Kids entering video-game rehab over Fortnite addiction


More children are reportedly receiving treatment after becoming addicted to the video game Fortnite.

Although the post-apocalypse survival game has an age 12 restriction, children are reportedly becoming hooked enough that their parents are taking drastic action.

British TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp recently smashed her children's iPads and said that despite the tears, they would not be getting new ones.

'There's a game called Fortnite, we'd made all sorts of rules and times when we said you can't play them,' she said.

'All those rules got broken... I said, 'That's it, I have to physically [break them]',' she told Channel 5's Jeremy Vine show.

She said her two sons, aged 11 and nine, soon got over the loss and that they had a 'much better summer'.

'They were fine about it. It was 24 hours of tears and then gone,' said the 47-year-old.

'They have loads of other things they can be getting on with. It's not like they are living in a vacuum where that was the only thing.

'They really discovered their toys; their skateboards, their roller blades, playing chess.'

Randy Kulman, a child psychologist in Wakefield, Rhode Island, told the Independent he had seen a surge in parents seeking counselling for their children over video-game addiction.

'I had a 13-year-old in my office who said he had 300 Fortnite wins,' Mr Kulman said.

'I had to stop for a minute and calculate what he had to invest just to get those.'

Fortnite's battle royale mode is a fight among 100 online players to be the last man standing. It is free to play but has still proved extremely lucrative for its maker, Epic Games, which charges for add-ons that enhance the gaming experience and improve the chances of winning.

Cam Adair, a speaker on video game addiction, explained to the newspaper why players keep on playing.

'It's World War III if a parent asks their son to come to dinner because if they leave they lose,' he said.

Schools in Gloucestershire have sent out letters warning parents that the game is making children 'violent and aggressive'.

Debbie Innes, deputy head at Widden Primary School, in Gloucester, said: 'Younger children find it difficult to distinguish between the game and real life. They are exposed to the aggression and violence.

'We have had a number children for whom their behaviour has deteriorated as a result of what seems to be playing Fortnite. So aggressive behaviour and language which they have heard online.

'Because children play these games with headphones on there is always the possibility they are connected to people - adults play this game as well - and the language that they use when they get killed can be quite colourful.'