GAME OVER: CAN FORTNITE LEAD TO DIVORCE?
It’s no secret that Fortnite is one of the most popular games on the planet. In September of last year the game released a battle royale mode, where up to 100 players fight to be the last person standing. Within two weeks of its release, over 10 million players had played and by June 2018, the game had reached 125 million players. Unfortunately the addictive gameplay has caused some Fortnite players to do damage beyond the battlefield: in their marriages.
Recently, a UK-based company noticed an uptick in the number of couples who cited the game when inquiring about divorce services and decided to compile data on how often Fortnite was mentioned as part of the reason a client wanted a divorce. They discovered that since January 2018, more than 200 divorce petitions cited the addictive video game as one of the causes for the split.
As it turns out however, these 200 petitioners pulling the plug on Fortnite only amount to roughly 5% of the total number of divorce proceedings handled by the company this year. And while Fortnite addiction may be linked to only a small fraction of divorces, it does fall under the general rise of “digital addictions”, which include online gaming, pornography, social media, etc. In fact, earlier this summer, the World Health Organization announced that compulsive game playing is now a mental health condition. The condition or “gaming disorder” involves an impaired control of gaming, an increase in gaming despite negative consequences, etc., These characteristics are very similar to those associated with substance use and gambling disorders, both of which are frequently cited as the reasons behind a divorce. Therefore, digital addictions may be capable of imposing the same damage to a relationship that would be inflicted by drug use, alcoholism, or gambling.
If you or someone you know is in need of information on divorce or any family law issue, our experienced attorneys can help. For assistance, click or call 610-892-3877