The prominent member of the British royal family visited a YMCA in West London and spoke to mental health experts about addictive games and social media, saying that the latter is more addictive than drugs or alcohol.
Prince Harry specifically called out Epic Games’ “Fortnite,” saying, “The game shouldn’t be allowed.”
“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.”
“Fortnite” was recently the target of a lawsuit for its loot boxes, which some have accused of being predatory and addictive in the past. And, “gaming disorder” is anticipated to pass as an addition to the International Classification of Diseases at next month’s World Health Assembly.
Prince Harry urges parents to take action and have their children interact more with the outside world, while also acknowledging that many parents don’t know how to solve the dilemma.
“Parents have got their hands up – they don’t know what to do about it,” he said. “It’s like waiting for the damage to be done.”
The Duke also emphasized the dangers of reliance on social media to form connections.
“It’s more dangerous because it’s normalized and there are no restrictions to it,” Prince Harry said, referring to social media. “We are in a mind-altering time.”
“Without that human connection, when you do have a problem you have nowhere to go,” he continued. “The only place you might go is online and you will probably end up getting bullied.”
The call just weeks after an Oxford researcher warned that a stronger reaction to fears of gaming addiction was coming.