Psychologist Claims Fortnite Is Desensitizing Children to Violence

Zac Cameron,

May 13, 2018 7:50 PM

In an article posted to Psychology Today, Psychologist Leonard Sax claims the game is doing more harm than good.

In an article posted on Psychology Today’s website, Psychologist Leonard Sax has claimed that despite the growing appeal of Fortnite with kids and teens, parents should learn to say no when it comes to allowing their children to play the game.

This is not the first time that an excess of videogames has been blamed for the behaviour of children, but an excess of anything is unhealthy to a point. That hasn’t stopped Sax from pointing the finger squarely at Fortnite Battle Royale as the main problem right now.

While claims of videogames causing violence have been debated for years, there isyet to be  a proven link that playing games such as Fortnite will turn your child into some sort of killing machine. The arguments presented in Sax’s article are not without merit however, as he goes on to say “Kids need to learn face-to-face social skills. They need to be physically active, preferably outdoors. They need to get a good night’s sleep.”

While the game does feature guns and explosions, there is zero blood or gore present, with players simply collapsing when defeated (Epic Games)
While the game does feature guns and explosions, there is zero blood or gore present, with players simply collapsing when defeated (Epic Games)

The problem of the article comes from the repeated attempts to pain Fortnite and games like it, as some sort of virtual training ground. Sax goes on to say that “No child is born wanting to be a great scientist, or composer, or teacher, or entrepreneur. They have to learn something of the scope of human possibility beyond what they see in a cartoon video game like Fortnite.” This is an argument that would have made a lot of sense in the past, when gaming was in its infancy, however we’ve seen countless stories of talented players making it big in the world through their skills at various videogames, and the industry is showing no signs of slowing any time soon. While it will likely take some time for the pervading views around videogames to change, at least some are doing their part to change perceptions for now.



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