Fortnite's addictive qualities have been documented on this site before, and we imagine there are many parents out there who despair at the amount of time (and money) their children spend on Epic's popular online 'Battle Royale' shooter.
To combat this situation, experienced French psychologist (or "psygamer", as he prefers to call himself) Michaël Stora has come up with an approach which substitutes Fortnite for a different game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Stora is of the opinion that Nintendo's open-world adventure is the perfect way to remove gaming addicts from the intensely competitive mindset of Fortnite. Breath of the Wild, he says, is a more therapeutic and calming experience. You can watch a video interview with him here, and it's possible to translate the text into English using YouTube's auto-translate feature.
While Stora's approach may raise some eyebrows, he seems to have been successful with it, and has plenty of experience in this particular field; he's been working with children and adolescents suffering from behavioural disorders for over two decades and has worked as a consultant with companies like Sega, EA, Microsoft, Activision and Ubisoft. We can certainly see how a game as expansive and immersive as Breath of the Wild could provide players with an enjoyable alternative to the hectic pace of Fortnite.
In 2018, UK tabloid the Daily Mirror caused quite a stir when it ran the front-page headline "Fortnite made me a suicidal drug addict". Back in April of last year, Prince Harry attacked Fortnite and called for it to be banned, claiming that it was "created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible."
The game's allure isn't confined to kids, either. In 2018, it was reported that Epic's game had contributed to 5% of divorces in the UK.
[source nintendo-master.com, via gonintendo.com]
Breath of the Wild honestly feels like good medicine to me. I don't know what it does for gaming addiction, but it sure is relaxing.
Well, I suppose that substituting one game for another could work with kids. The parents would have to ban Fortnite and offer BotW as an alternative probably, though. Some kids have no taste, after all and most just want to play what their friends play.
I dunno, I'm on my third playthrough and probably going to be pushing 600 hours total.
Last night I deleted my 250 hour, 100%, 900 korok seed, upgraded armor save and started again in preparation for BotW2. It's still so beautiful.
And when you get addicted to Breath of the Wild?
Fortnight is hectic? Last I saw you run around looking for someone to kill and hide till the end of the game and win with one kill. 😝
In all seriousness it's the least hectic of most fps.
@frabbit I applaud you. Not sure I could. It makes sense though. A game is to be played, so why not play it again....
Untill you fight ganon.
Or those laser beams catch up to you when you calmly look tonthe scenery hahaha, and the music fades and one beam hits you.
@Spoony_Tech Agreed. It was too slow and boring IMO.
Of course I don't always play Shipment 24/7.
Nah, to calm down there are better experiences like Flower or Journey.
I gave Fortnite a fair shake, but I just couldn’t get into it. I like Splatoon and Overwatch much more.
@frabbit I mean, you could have just created a second account on your switch
But still respect, i couldn't delete such a save
@Anti-Matter violence is calming.
Lol, I don't know if Zelda would "heal" you from that cancer called Fortnite (I personally hate it), but I know everyone should play BotW if they like videogames.
When I really want to relax, I crank up my surround sound and I just ride around the safer parts of Hyrule on a horse and listen to that wonderfully serene soundtrack. The combination of the music in my front speakers and the ambient sounds of nature in the rest is just so...calming.
Basically what @GamingFan4Lyf said.
Tempted to go back and do the DLC.
Hmmm, BOTW is calming...
Thinks back to Lynel fight
Nope, no, mm-mm, not reliving that trauma, don't call me, I am done.
@mariomaster96 @BANJO I have a second profile but with no Nintendo Account linked to it, it doesn't show your play time or anything so it just annoys me. I made sure to take a few screenshots of the menu screens showing all my korok seeds etc. just in case I never get back to that level again. Honestly though last night playing it again from scratch was just amazing. I don't have an emotional connection to many games but it's just so...comfortable, and nice and feels like home. And I sound like a maniac. Goodbye.
Likewise, I recently started playing again, although I'm just exploring the areas I didn't find of my first play through. I'm still amazed by the beauty of the game and the overall content. It really is my GOAT...
Not sure it will get anyone off Fortnite to be honest, unless you wean them onto the Crack-Cocaine of Nintendo games that is Splatoon first....
@Anti-Matter If I ever needed advice on calming games you are the first person I would ask. Digging the new avatar, reminds me of the rabbit from Nintendo Arcade we call Coindexter.
@Damo "Take a walk on the wild side"
As soon as I read that I knew you wrote the article b/c nobody else here is old enough to quote Lou Reed.
Sound advice, even though I like Fortnite!
I could never get into fortnite. But when I turn on Splatoon 2, Hours pass like minutes, I always want to play one more round, just gotta rank up one more level. I can't quit on a loss. I can't quit on a win, I'm on a roll. Oh no! I've been playing for 7 hours and accomplished nothing. I'm going Crazy!
Both are amazing and fun games. French people are smart, Zelda is best game ever made.
