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Warning signs your child may be addicted to Fortnite

Posted at 3:58 PM, Jan 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 11:55:27-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The hottest video game out there has some parents worried. Fortnite is the latest craze and some kids and even adults are so addicted, Fortnite rehabs are now opening in some parts of the country. 13 Consumer Advocate Tricia Kean has the story of how the Fortnite frenzy can impact family life.

Chances are if you don't know what Fortnite is, you've caught the dances from the game: The Floss, Best Mates, Take the L and Orange Justice, or you've heard the hype.

"People always brag about Fortnite in my classroom like when they always win, they always come to school and brag about it," says mother Raylin Brassert.

She and her neighbor, Christine, have 6 kids combined and all of them are fans of Fortnite. The moms monitor the screen time, but the push back when it's time to shut it down can be a game changer.

"My 8-year-old gets dark, like really easy... There's like this switch that goes off, and if she's not allowed to do something, it's just like a (click sound) she's a completely different person and you got to pull her back to reality," says Natalie.

15-year-old Gavin plays every day and tells us there are a lot of benefits to Fortnite. He points out that it's a very social game, because you are playing online with up to 100 other players.

"It challenges every part of your brain, if that makes sense. You have to worry about precision and accuracy and you also have to worry about your speed skills," says Gavin.

Gavin also is aware that there are downsides when the game is abused.

"It's real easy to lose time... I've personally gone overboard many times," says Gavin.

Psychiatrist Dr. Joel L. Young has treated children that have become obsessed with video games. He warns of the most obvious red flags when too much game playing crosses over to addiction.

"If grades are declining, if sociability is diminishing, if they're not listening to authority figures... if they are starting to deceive and started to interfere with quality of life and the life of their family," says Dr. Young.

Gavin's mom notices a change in her kids when they play for too long.

"You can just tell when their attitude gets a little bit more short, they can be a little more...just cranky," says Christine.

Both moms make sure their kids keep a great balance and make school work and chores are done before they are rewarded with any screen time.

"I think that just making sure you allot some time, one on one, even if it's just reading for 20 minutes at the end of the day with your kid... so they get pulled back from that obsession," says Natalie.

"For most kids, it's positive, we should encourage it. Regulate how much time is spent. But recognize this is part of todays' culture," says Dr. Young.