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Video Game Becomes Popular, World Panics

Illustration for article titled Video Game Becomes Popular, World Panics

In the past few months, a video game has become popular among young people, prompting experts and commentators around the world to decide that there must be something dangerous about it.

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Newspaper columnists, education commentators and politicians are variously claiming that the Popular Video Game is having a detrimental effect on children; that it’s encouraging an increase in playground violence; that it’s causing teens to become social recluses; that it’s turning kids into lifelong twitching screen-addicts; and that it’s taking adolescents away from more wholesome pursuits, such as underage drinking and covertly watching R-rated movies at sleepovers.

Some point to the cautionary example of the Pokémon craze of the early 00s, which to this day has left millions of twenty-somethings around the world with a kleptomaniacal compulsion to capture small animals. Victims of the Minecraft craze in around 2012, meanwhile, have been left unable to communicate except via the medium of blocks.

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Illustration for article titled Video Game Becomes Popular, World Panics

Young people continue to enjoy the Popular Video Game and express a desire to play it for hours with their friends—not because it is great fun, claim commentators who have never actually played a video game, but because it is imbued with evil addictive qualities equivalent to heroin and crack cocaine combined.

As increasingly worried parents and opportunistic politicians call for regulation to stop the video games industry from making fun things that young people enjoy playing, schools and parents are working together to find alternative solutions, such as setting reasonable limits on video game time for kids, ensuring that people are properly informed about games’ age ratings and suitability, or sensibly waiting for this latest temporary obsession to burn itself out.

Illustration for article titled Video Game Becomes Popular, World Panics
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Representatives from the games industry are astonished to find themselves once again having to argue that video games are not the devil’s handiwork, while video game journalists are fielding constant requests to appear on radio and television shows to argue with middle-aged commentators who have not seen a video game in 35 years.

Exhausted video game fans say that they can’t wait until the latest moral panic blows over, at least until something else becomes popular in another few years and everyone has to do this all over again.

Formerly Kotaku UK's editor, now video games editor at the Guardian. I've spent 12 years writing about video games and gaming culture and co-authored a book called You Died: The Dark Souls Companion.

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DISCUSSION

They have reason to be scared, has a gamer since more than 20 years I don’t want my kids to play Fortnite all day long on their phone and then play it again on their console when back from the school.
Back in the day “gamer” wasn’t alienated by game since you couldn’t play everywhere, now with phones, it’s everytime.
As a MMORPG player who could spend more than 5 hours straight in a day on a game I still managed to go outside and to get interested by something else.
Fortnite, and all those F2P game are barely video games, they don’t tell anything, the experience on those kind of fastfood games is extremly poor and don’t represent what video game can give to kids, like sharing, comunity, world awarness, consequenses, narrative etc

You just can’t say Fortnite isn’t a bad phenomenen, because it is! It’s just a viral product it as nothing to do with art or creativity.