Fortnite: A Game That Changed The Game Industry

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The subject that will be reviewed is video games, more specifically, videos games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty. There are many misconceptions when it comes to video games especially in a negative aspect but that is not always the case. There are many things about gaming that need to be understood like its effect on one’s health, knowing where the line is between gaming and addiction, and learning about the idea of video game addiction and how to possibly recover from it.

There have not been many world-shattering games being released recently but games such as the recent call of duty titles and, the obvious one, fortnite, have managed to do so. Millions upon millions of people play the game on a regular daily basis to this day since its battle royale release in 2017. As of March 2019, there has been 250 million registered players (Gough, 2019), and that is just in the past 2 years with the game continuously changing and the possibilities increasing meaning that number of players will surely increase.

Video game addiction is as real as drug or alcohol addiction. Although they are more for older generations, gaming addiction can affect all ages especially younger children damaging their mental health from a very early age. According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, one in ten youth ages 8 through 18 are found to be classified as gaming addicts, also known as pathological gamers (Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, 2019). Like other addictions, gaming is used to escape from a harsh reality using a fantasy virtual world to connect with real people through the internet as a substitution for a real social life. There are many warning signs to notice when someone is a video game addict and they are not hard to miss.

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The warning signs might take some time to notice but they will be easily noticed. For example, constant preoccupation with the game. They are constantly reminiscing about their last online session or constantly talking about the game or always anticipating their next session of gaming. Another big sign that takes a little time to notice is the change of time in playing the game. Each session taking longer than the previous one to fulfill their satisfaction. another time dependent sign is their inability to quit. They will try to quit or at least control their game time to cut back and they will be unsuccessful every time. These might be slightly harmless actions, but they become more significant and more life changing or possibly damaging. One of those significant signs that are life altering is loss of significant relationships like friends or family by lying to them about their gaming habits and downplaying the extent of it, losing education like not showing up to school or dropping out altogether, or even loss of jobs like not going or missing opportunities like not showing up to possible interviews because of the inability to stop gaming or the constant need to game. The biggest sign of all, is using the games to escape from real world problems and not dealing with them especially emotional ones like distracting themselves from feeling hopeless or trying to ignore their anxiety or depression and that becomes very dangerous.

These signs don’t just show up in adults or even teenagers but within children as well. Besides those signs, children have additional ones and they are more noticeable because children tend to be bad liars or at least not very good at hiding things. These signs include constant fatigue or falling asleep in class, not doing their homework on time or not even at all, grades are declining to the possible point of failing, leaving big activities like quitting the soccer team or giving up on their sports dreams, and the most obvious is isolating themselves from their friends or family to play more video games (Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, 2019). Along with those signs, there are effects that are caused whether mentally or physically.

People that suffer from video game addiction tend to spend more secluded time away from everyone and everything in the real world and focus more on their virtual one. They are seen as socially awkward and tend to change their behavior. For example, they start to lie more and more about how much they’re playing these games and that leads to much bigger lies within their relationships with others and these lies can become quite costly. Gaming can also ruin financials because some games can become quite costly and then people become tempted to spend more and more on in-game purchases like unlocking certain characters or features in a game and some games even require subscriptions or constant payments to even be able to play the game. Other effects that can happen are people changing their identities online and pretend to be someone else entirely. The people that have the highest risk of doing something like this are people that have low self-esteem and fear of disapproval which can lead to anxiety and depression. There are physical effects as well that go along with gaming. There are issues like back problems, carpal tunnel, dry eyes, headaches, sleep disturbance, and can even cause eating disorders because meals are being skipped and eating at unusual times and with unhealthy foods. Although there are many negative aspects to gaming, there are many benefits that come from it if people knew were to draw the line.

There are many benefits that come from playing video games in healthy amounts. First, and the most common one, is that gaming improves coordination. Certain games require a lot of mental stimulation which will require players to learn to control their visual, audial, and physical coordination. Some games help improve problem solving skills like following certain rules or making very quick decisions that can help them succeed in their situations which can also improve the speed of the player’s brain helping them interpret things much faster than non-players (Eugenio, 2017). Playing games can also help enhance memories whether visually or audially like learning to navigate their way around the game or knowing certain sounds mean certain things. Although gaming addiction might be ruining social lives, healthy gaming habits can help improve social skills because players can meet new friends as well as strengthen their bonds with older friends if they play together. Too much gaming can cause bad eating habits but healthy amounts can actually curb certain cravings especially for people who are overeaters or even smokers and drinkers because they are just so caught up with the game. There are many more benefits to gaming and being addicted doesn’t mean players can not reap these benefits as there are ways to treat gaming addiction. The main treatment for video game addiction is professional help which focuses on behavioral modification therapy which helps break the obsessive habits or patterns of addiction along with other affected others that help support each other through the process (Watkins, 2019).

Compared to other common addictions like gambling, drug, and alcohol, gaming addiction is not taking seriously and it is not considered real; but friends and family of people that have become addicted can prove that it is real and they have been impacted by the people affected with this addiction. There might be a lot of negative impacts regarding gaming but that is when people lose control of how much they play, and it could be very dangerous to themselves regarding their wellbeing as well as for their friends and family members who care about them and don’t want to lose them. People who are affected should know that hope is not lost. They can be helped and they will be able to enjoy gaming in a more healthy way that is safer for them and more enjoyable without the worry of becoming addicted.             

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