Gaming disorder might be a newly recognised illness, but disordered gambling is anything but new. In 2010, a Korean couple was arrested for fatal child neglect ravaged by an obsession with all Prius Online.
From the west, World of Warcraft, published in 2004, was among the earliest games to activate addiction narratives in the mainstream media, with the Fortnite weapons game blamed for inducing faculty students to drop out of college and others losing families and professions.
What's changed this time around is partially a matter of scale. World of Warcraft spanned in 2010, six years after launching, with 12 million subscribers worldwide.Fortnite, published less than a year ago, has more than 10 times that at 125 million. Even though nothing else had changed, 10 times the players likely means 10 times the tales of a disordered connection with the match.
The match's free-to-play nature -- it costs for cosmetic updates but everyone can download and play without having to spend a penny -- signifies that a far greater percentage of those players are young compared with previous gambling happenings. Not only are there more young people -- who are not great at setting boundaries -- but there is also more visibility of all sorts of play: an eight-hour gaming session which Facebook may be guiltily shrugged off with an 18-year-old student in a college city can prompt concern for the exact same student's parents if they are only a year younger and living at home.