In Brief

Fortnite addiction ‘behind 5% of UK divorces’ this year

New report says digital revolution is growing contributor to marriage breakdowns

Addiction to the hit video game Fortnite: Battle Royale has been cited as a factor in dozens of UK divorces this year, newly released figures show. 

A report by UK-based legal service Divorce-Online claims that 200 of the 4,665 divorce petitions handled by the company so far this year mention “Fortnite and other online games” as a source of marital strife.

Divorce-Online is “one of the largest filers of divorce petitions in the UK”, so the figures are “a pretty good indicator” of the game’s effect on marriages, according to the company.

“Addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling have often been cited as reasons for relationship breakdowns but the dawn of the digital revolution has introduced new addictions,” a spokesperson said.

“These now include online pornography, online gaming and social media, so it is no surprise to us that more and more people are having relationship problems because of our digital addictions.”

Fortnite: Battle Royale, released by Epic Games last September, is a multiplayer online (MMO) shooter that pits 100 players against each other in vast open worlds. 

The game is available free of charge on most home consoles and PC, and has a global following. Although the title is popular among teens, half of the game’s 40 million monthly users are “fully employed adults”, Quartz reports. 

Given that the World Health Organization now recognises excessive gaming as a mental health condition, it “isn’t too hard to imagine Fortnite causing strife in romantic relationships”, says CNet.

However, while Fortnite “obsession” may have been “the tipping point for these marriages”, the game is “unlikely to be the sole reason behind a divorce”, the London Evening Standard adds.

Recommended

11 of the best electric bikes
VanMoof bike
The wish list

11 of the best electric bikes

What is bitcoin and how can you buy it?
Bitcoin
In Depth

What is bitcoin and how can you buy it?

What is ‘sextortion’ and why are cases on the rise?
A man using a computer in a dark room
In Depth

What is ‘sextortion’ and why are cases on the rise?

Apple AirTags: the benefits and risks
Apple AirTag with Leather Key Ring 
Between the lines

Apple AirTags: the benefits and risks

Popular articles

Are we heading for a snap general election?
Jacob Rees-Mogg
Today’s big question

Are we heading for a snap general election?

Is Bosnia on the brink of another civil war?
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik
In Depth

Is Bosnia on the brink of another civil war?

Why is New Zealand shutting its borders again?
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern adjusts her face mask following a press conference
In Depth

Why is New Zealand shutting its borders again?

The Week Footer Banner