NHL Team Institutes 'No Video Game' Policy For Players Due To Fortnite 'Addiction'

from the i-need-my-fix dept

Video game addiction as a concept has been tossed around for the past decade or so, with mixed feelings coming from all sides. Disagreement abounds as to whether or not gaming addiction is a real thing, both among medical professionals as well as the public. There’s even disagreement among Techdirt writers (disclosure: I don’t think it’s a thing).

But as the concept continues to infect the common public lexicon, it’s something we’re going to hear more and more about. It’s something of a checkpoint, therefore, that the issue has risen to the level of an NHL team instituting a ban on gaming for players while on the road visiting other cities.

The Canucks “veterans,” such as they are, have led the players to self-institute a ban on all video games on the road. “No more Fortnite,” Bo Horvat told TSN 1040.

“In my opinion, there’s better ways to spend time on the road, whether it’s hanging with the guys in the room or going to a movie with the guys. There’s a lot of cool cities we visit and to be cooped up in your room all night, playing Fortnite, is a waste of your time.”

The tie-in for gaming addition here is that last year the Canucks claimed that a young un-named player was inactive and seeking counseling for video game addiction. Whether this player-led ban on gaming is a direct result of that incident, or simply a scapegoat for the Canucks being fairly bad at professional hockey as of late, is unknown. What is known is that this ban pretty squarely centers around Fortnite, which is amazing advertising for just how fun and enjoyable that game is.

More interesting to me is how the team appears to be taking the blunt-tool approach that mirrors what many parents do in fear of video game addiction. These kinds of blanket bans, taking into consideration nothing about how individual players, or children, can handle gaming appropriately, is almost certainly a mistake. Even if video game addiction is indeed a thing, it must be true that it’s a thing that will afflict a minority of the population. That makes these blanket bans massive overkill.

But don’t be surprised to hear this story raised in NHL broadcasts if the Canucks manage to be less than awful this year.

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Comments on “NHL Team Institutes 'No Video Game' Policy For Players Due To Fortnite 'Addiction'”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

'We don't like it, why would you?'

“In my opinion, there’s better ways to spend time on the road, whether it’s hanging with the guys in the room or going to a movie with the guys. There’s a lot of cool cities we visit and to be cooped up in your room all night, playing Fortnite, is a waste of your time.”

Unless, you know, the people playing Fortnight consider ‘hanging with the guys or going to a movie’ to be less fun than playing a game(one in which they can play with the other players if desired, just like the other activities), almost as though different people consider different things to be enjoyable, which in turn determines what they consider a ‘waste of time’.

Aaron Walkhouse (profile) says:

Re: Re: True fundamental Christianity goes the opposite way on that…

…because we remember and understand why the bible says it
would be better for those antichrists if a millstone had been
hanged around their neck and then tossed into the sea.

Never confuse those bigoted political zealots with real christianity.
Jesus was never like Barabbas; though the Jews claimed it was so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Horvat thinks games are a waste of time. I think hockey is a waste of time. People get injured (sometimes having permanent effects) for the sake of a violent competition that won’t matter in a few years.

Meanwhile, gamers exercise their brain via an ever evolving combination of memorization and strategies on a broad level that they can adapt to whatever game they move to next.

In actual sports, the strategies and knowledge become near useless outside the sport, especially if they are no longer able to play.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“There’s a lot of cool cities we visit and to be cooped up in your room all night, playing Fortnite, is a waste of your time.””

As, according to many people, is watching or playing hockey.

“In my opinion, there’s better ways to spend time on the road, whether it’s hanging with the guys in the room or going to a movie with the guys”

Why are your guys so afraid to go anywhere alone? If I’m in a new city, I’m going to go and see the sights if I’m not in my room, checking out the local history, nightlife and culture, not presumably going to see the same movies that will be playing in every city I go to with the same people I see every day.

I.T. Guy says:

Re: Re: Re:

Or sometimes you just want to chill. Unless you are a rookie, most of these guys have done the circuit, seen the sights. I go to NY for a week twice a year. First and second year were great. Did the tourist thing. After the third year and six weeks… meh. At the end of the day let me eat my $30 hotel cheeseburger and watch TV. I have been doing that for 7 years now.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Or sometimes you just want to chill”

Well that too, of course. Not being a sports fan I assumed we would be talking about new places, whereas now that I think about it, obviously teams are often going to be going to places they’ve been to before.

But, yeah, it’s understandable that the shine is going to fade after a couple of visits, and if you’re going to a city for work rather than pleasure you might not want to be there in the first place, and would rather stay in your room sometimes.

I don’t agree with the idea that the team that’s just been travelling together need to do everything together when they get to the destination, nor that sitting in one room is far superior to sitting in another, but I certainly do understand why sitting in the hotel might be preferable.

Killercool (profile) says:

Re: Re:

IF (big if) video game addiction is real, it is a symptom, not a primary illness. Like jaundice, it’s an immediately visible problem, but ultimately caused by something else.

If you treat someone’s video game addiction without treating the underlying problem (depression, probably), they will likely move onto some other, more harmful, addiction.

alternatives() says:


Is there addiction? Tim says no.

Yet – input of information changes the behaviour of people. Shape the information and you can change the behaviour.

The book propaganda begot the entire industry of public relations. Marshall McLuhan points out the change in the brain wave patterns when television was watched. The research into the brain has a phrase “Neurons that fire together wire together.” and the repetitive nature of a video game is going to promote such wiring. The entire narrative about the 2016 election WRT troll farms. Data about how Facebook tries to be ‘sticky’ or causes dopamine releases.