Both are great games, for vastly different reasons. I'm contemplating restarting my Zelda adventure sometime later this year, but definitely not stopping fortnite - still a lot of fun.
He's probably right though, if people find themselves too attached to one, the other is a perfectly contrasting experience.
@frabbit surprised you didn't just make another switch user profile for a new botw game, but I can understand why you'd choose to delete & start over.
You're replacing one addictive game with another. Bravo. Whatever gets you famous for being niche with easy answers.
Fortnite isn't the problem.
After wanting BotW for two years and then finally playing it, I personally didn’t like it. The weapons constantly breaking and vast distances between destinations populated by the same enemy stakeouts made for an admittedly repetitive and boring experience, despite my best efforts to deny it. I ended up stopping 8 hours in. As it stands, I think Dragon’s Dogma, Skyrim, and Dark Souls are more compelling experiences on the Switch.
Fortnite rocks, btw. You can get soooo much value for the $10 season pass it’s insane...definitely the most generous free game I’ve ever played, period. The $15 skins are a rip-off, but still a much, MUCH better value than loot boxes (looking at you, Overwatch). It’s also the most relaxing multiplayer shooter I’ve ever played in solo mode, so I’m surprised to hear that it’s linked to so many life-ruining stats, lol. This comes from someone who’s whaled out on other F2P games and been horribly addicted to Call of Duty.
I still need to pick up the DLC and do a replay through especially before BoTW2 hits.
@nuovian Scientific Calculator with Snake installed
@nuovian Play minecraft
"Breath of the Wild, he says, is a more therapeutic and calming experience."
Until you get a glitched Blood Moon halfway through Akkala Highlands. Got one of those out of nowhere. Biggest surprise scare there is. Enough for my adrenaline to shoot through the roof.
@MS7000 I couldn't defeat the ancient guardian in one dungeon until I had enough health, stamina, and stronger weapons. I guess I know how I fair in a fight with the Lynel. Is there a way to knock out the Lynel?
Trading one addiction for another.
Hopefully they never go back after experiencing Zelda!
I love how I get a "Play Fortnite for free" ad on this page. 😂
@frabbit Eek, I would have just backed my save up or made a new profile and started a new save, but whatever works for you!
@Dakotastomp As far as I am aware, you can stun them (arrow in the head or perfect shield parry), mount them like a horse and stab them in the back, but that is about it. There may also be other things I am missing but it has been a while since I played so I am unsure. Good luck fighting them, especially the silver and gold ones.
@MS7000 Thanks for the tip.
Y'know... it sounds stupid, but I also can't deny there's a good chance that could work. BotW has that same initial addictive tendency, but it's got an end point... hm...
So true! Even with 420+ hours and dang near 100% complete, I will still play BOTW just to run around and do random stuff. Because it mimics an open world so well, it is so easy to just go from one place to another without getting bored. Not to mention the music.
@frabbit Haha maniac, no not at all. I see exactly what you mean. There's reason people have put hundreds of hours into the game, it's a masterpiece. The title singlehandedly pushed the Switch sales at Launch and no doubt continue's to be the reason many pick one up now.
@keihtg 8-hours in? I'm not trying to invalidate your opinion, just to understand the underlying differences in desire that make it boring to you.
I've put in at least 400 hours up to this point but I really enjoy meandering around exploring things and discovering stuff. Just reaching the top of a mountain is a goal for me just to take in the view (or paraglide down). I spent relatively little time in the game on combat. It happened but the "point" wasn't to take out Bokoblin camps. It was more often "get to that shrine", "ooh that tree looks interesting, wow found a korok seed" so I never really experienced "vast distances between destinations" because I don't really see it as having "destinations" and even though I have a really fast horse, I rarely use it. I'm not running back and forth on fetch quests and the land is just an obstacle, the land is the point. Paragliding from tall places is the point. Climbing is the point.
I love Dark Souls too but combat is the point in that game. I wasn't exploring the catacombs or the duke's archives or lost izalith to "take in the sights" or find collectables. I would have liked to have that level of accessibility but the environments are so perilous. You can't swim in Ash Lake. You can't go into the different buildings of Anor Londo. You can't dive off the waterfall in the Darkroot Basin.
So, I can't tell if you just like a different kind of game (go here, go here, get that, now go here next, in sequence) or if you enjoy other open world games but just had the wrong expectations for this one (expectations that would totally be reasonable for any other Zelda game). Did you by chance play Xenoblade X?
