Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex and a member of the UK’s royal family, said that there is another activity which is more addictive than drugs and alcohol; and that’s the playing Fortnite.
The Duke has said that children shouldn’t be allowed to play Fortnite, during his visit to the West London branch of YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association). His comments become viral not just in London but globally, emphasizing the effects of social media and violence these video games have brought on children.
“Social media is more addictive than drugs and alcohol,” quoted by Prince Harry who added that Fortnite is becoming a trend nowadays to children ages seven years old and above. And what is more problematic is the fact that parents don’t have the complete control on how to devise a plan that will constrict their kids from playing too much Fortnite.
The Duke even challenged the parents by asking “What is the benefit of having it in your household?” He said that parents, most importantly, should take an active role in encouraging their children to interact with the world outside the Internet. Playing outdoor games and personal interaction with other kids is the best part of growing up and completing the child’s juvenile memories.
But the Prince is seeing the decline of personal interaction since the invention of social media which usually created online games that lure children away from the real world.
Fortnite is an online video game developed by Epic Games and released in 2017 which is available in three distinct game mode versions. The games are very successful, and Fortnite Battle Royale becomes a resounding success, drawing in more than 125 million players in less than a year and earning millions of dollars per month.
Speaking about Fortnite, the game is created to the addict, which in the words of Prince Harry, “an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible.”
The Duke’s concern is no different from other countries. In the US, Fortnite addiction has been a big problem as well, which links to the increasing number of teens dropping out of school and a considerable decline in interpersonal communication among children. This is the most dangerous case today which mirrors how these online games affect not just the academic performance of kids nowadays but also their social interaction.
Although Prince Harry does not mention whether the game will be banned or a time restriction is going to be implemented, the United Kingdom is still lucky. Unlike China, PUBG Mobile, another online game which dominates almost every country, has been banned for kids under 13 years old, while India, barred PUBG in some of its primary schools. The game has a similar effect with Fortnite which most studies claimed that both harm their studies.
In January 2019, PUBG Mobile on Android and iOS is one of the most popular games in India which landed its fate on a pot of bother with the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association. The student body has asked the Jammu and Kashmir Governor to ban the game immediately due to its adverse effects on children’s examination results. The game is deemed to be very addictive the issue heightened when these youngsters spent 24 hours on the mobile phones playing the game and doing nothing.
Both games have been a cultural phenomenon which draws a lot of attention since the day it was launched. Although Fortnite came first, PUBG also made its way to stardom, creating millions of players in different countries. Prince Harry is a powerful force in awakening the negative impacts of these games to children, and although gaming companies have an explaining to do for not set restrictions on its mobile games, the responsibility does not only rely upon them.
Parents, among others, are in charge of giving disciplines to their kids. Playing mobile game has its advantages as well. One benefit people see that this game may provide its ability to offer an excellent recreational avenue for kids but with limitation and proper restriction. Also, good parenting does not only stop in giving them their basic needs, but social development in its more profound sense is needed for the holistic development of a child. The Government, school, and teachers will only give guidance, but the responsibility lies in the hands of effective parentage.
Photo: Arlington National Cemetery