Alex Haney
Community Issues

Prince Harry: Fortnite is "Addictive" and "Should be banned"

Is the hugely popular video game dangerous for teens?

Prince Harry has a warning for parents--the massively popular video game Fortnite "should be banned," according to the Duke of Sussex.

CBS News reports Prince Harry was speaking at a YMCA in London when he said video games and social media are addictive, and possibly more damaging than drugs or alcohol .

"That game shouldn't be allowed. Where is the benefit of having it in your household?" Prince Harry said of Fortnite. "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."

According to CBS, Fortnite has more than 200 million registered users. The game is free to download and is played online. One hundred players are dropped onto a map where they have to gather weapons and supplies and try to eliminate the other players. The last gamer standing wins. Each round lasts around 20 minutes, but gamers can play for hours on end.

There is evidence to back up the claim that gaming can be addictive. Dr. Sue Varma, a board certified psychiatrist and assistant professor at NYU Langone Medical Center told "CBS This Morning" Thursday that playing games gives kids a hit of the hormone dopamine, which can be especially powerful in a still-developing brain.

According to a 2018 survey from Common Sense Media, 61 percent of U.S. teens have played the game . Because the game is played live, online, with real people across the world the survey found that 33 percent of teens have been harassed or heard bad language while playing Fortnite. Fortnite has a "T" rating for "Teen," due to violence. It is considered suitable for children 13 and up.

If you are concerned about the amount of time your children spend playing the game, Common Sense Media recommends using the 20-minute rounds as a natural break point, pre-setting a number of rounds they are permitted to play in one sitting.

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