A focus-destroying distraction

Op-eds Opinions

The Vancouver Canucks’ ban on Fortnite

Stock image via Pixabay.

By this point, you will probably have heard of the video game Fortnite. If you haven’t, I’m impressed. Fortnite is a free-to-play, battle royale game in which players drop down from a bus onto an island, and must collect weapons and build forts in order to be the last man, or team, standing.

One of the things that sets Fortnite apart from its contemporaries, such as the former king of the battle royale sub-genre, Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG), is its cartoony presentation and tight, fun gameplay.

Fortnite also leaves a fair amount of room for customizing player characters, such as skin colour and different moves the players are capable of making.

These factors make Fortnite one of the biggest names in the gaming industry at the moment. Some people have called the game addictive, especially for those who have addictive personalities.

Predictably, Fortnite has been criticized for corrupting children. In June of this year, Primary schools in Australia were sent letters to parents warning them of the negative effects that Fortnite can have on kids, like increased bullying and cyber-bullying.

Some people have called Fortnite addictive, especially for those who have addictive personalities.

But it’s not just kids whose lives are being affected by this seemingly harmless game. It turns out that the Vancouver Canucks are the most recent organization to have banned their team members from playing Fortnite. The game has been called a focus-destroying distraction, and the Canucks have therefore banned the game from being played during road trips over the upcoming hockey season.

In an interview with TSN 1040, Canuck player and alternative captain, Bo Horvat, said, “Yeah, that’s definitely a no-go on the road. No more Fortnite. No more bringing your video games on the road. It’s strictly team meals, team dinners, and hanging out with the guys.”

The ban was intended “to encourage being a social, close-knit group on the road,” said the Canucks organization.

Fortnite isn’t just addictive: It can also lead to marathon sessions, especially if you make it to one of the top ten survivors. Also, to the chagrin of parents everywhere, the game cannot be paused, since it is live and online.

“I think it could be a distraction, but we’re pros and we should be able to manage it and handle it on our own,” said young Senators forward, Colin White, to the CBC.

“Some of us like to play it quite a bit on this team, but we’re never on too late or too long. It usually depends how well we’re doing, but we’re usually not on past nine.”

Maybe the ban will improve feelings of community and prevent anyone from feeling singled out if they don’t play the video game.

I am not of the opinion that video games are evil. I often play a few on the side to turn my brain off for a little while.

The Washington Capitals played Mario Kart in between games during the Stanley Cup finals last summer. Players in the NHL, meanwhile, have also admitted to playing Call of Duty in the past. In fact, some might view playing cooperative games as a way of bringing a team closer together.

But, like partying and gambling, video games can be abused. People with addictive personalities can easily become sucked into something like Fortnite.

If Fortnite is something that impedes performance for the Canucks, it makes sense that the team would ban it. Who knows, maybe the ban will improve feelings of community and prevent anyone from feeling singled out if they don’t play the video game. Speculation aside, the Canucks made the decision they believed would help, and only time will tell if such a prohibitive method will actually work.