MORE from Bloomberg's Jef Feeley and Christopher Palmeri
Debbie Vitany is fighting a losing battle against Fortnite.
Her 17-year-old son, Carson, has been logging 12 hours a day on the video game, searching for weapons and resources in a post-apocalyptic world where the goal is being the last person standing. Teachers complain he falls asleep in class and his grades have plummeted.
“We’d made some progress in getting him to cut down his Fortnite hours and get better sleep, but he’s slipped back into his old habits,” Vitany, who lives near Saginaw, Michigan, said in an interview. “I’ve never seen a game that has such control over kids’ minds.
Vitany’s anguish is echoed by an army of other parents, teachers and bosses around the world grappling with a game that sucks up hours of players’ time -- sometimes to the detriment of other activities. More than 200 million people have registered to play Fortnite, which has become a billion-dollar business for its creator, Epic Games Inc. Some desperate parents have sent their kids to rehab.
“This game is like heroin,” said Lorrine Marer, a British behavioral specialist who works with kids battling game addiction. “Once you are hooked, it’s hard to get unhooked.”
Luckily for the HORROR REPORT, the little HORROR REPORTER is just addicted to the FORTNITE dances. He doesn't like the game much.. and when he plays gets more annoyed than involved.
But addiction can creep up on you.. I know firsthand. I still sneak in very late night battles in the original PLANTS VS ZOMBIES GARDEN WARFARE from 2014 .... old addictions never die.