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Fortnite addict, 17, tried to kill himself after gaming obsession left him hooked on drugs and in debt
1635  The Sun 


Fortnite addict, 17, tried to kill himself after gaming obsession left him hooked on drugs and in debt

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy’s obsession with gaming phenomenon Fortnite left him in debt, addicted to drugs and on the verge of suicide. Carl Thompson’s life became a living nightmare after he found himself addicted to the battle royale game, often playing it consistently for 12-hours at a time.

The teenager was hardly sleeping and barely ate, and said he was “miserable and unable to function”. Within months of becoming hooked on the world’s hottest video game, the frustrated and depressed teenager felt the only way to detach from the addiction was to end his own life. The youngster, from Preston, had previously been a fan of addictive games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto – but had managed to cling onto a normal life too, finding time to study and play sport. However, the introduction of Fortnite when he was still just 16 was a game-changer. He began missing college classes and, in order to pay for the game’s latest weapons and upgrades, he started to steal money from his parents.

Speaking to the Mirror, Carl said: “I was exhausted doing all-nighters, so my mates said I should try playing with amphetamines. “I’ve always been anti-drugs, but all I wanted to do was play the game more, and this seemed the only way. “I was doing all-nighters three or four nights a week. When I hadn’t slept, I’d just take more speed and carry on. “I was a complete state, miserable and unable to function... kept up by the speed and not eating.” Feeling suffocated by his addiction, the teenager was about to jump from his third-floor bedroom window when he was spotted by his dad who pulled him to safety.

Carl said: “I just had to escape this existence, and the only way I knew how was to kill myself.” Until that moment, his parents were in the dark about how bad the problem was. Carl was taken to hospital for treatment to battle his addiction issues and is on the road to recovery. The teenager said: “Fortnite turned me into a suicidal, thieving, lying drug addict. “I want to warn kids or parents how the game sucks you in far, far worse than any 18-rated game I’ve played. The idea that young kids are playing this is terrifying.” He described playing the game as “like being on an endless loop”.

Carl’s mum Carole added: “I urge every parent to keep their gaming console out of bounds at night and to spot the warning signs. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor... this game sucks you in and ruins lives.” Fortnite is currently the most played game in the world. The game sees up to 100 players dropped on to an island to fight in a last-person-standing death match. It has attracted more than 125 million players worldwide since its launch a year ago.

The game is aimed at over-12s and is set to rake in £15billion in the coming 12 months. However, gaming addiction is a serious problem in the UK, with more than 5,000 people reaching out for help in just the past year. More worryingly, almost 30 per cent of those suffering from gaming addiction were children.

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