The popular battle video game “Fortnite” is pushing parents to admit their children into rehabilitation facilities in the form of “camps” due to the game’s apparent addictive play, the Today show reports.
According to the news show, over “200 million people have registered accounts” to play Fortnite. And the number is apparently growing higher.
Michael Jacobus, who runs a camp aimed at helping kids overcome the time-consuming addiction, spoke with Today about the trend, and what parents are doing to help their children. He said the kids are “usually not” aware of how much time they are actually spending playing the game.
“Well this year the drug of choice, as we call it, is Fortnite,” Jacobus said.
He said many of the kids who attend his month-long camp say things such as, “I don’t have a problem,” or “I don’t want to be here.”
When asked if the camp is a form of “detox,” Jacobus told Today that it is. He said the game is affecting their sleep, and they often stay awake playing into the wee hours of the morning.
“They have terrible eating and sleeping habits…it takes us about a week to get everybody on the same schedule and on the same nutritional plan.”
— Julie Guy (@JulieGuyOnAir) November 29, 2018
Jacobus also spoke with Bloomberg, who reported that “about 60 percent of the 120 children he counseled at camps in Santa Barbara, California, and Asheville, North Carolina, last summer were playing Fortnite excessively.”
While at Jacobus’s camp, the kids are stripped of technological “devices.” They attend “group therapy” implemented to help them learn techniques to conquer their addictions, according to the media outlet. Within the next year, Jacobus said he will add additional camps throughout several states.
“This game is like heroin,” Lorrine Marer, a British behavioral specialist who aids those with video game addictions, told Bloomberg of Fortnite. “Once you are hooked, it’s hard to get unhooked.”
[Feature Photo: Pexels]