Prince Harry's comment on 'Fortnite' rekindles the gaming-addiction debate
The popular Battle Royale game Fortnite is usually in the news for good reasons like its interesting crossovers. This time, however, someone has called the game "irresponsible" and that it should be banned! That 'someone' happens to be the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry. Developers were "quite taken aback" by the Duke's comment, but it stirred a gaming debate. Read to know more.
"It's created to addict and keep you in front of the computer for as long as possible," he had said about the game. Speaking to the MPs at the DCMS Committee meeting, Epic Games' Canon Pence said, "The statements made couldn't be further from the truth in our designs and philosophy and multi-decade approach to developing a long-term and sustainable relationship with our audience."
As per Wikipedia, "The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) is a department of the United Kingdom government, with responsibility for culture and sport in England, and some aspects of the media throughout the whole UK, such as broadcasting and Internet."
The British government, under its safety plans, 'Online Harms White Paper' is currently questioning developers of popular games like Epic's Fortnite and EA's FIFA, and Battlefield. Notably, Google, Instagram, and YouTube were also questioned in the past about the effects of social media. Topics like the welfare of gamers and better ways of determining the players' age were also discussed at the DCMS meeting.
Matthew Weissinger, Epic's head of marketing, talked about Fortnite's parental controls, and said, "We are not interested in maximizing profit from our players; we want to have an open and honest relationship." When asked about FIFA's addictive nature, Shaun Campbell, EA's UK manager, said: "We want players to take a healthy and balanced approach to playing games, just like anything else."
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially recognized "gaming disorder" as a mental health condition. This led to various researches on the subject in the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and Australia. Even back home, CRPF banned its troops from playing PUBG citing performance issues. The Indian government also banned PUBG in Gujarat and the app TikTok all over India a few weeks back.
While different researchers will come up with different findings, it all boils down to the individual. If playing a game is hindering your personal and professional growth, it's definitely a problem. Games should be treated as a form of entertainment (unless you are planning to make a career in eSports), and shouldn't be allowed to take over other important aspects of life.