The video game Fortnite built its incredible success on using certain psychological tricks to be highly addictive, asserts Max Albert of Medium. It copied the popular mobile game Candy Crush’s model of making every loss seem like it was almost a victory. This model ensures that even players that lose repeatedly see how close they were to victory, encouraging them to give it another go. Thus, they find themselves in a cycle where they get closer and closer to winning and seeing just enough progress every time to keep them engaged. Even after winning, which is rare, players are likely to see a burst of confidence that pushes them to play yet again.
Fortnight’s rise has been met with many unfair accusations of it being overly addictive, when parents and the screen time they allow their kids are far bigger factors, infers Keza MacDonald of The Guardian. Every big new video game, from Pokemon to Minecraft, has been blamed for keeping children glued to their screens. Every kids’ lifestyle should include socializing and going outside. This is where parents need to put their foot down. Letting their little ones have fun with their friends online isn’t bad in itself. Parents should ensure that there are limits to this kind of entertainment, and that kids balance it out with going outside. Fortnite is not to blame.