Fortnite is addictive as cocaine, lawsuit alleges

Fortnite produces similar chemical reactions as cocaine addiction, Canadian lawsuit alleges.

Published Mon, Oct 7 2019 6:01 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:46 AM CST

Epic Games may get sued for not telling players how addictive Fortnite can be, especially when it comes to minors.

Fortnite is addictive as cocaine, lawsuit alleges |

Fortnite, a game that's earned Epic Games billions from massive replayability and status as a social sensation, is described as one of the most addictive games on the planet. One Canadian law firm is making a case that Fortnite's dopamine-releasing effects are similar to cocaine addiction, thereby making the game a potential health hazard and/or risk.

Canadian law firm Calex Legal wants to sue Epic Games on the grounds of not properly informing players and users of addiction risks. The firm will represent the parents of two minors who have had their lives transformed by the battle royale game. "We dug into it and we realized there was a strong case for it," Calex Legal attorney Alessandra Esposito Chartrand told the CBC.

This isn't the first time Fortnite has been compared to hard drugs.

In 2018, addiction specialist Lorraine Marer likened Fortnite to heroin addiction. "This game is like heroin. Once you are hooked, it's hard to get unhooked," Marer told Bloomberg.

Fortnite is known for occupying youth attention in unhealthy levels, to the point where the game will interfere with school work and responsibilities, meeting the exact criteria outlined by the World Health Organization's official video game addiction classification.

There's also a social effect associated with Fortnite's youth players.

Youth are often criticized or even bullied by peers for not having specific cosmetics in Fortnite, putting intense peer pressure on impulse buys from the in-game microtransaction storefront, or spending hours a day grinding for new unlockables.

This could instill behavior that could lead to addictive gambling disorders farther down the line, and Fortnite could very well help foster these behaviors at an early age.

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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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