Every few years, an obsession comes along in the gaming world that sweeps everything else off the board. Coverage of games like World Of Warcraft and Minecraft frequently takes on the tone of some kind of epidemic thriller, as reports spread of hooked kids, infuriated parents, and shattered relationships. Now, Fortnite—the massively popular, free-to-play online shooter that boils the current battle royale game craze down into its most efficient and addictive form—is the latest vector of infection, and it’s reached a new milestone in its “video games as pox upon society” career.
Because while the game itself has graduated in the last year from “plucky, extremely ubiquitous knock-off” to “goddamn omnipresent elder statesman of the genre,” Epic Games’ massively popular title has just achieved the real brass ring in the supposedly life-destroying video game addiction stakes. Specifically, said honor comes in the form of a report stating that more than 200 divorce proceedings have cited the game in their complaints. (And that’s just in the U.K., and only in 2018!)
Admittedly, this is per a press release from online divorce service Divorce Online, who presumably have a vested interest in making divorce seem sexy and cool in a way that only “You walked in front of the screen and a 10-year-old in Wyoming shot me dead so now I’m taking the house” truly can. Still, even with a healthy dose of salt being taken, it’s an impressive number, supposedly representing something like 5 percent of all British divorces in the last year. Congratulations are in order to Epic Games, and to every couple who worked hard to make this achievement possible.