Reactions to ‘Fortnite’ changes put spotlight on gaming addiction

Health Alert

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A worldwide phenomenon in the video gaming industry – went black.

Fornite’s black hole on Sunday was the number one trend on Twitter.

It brought emotional reactions from fans around the world.

On the heels of this, CBS 17 talked to a psychologist who studies the impact that video games can have on people.

CBS 17 also spoke with people who regularly play video games.

The Long brothers, Gage, Caleb and Eagen, love playing video games together.

“I love all the strategy, and everything with competition,” Caleb Long said.

 They use games as a way to keep in touch.

“I have friends and cousins in Texas and California that I play with,” Eagen Long said.

 Gage Long says playing video games helps him relax when he has free time.

 “It’s like a movie that you can interact with,” Gage Long said.

The chair of the psychology department at Methodist University, Dr. Mark Kline, recently posted a video talking about how video games can impact mental health.

“It’s actually kind of complicated, it’s not an easy ‘yes it’s bad’ or ‘yes it’s good’ kind of thing,” Kline said. “It’s something therapists are becoming more aware of these days.”

Kline says research shows the majority of gamers have a positive experience, but up to 30% show negative signs, including some addiction tendencies.

 “There does seem to be some sort of biological basis underlying the idea of video game addiction, but as with most human behavior it’s really complicated,” he said.

Kline says signs to watch out for include changes in behavior or mood, becoming easily agitated and not spending time doing other activities.  

 The Long brothers say they’re careful not to play too much, so the good outweighs the bad.

“With social media and video games, they’re equally something that people need to be looking out for, be very careful of,” Caleb Long said.

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