Somehow all the effort spent with advertising, troll farms, and even making visual/audio art with a message is NOT applicable to moving visuals with audio BECAUSE said moving visuals with audio are called a video game?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: addiction

Even granting all of that for the sake of argument, behavioral and/or thought pattern changes does not addiction make unless it reaches the point where the addict feels the need to access the thing that they are addicted to, whether that be a game, drug or whatnot.

A simple change in mental state, and/or change in behavior to one that includes more of a given activity/substance does not necessarily equate to addiction, unless you want to start lumping in a whole slew of things like eating particular foods because you enjoy them, reading books or even something as simple as exercise, all of which can cause and involve changes to your mental state and/or actions.

Killercool (profile) says:

Re: Re: addiction

Well, even then, a "need" is not considered "addiction" until it is harmful – such as damaging relationships, or interfering harmfully with normal life functions like work and socialization (turning into a shut-in).

Prioritizing a videogame over going drinking with the guys you work with (pro-level teammates are coworkers) is NOT losing out on socializing. When I have to travel for work, it’s all I can manage just to clean my clothes, let alone go paint the town red.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: addiction

“Prioritizing a videogame over going drinking with the guys you work with (pro-level teammates are coworkers) is NOT losing out on socializing.”

Especially when one of the alternate activities suggested is going to sit with them in a dark room without talking for a couple of hours (hopefully, at least. I know some people lack even the basic cinema etiquette). Why not just have them sit together when playing Fortnite and build up a bit on banter while doing so, if physical proximity is what matters?

mcinsand (profile) says:

Re: addiction

So, basically ‘addiction’ is no longer a useful word, especially since it still carries connotations of when it had more meaning decades ago. Now, the word no longer indicates such a strong connection that withholding whatever would present serious health risks. ‘Addiction’ now refers to anything that a person would enjoy enough to do more than once.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: addiction

Now, the word no longer indicates such a strong connection that withholding whatever would present serious health risks.

Did it ever? What are the health risks of avoiding alcohol for example? There may be withdrawal symptoms but nothing that would be a health risk.

‘Addiction’ now refers to anything that a person would enjoy enough to do more than once.

No, it refers to something they’re compelled to do—whether or not they still like it, even if they want to stop.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: addiction

There is a hard line between something that causes tolerance changes and withdrawal if you stop and something that doesn’t.
People can become addicted to basically anything, and their addiction is still real, but that doesn’t mean everything is addictive.

In my opinion labeling something as addictive should be backed by the science of how and why it actually causes addiction more than anything else people enjoy doing. Labeling someone as having an addiction on the other hand should be easy.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t think something is an addiction if you can still eat, still sleep, still speak with your family/friends, still go to work on time, and still bathe and use the washroom properly.

When an action becomes so engrossing that you start to ignore all these basics of life, then yes, I think you might have an addiction.

Even gamers that use games as their sole evening cooldown after work don’t qualify for this; they still know that they can’t play all night if they have work the next day.

Even livestreamers and “YouTube” gamers who edit their experiences for others to see, *shouldn’t* meet any of these criteria. You’d be seeing zombified people in those little “face cam” windows instead of receiving their commentary and personal anecdotes.

You could probably make a better argument that it makes people unhealthy from all the sitting down instead of being obsessed with playing. How many people admit to regularly “binging” streaming shows for hours on end? How is that significantly different from gaming?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Everything is an addiction!

I get booze & drugs being an addiction. It isn’t just a failure to be strong, there are chemical changes in the brain & if you don’t get your fix you get very ill.

I don’t get video game addiction.
Parents jumping up and down demanding someone pass a law to keep their kid from playing Fortnite.
Ummm idiot, you are the adult, you pay the bills.
Turning off the internet is totally in your power, taking away the phone or computer is possible, hell you can even still find basic flip phones that can’t run fortnite to give your kids if you feel they need a phone. It isn’t child abuse if your kids phone costs less than $800.

They are your shitty offspring, take responsibility.
The village doesn’t need to handle every task in raising your kids. Let the kid be mad at you, extend the punishment if you need to. Explain the rules & enforce them.

The team banning Fortnite is stupid. They are adults playing a game that can cripple them for for life, but can’t be trusted to make decisions for themselves?? That nursing a concussion in the hotel room while playing Fortnite might be more attractive than stumbling around town slurring words at a photo op.

I’m addicted to shopping
I’m addicted to chocolate
I’m addicted to coffee
I’m addicted to x….

We do a disservice to the real addicts.
There are people who are prone to addiction & require mental health professionals to keep their demons at bay.
How much of a service do we do them when we make light of it?
Well I’m addicted to sex too!!! har har har…
Where an actual sex addict isn’t doing it for enjoyment, but chasing a momentary high that then is followed by deep self loathing so they chase the high again to the detriment of a ‘normal’ life.

Kids aren’t addicted to video games. Parents are addicted to pretending they never have to parent their kids & the world will do it for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

True, parents don’t want to be the “bad guy”, they want to be their kid’s best buddy to avoid as many conflicts as possible.

It doesn’t work, and you end up with spoiled kids that turn into spoiled adults who are poor at dealing with life’s normal pitfalls. Being wrong and failing are par for the course.

Wish I’d been taught more of that…

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It is the insane idea that they have to give their kids a better life than they had mixed with keeping up with the Kardashians.

Their kids will never own a house unless they hit the lotto, because they will be carrying huge student loan debts for a degree that won’t earn them enough to pay it off before retirement. They will make all of the debt traps, payday loans, leases, rent to own just to have the trappings of being a success. But hey once the student debt bubble bursts we’ll all be screwed anyways.

my standard SF v McDonalds rant goes here
Happy Meal Toys made my kid fat, not my inability to say no!
We need a law.

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