Nine-year-old addicted to video game wets herself to avoid using the toilet and continue playing
The girl was obsessed with Fortnite, a video game that was launched July last year and has been downloaded more than 40 million times
A young girl became so addicted to a video game that she would wet herself so that she does not have to move from her console. If that wasn't enough, when her father asked her to stop gaming, she hit him in the face.
The nine-year-old primary school student became harmfully obsessed with Fortnite, a video game that was launched July last year and has been downloaded more than 40 million times.
The young girl, who is now in intensive therapy to fight her addiction, is said to have played the co-op sandbox survival game all through the night and did not even get up from her seat to use the toilet as she was glued to the screen.
She would play for 10 hours straight once she sat in front of the console. She even dozed off at school after being worn out from the all-night sessions. When her father tried to confiscate her XBox console, she allegedly lashed out at him.
In a conversation with Matthew Barbour for the Sunday People, the girl's mother said: "We had no idea, when we let her play the game, of the addictive nature or the impact it could have on her mental health. My husband saw her light on in the night and found her sitting on a urine-soaked cushion playing the game. She was so hooked to the game she wouldn't even go to the toilet."
Fortnite, a game endorsed by quite a few celebrities and athletes, was bought by the girl after her parents gifted her the XBox console in January.
A couple of months later, the school headteacher summoned her parents to talk to them about her sleeping during ongoing classes and her falling grades. The parents immediately became highly concerned.
"We got called in by her head teacher asking if everything was OK. She had fallen asleep twice in lessons and her grades were slipping," said mother Carol.
"When we asked our daughter what the problem was, she became unusually argumentative and aggressive, which we just put down to her hormones."
The girl started avoiding ballet classes and would not accompany her parents for church visits on Sunday. Despite being a keen sportswoman once, she started making excuses to avoid gym.
The girl's parents realized that more than $70 a month was being disbursed towards Microsoft, the maker of the game, from their credit card. Upon being questioned by her parents about the payments, she told them that she had to pay for in-game purchases that help boost performance. Immediately after, the father tried to take away the Xbox from the kid. However, the nine-year-old reacted violently, hitting him in the face.
According to the parents, they had limited their daughter’s playtime on the Xbox to one hour during school nights and two hours on a weekend. To his dismay, the father then found that she was sitting on a cushion soaked with urine. It was then that the child came clean about her addiction.
“I found her backside was red-raw. She was so hooked to the game she wouldn’t even go to the toilet,” said Carol, the mother.
She burst into tears and revealed to her parents that she had been getting up in the middle of the night when they were sleeping to continue her game, and she sometimes played until 5 am in the morning.
Worried sick about their daughter's predicament, the parents decided to contact a counselor who specializes in addictions in order to seek psychotherapy sessions for their daughter.
The last-ditch attempt seemingly worked and, now, the youngster is working to get her life straightened out.
Several health experts have voiced concerns over the attraction to violent and addictive video games in children today. Many fear that children who are obsessed with such games have a higher risk of developing mental disorders.
Battlefield Royale is the most popular format in Fortnite's games. It is characterized by a battleground scenario where 100 players fight each other until the last player emerges the victor after surviving the battle.
Also, professional gamers are minting as much as $670,000 every month from live-streaming their matches. These are watched by thousands of users, many of whom are addicted to the respective games.
Addictive online shooter games can have a detrimental effect on the mental health of children, warns Culture Secretary Matt Hancock.
Having said that, as video games gain more popularity, they are bearing the brunt of some wildly unfounded accusations against their concepts. The World Health Organization decided to classify "gaming disorder" as an official condition and to make things worse, many gun control advocates attributed the violence in recent school shootings to "violent" rated games.
According to Rob Thubron of Techspot, people should look more towards the parents instead of blaming the game, especially in the case of this nine-year-old who became addicted to Fortnite, which has a PEGI (Pan European Game Information) rating of 12. These age ratings are meant to provide guidance to consumers, parents in particular, to help them decide whether or not to buy a particular product for a child.