Kids Are Being Referred To Detox Centres Because Of A Fortnite Addiction
Fortnite has taken over the gaming world in scenes not seen probably since Grand Theft Auto. It earned more revenue last year than any other title in gaming history - so you know they're doing something right.
But while the owners are raking in the cash, Fortnite is being blamed for leaving tons of kids with gaming addictions. Some are feigning sickness to avoid going to school in order to play the game whereas others are straight up getting violent.
One kid, according to the Herald Sun, threatened to burn down his parent's home because they took his game away.
Learning expert and neuroscience communicator Jill Sweatman told the newspaper just how bad his addiction became: "He went to school late every single day and would play games all weekend, and when his parents decided it was time to take the computer away - and this was a 14-year-old boy - he threatened to burn down his room and took a knife and carved his name into the wall of the kitchen.
"There is a growing swell of families that are experiencing this and we don't know about it.
"Many families are getting to a point of crisis, as their kids are 14, 15, or 16, and they've lost control and don't know what to do."
This week the World Health Organisation declared gaming addiction to be an official disease.
Gaming disorder used to be defined by the WHO as a pattern of gaming behaviour ('digital-gaming' or 'video-gaming') characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.
Guidelines state that for the disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be 'of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months'.
But it seems that addiction levels in Australia have reached such a point that rehab centres are popping up in Sydney and Melbourne, according to the Daily Mail.
Sydney child psychiatrist Dr Philip Tam has referred a bunch of patients to detox centres, however it's incredibly expensive.
He's calling for the service to be provided by Medicare, telling Kidspot: "I hear of kids who have been turned away from the public health sector because they don't believe it's a disorder."
Now that it's an official disorder and disease by the World Health Organisation hopefully that attitude will change.
Featured Image Credit: PA