Prince Harry called for video game Fortnite to be banned as he spoke at a young person’s charity meeting in London last night (3 April).
The Duke of Sussex warned of the toxic effects of the popular computer game and social media, saying that they are “more addictive than drugs and alcohol.”
He was speaking at a meeting at South Ealing YMCA, organised by Heads Together, a mental health initiative run by the Prince and Meghan Markle, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Mental health risk
Speaking to representatives of charities including Young Minds, Prince Harry said, “There’s too much negativity surrounding mental health and it must be so hard for young people to talk about it.
“Social media is more addictive than drugs and alcohol, and it’s more dangerous because it’s normalised and there are no restrictions to it.
“We are in quite a mind-altering time, but quite an exciting time, because everyone in this room has the opportunity to make a real difference.”
The Duke went on to explain that he felt that “irresponsible” game Fortnite should be banned from households, saying it was “not so good for children.”
The Evening Standard reported that he added, “A game like Fortnite for instance may not be so good for children. Parents have got their hands up – they don’t know what to do about it.”
“It’s like waiting for the damage to be done and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down. Fortnite shouldn’t be allowed. Where is the benefit in having that game in your household?
“It’s created to addict – an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible.”
Instagram record broken
Prince Harry’s speech came the day after he and Meghan Markle broke records by gaining more than one million followers on their new joint Instagram account in less than six hours.
A picture of Harry was posted to the account with a caption reading, “There continues to be huge progress in smashing the stigma that surrounds mental health, but let’s keep normalising the conversation.
“Let’s keep reminding each other that it’s okay to not be okay, and to listen to each other. After all, how we think determines how we act, how we feel, and how we treat ourselves and those around us.”
Focusing on the wrong thing?
Some people have criticised Harry for blaming the game for so many mental health problems, and have said that he should be focusing on other areas.
Jess Gulliver tweeted, “I’ll let CAMHS know they can cut their waiting lists dramatically if we ban Fortnite. It’s the root of it all, not the insane pressures at school and the fact the price of further education is out of reach for anyone not born into privilege.”
Zoe Kleinman said, “I think Fortnite is the least of our problems right now Harry.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post