I first learned about Fortnite from some kids at our high school youth ministry at church who described playing Fortnite as a “sport.” And this wasn’t coming from a kid who didn’t know what actual sports were. This was from a kid who plays high school football!
Feeling intrigued, and looking for a little mindless distraction in my downtime, I decided to check Fortnite for myself. I downloaded it for free on my iPad, and began playing. I was instantly hooked.
For those who have never played Fortnite before, Fortnite is a first-person shooter game. It reminds you of video game classics like 007 James Bond Golden Eye on Nintendo 64, or for those of you who are little older, like Duck Hunt on the original Nintendo.
Now, imagine of 007 and Duck Hunt got together with The Hunger Games movie, and had a baby. That baby would be Fortnite. 100 people from around the globe are placed in arena, with the object being to kill as many people as possible without being killed, and to be the last person to survive.
It didn’t take long for me to see why Fortnite was so powerful with the high school youth at my church. It is tremendously fun to play, and gets your blood pumping as you hide from those trying to kill you in the game, or while you chased someone else down to kill. The game is full of adrenaline and dopamine hits all day long. You will literally find yourself holding your breath in the suspense this game is capable of constantly building.
Without a doubt, Fortnite is the most addicting game in video game history.
And I have to confess, that as a 36 year old man, who is a banking professional, with a wife, and living a very comfortable middle class life style… I was hooked.
So, in light of such, I would like to give you 3 reasons why I decided to delete Fortnite from my iPad.
Reason #1: It Is Crazy Addicting
What started off as simply a quest for some mindless distraction and form of entertainment quickly became a powerful drug that I found myself hard to say no to.
I found myself fitting in 30 minutes of Fortnite into my morning routine. It was becoming something of a devotional I would do before heading to work every day. And then when I’d get home, I would play Fortnite before my wife got home and we’d have dinner. Then after dinner, I would play Fortnite for a couple hours while chilling out. During my work week, I’d easily find myself playing Fortnite for 3-4 hours a day. And on the weekend, I’d easily play 5-6 hours a day. This lead to my next reason.
Reason #2: It Was Distracting Me From Things That Matter
Since becoming addicted to Fortnite about 10 months ago, I found myself reading less.
I’ve been losing weight lately, and have been trying to workout more. Fortnite has been hurting my “gainz” and the progress I’ve been making in our home gym. Sometimes I would choose Fortnite over an extra workout session during the week.
And the real dagger to the heart, I found myself telling my wife “hold on” more frequently whenever she’d ask me to do something. “I just have to finish this game!” I’d tell her, while she patiently waited on me to finish. I was acting like some sort of 14 year old man-child telling his mom something. My wife never called me out on this behavior, but I caught myself saying it, and I decided I just couldn’t do this any more.
Reason #3: Fortnite Conflicts With My Ethical Beliefs
For those of you who may not know, I am a Christian and a pacifist.
I take the Sermon on the Mount quite literally. I believe I am to love my enemies and to turn the cheek to whoever tries to do me harm, just as Jesus taught His followers.
And while Fortnite is “just a game” and probably as ethically innocent as kids playing Cops and Robbers, I found something in my spirit just wincing while playing a game that involves running around murdering people for sport.
And although it may or may not be a sin to play a mere game like Fortnite, for me, it was becoming sinful. And ultimately, I decided “as a man” I had to make a manly decision, and “put away childish things” like the apostle Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians.
So, I decided that I needed to “man up” and delete Fortnite from my life.
Fortnite was proving to be more than just a fun little distraction for me, it was something that was ultimately creeping over into the things that mattered much more to me.
But, it’s not just enough to delete Fortnite from my iPad. If all I do is delete Fortnite, it’ll eventually somehow find it’s way back into my life, or I’ll fill it with another game like Fortnite.
The key to overcoming any life challenging to addiction isn’t just to cut something out cold turkey, as that will leave a void in your life. The key is to replace addictive behaviors with other positive life affirming actions and habits that make you a better person.
For me, that means I’m going to replace my Fortnite addiction with things like working out more, reading more, spending more time with the Lord, spending more time serving my wife, and working on this blog and podcast.