Fortnite gamers are not addicted, says GCU researcher

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 12:04:00 BST

Fortnite, the game which has taken the world by storm, is not addictive, according to a Glasgow Caledonian University researcher.

Seven years in the making, the sudden rise of Epic Games’ latest published title, Fortnite − a survival game that is available across most console and mobile platforms – has captured the imagination and time of children, teenagers and adults in households across the globe.

However, Andrew Reid, a doctoral researcher of serious games at GCU, has warned against branding the game as addictive.

He said: “The game has been carefully created to deliver a truly engaging experience which is not only different for each player, but also changes each time they play the game.

"It makes playing Fortnite hard to stop, but this is different to labelling the game, and games in general, as addictive.

“We must be careful when using this term. Addiction is a psychological disorder that pertains to habitual and excessive activity.

"Video-game addiction has suggestively been defined as the excessive consumption of games that conflict with everyday living.”

Andrew cites a study conducted by the American Psychological Association.

He said: “The study concluded that, while there is scope to further research this space, evidence to define video-game addiction as a disorder is insufficient at this time."

Andrew is keen to point out the reasons he believes Fortnite has been a resounding success with gamers.

He said: “The game brilliantly offers various play experiences through the lens of the MDA (Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics) Framework, a game analysis tool. These are Sensation, Narrative, Challenge, Fellowship and Pastime.

“Like all games, Fortnite will have its lifecycle and eventually retire to the annals of gaming folklore.

"Until then, players and online personalities will continue to gun down zombies, fight over supply drops and construct pillars of vantage and security until someone becomes the last last-player-standing."

Andrew also has tips for parents concerned about the amount of time their children are spending playing Fortnite.

He added: “Play in moderation, would of course, be my first response.

“It’s worth remembering Fortnite is make-believe with its cartoony, exaggerated style, whereas other online, Call of Duty-type games that are hyper-realistic may have different consequences on children's perceptions - and with an 18-rated-certificate, children shouldn’t be playing games like that anyway.

 “I’d also suggest playing Fortnite yourself to understand why children might be interested in it - so that you can speak the same language and get on the same wavelength.”