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Prince Harry Is Not A Fan Of Fortnite

Aren't you glad we've done away with monarchies? According to the BBC, Britain's Prince Harry said some not-so-nice things about Fortnite at an event recently, calling for the game to be banned due to the "addiction" it encourages.

"That game shouldn't be allowed," the Duke of Sussex proclaimed during an appearance at a West London YMCA. "Where is the benefit of having it in your household?"

The man who will never be king continued.

"It's created to addict," he said, "an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It's so irresponsible."

We think it's irresponsible to sap much-needed resources away from a nation in order to keep up the appearances of a long-dead system of governance. And hey, some people just want to build some skyscrapers and shoot some cartoon guns to unwind after a long day. But how could one possibly relate to that perspective when their only job in life is to be made-up royalty?

Believe us — we have tons of issues with loot boxes and free-to-play systems that are designed to take advantage of small kids. There's already a growing backlash against them, and there's a chance that, over time, those things will work themselves out.

We also take issue with comments like the Prince's, because they tread dangerously close to being blanket "video games are bad" statements. There are plenty of games with addictive gameplay loops that are not Fortnite and don't employ that game's revenue model. Trust us: the term "video game addiction" was thrown around long before Fortnite ever existed. Who's to say that, if you ban one, you won't eventually ban them all? What is Fortnite doing to make itself more addicting than anything else?

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes," as Mark Twain once said, and that seems to be the case here. The public figures calling out video games have changed, and the games themselves have changed, but what we're seeing isn't entirely new. President Bill Clinton practically blamed Mortal Kombat for the Columbine shootings. More recently, several Pennsylvania state legislators proposed a tax on violent video games, despite numerous studies failing to find any link between video games and real-life violence.

On the "video game addiction" side of things, the World Health Organization now recognizes "gaming disorder" as a mental health issue, but experts caution that it's not a term to be thrown around lightly. And in fact, many find more joy in using the building tools inside games like Fortnite and Minecraft than actually playing the games themselves. Entire communities exist around people who want to build and share their creations with others, and many a time we've seen just how powerful these tools can be when it comes to helping someone tap into their creative side.

In short, the majority of people who spend a lot of time playing a video game are not violent, and they are not addicts. They could very well be some of the most fun-loving, imaginative people you know. And the biggest shame about this entire situation is that some parents will lock on to what people like Prince Harry say and treat it as gospel. And the media will latch onto it, too, spinning up a narrative about some larger societal problem that has no basis in fact. All of this because history rhymes, and once again, people who aren't well-versed in the hobby of gaming have chosen to villainize it rather try to understand it.

It could just be that Fortnite is the big name right now. It's sort of the Prince Harry of video games — people are only paying attention to it because it's famous. The difference is, you might be able to replace Fortnite with a different title in a few years. One could argue that Apex Legends is already vying for that spot, but it could very well be something else.

In a few years, though, there wiil still be a Prince Harry. And there will still be journalists who, despite him having zero expertise in video games or parenting, will care enough about his views on both topics to print them. 

Tell us — where is the benefit of having that in our households?