In the latest in a series of questionable reports about the ‘dangers’ of Fortnite, ABC 8 News based in Richmond, Virginia, along with WCNC in Charlotte, North Carolina, has reported on ‘expert’ warnings from doctors suggesting the game can be as popular as heroin.
The initial report claimed, “medical experts say video games like the popular one called “Fortnite” can be as addictive as heroin” and can even, “get in the way of your child’s brain development.”
“It literally causes cravings that they can’t live without it, and they just get obsessed with it.”
The reports adds “many of the kids tested were teenage boys” and includes mention of a story where one boy “continued to play Fortnite even as a tornado swept through his neighbourhood.”
The focus is on the “dopamine system” which they state “releases addictive chemicals which are very similar to a drug addiction.” Admittedly, dopamine has been linked to the addictive nature of drugs, but they can also be activated eating, exercising and fornicating. The story seems heavily sensationalised.
The “medical experts”, “doctors” and “psychologists” are never named in the written report, but Chris McCarthy, a licensed professional counsellor with 20 years experience, a PhD and 3 Masters degrees does provide some anecdotal evidence in the television segment. Otherwise, the report is devoid of any comprehensive research.