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Prince Harry thinks Fortnite 'shouldn't be allowed,' warns of the dangers of social media

Image source: Flickr

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Personal Aide-de-Campe to Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II (long may she reign), and sixth in line to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, has some thoughts on Fortnite. Specifically, he thinks it's bad, and should be banned. 

"That game shouldn't be allowed. Where is the benefit of having it in your household?" Harry said at a YMCA event in London, reported by the BBC. "It's created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It's so irresponsible. It's like waiting for the damage to be done and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down." 

Harry expressed similar concerns about social media in general, saying that it is "more addictive than alcohol and drugs." 

I'm not sure what qualifies Harry to speak on the subject, but the BBC report states that, "anecdotally, more doctors are seeing links between gaming and effects on both the physical and mental health of young people." And adults as well: The BBC reported in 2018 that Fortnite was cited as a contributing factor in 200 divorces in the UK since January 2018. The World Health Organization also defined "Gaming Disorder" in the 2018 update of ICD-11, which the UK's National Health Service then said it would focus on in its first internet addiction clinic.   

Other research is somewhat more skeptical: That BBC report notes that Oxford University research Andrew Przybylski found that only 0.3 percent of gamers "might experience problems controlling the time they spend playing." More recently,  Przybylski warned the game industry faces increased regulation and penalties if it doesn't become more transparent about game-related behavioral research, and said that most of the existing research he studied as part of his own analysis was "kind of garbage." 

Update: Epic Games declined to comment on the princely opinion.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.