a thing ever stopped under 18s playing COD or GTA V. Or perhaps the responsibility should fall on the parents.
Blaming parents is something that Fortnite’s most famous fan, Tyler Bevins aka Ninja, Twitch’s most followed streamer, agrees with. Boasting over 11 million followers, a $500,000 salary, and having appeared on the cover of ESPN magazine, he can certainly be called an authority on the game. Tweeting a response to the Bloomberg article, he wrote: “Title should be "Terrible parents don't know how to take their kids [sic] gaming system away.""
Title should be "Terrible parents don't know how to take their kids gaming system away"— Ninja (@Ninja) 28 November 2018
While it should be noted that Ninja is always going to defend the game that he makes a good living from, and he isn’t a parent, most people appear to be on his side. While the issue might not be as black and white as he makes it seem, parents of kids of who play Fortnite for 12+ hours a day must carry some of the blame. What do you think?