As for the "therapeutic" benefit of BotW. In 2017 when it came out I had just gone on a 3-month medical leave for issues related to depression/anxiety. I was miserable, barely wanted to get out of bed, found little enjoyment in most activities. I was burnt out. I just happened into getting a Switch because I'd heard there would be shortages so I waited in line with a friend. Then I basically played BotW 10 hours a day for a month straight. Exploring every nook and cranny of Hyrule, getting every shrine, (I've found 810 Korok seeds so far without the mask). Then I would talk to me friend ,who was also playing the game, for 2-4 hours about our different experiences and what we liked about it ("I fought a goddamn Dragon today and it was a total surprise!"). It pulled me out of a pit a little. It made me appreciate creativity again, it was artistically made with such care that it inspired me to want to create great experiences in my own field (programming) again. It was like a month long vacation. By the end of it I felt like I'd been to real canyons and islands and deserts and climbed real snow-capped mountains. I shudder to imagine what my medical leave would have been like without BotW. It didn't completely cure me or anything but it reinvigorated me a little and rebuilt some of my happy neural pathways. I can totally believe that it is helpful in unplugging from the kind of adrenaline driven action of Fortnite.
Breath of the Wild doesn't seem like a game that would tackle video game addiction, as the game itself can be pretty addicting to some people.
However, it does feel like a game that can tackle anger issues from games like Fortnite. I can somewhat relate by saying that my anger issues from Call of Duty disappeared when I picked up Breath of the Wild.
This makes a lot of sense....
What a beautiful change of pace it would be;) I’ve still never played Fortnite and never will but I could see BOTW being a perfect come down drug.
@FX102A The DLC was one of the most enjoyable parts of the game for me, definitely worth the price imo.
@FaroreAbhorsen I completely agree, exploring the game was literally the best part about it. The story was just an afterthought really. I'd like to get more story in botw2 though. Or at least a rebuilt Hyrule with thriving towns would be marvelous, add in some expansive dungeons underneath Hyrule and I'd be completely happy.
This is exactly the point of the game, and it isn't for everyone. For those of us who appreciate what the game sets out to do however, BOTW is one of the greatest games of all time.
No I'm playing fortnite and you cant stop me KAREN
There is a "little" difference, guys, between Zelda BotW and Fortnite, you are mostly ignoring: Zelda BotW ENDS at some point, Fortnite DOES NOT.
Fortnite is infinite, you can play that game forever. It´s NOT the same kind of addiction. When Zelda BotW is done, IS DONE. That´s it, you can play it again some day, but later on (the next year, for example), but just for the sake of it. It will be the same experience.
That´s a really big difference between both.
I tried Fortnite a few times. I takes me too long to figure out what to do to get the damn game started. I feel like they start trying to sell me add-ons before I even start the game for the first time. Too much blingy nonsense. Like a free app game designed to keep you buying stuff. BOTW is peaceful, yet fun. Goes right into the game without any nonesense and nobody "yelling" at you.
@HexagonSun Relaxing until a Guardian spots you.
He obviously hasn't been climbing something when it starts to rain?!
I tried doing that with my siblings last yr, my sister seemed to like it a bit, but my brother jyst straight up refuses to play anything that isn't competitive shooter games. Apparently he doesn't like games with "story lines" and open world because he doesn't know what yo do with it and gets bored.
@keihtg "You can get soooo much value for the $10 season pass it’s insane...definitely the most generous free game I’ve ever played, period."
Umm.... I am sensing some redundancy here...
Hours of being sidetracked, no short competitive sessions, and a real "goal" always there right from the first steps in the massive world... Sounds like it could indeed overshadow the addiction yet still be better for the player. And F2P online games are designed around all the addictive stuff they can come up with, pure mental drugs. I started playing Asphalt 9, and had fun with it, avoiding all the paywalls. But in the end I had to delete the game because I felt addiction creeping in. And I'm among the lucky ones who has no problem going "cold turkey" as soon as I recognise symptoms of addiction. Denial being one of them, sadly, making it near impossible for most people to even admit it, let alone see the negative side.
I’ve actually done this before to a family member. It does work.
@NESlover85 Sounds like you’ve NEVER played a free game before. In-game purchases are famously a rip-off, the most basic example being loot boxes full of lazy re-colored skins that look like garbage (i.e. Apex Legends) where you can easily spend $10 (or $20, or $30...) and get nothing.
Fortnite, on the other hand, has a $10 battle pass that gives you 8+ skins that are actually good looking with 2-3 variations each, a bunch of emotes and weapon skins, plus enough in-game money to buy the next season’s pass (so technically you can get every season’s battle pass and all skins therein off of your initial $10 purchase). The catch is that you have to complete a bunch of in-game challenges, but you get 4-5 months to do it, and it only took me 30 hours.
I don't see how this is a new discovery or even eyebrow-raising; anyone who's played Botw already knew this.
@Spoony_Tech Fortnite is not an FPS.
@shani Ok third lol. You got me there.
@FaroreAbhorsen I never played any of the Xenoblade games, although I reeeally want to (especially Chronicles). The only thing stopping me is time...I can’t fit an 60+ hr RPG into my schedule! I can usually only get around 6-8 hours of gaming stretched over a week, so when I say I spent 8 hours with Breath of the Wild, that’s a lot of my time, considering I also have a deep backlog of other equally esteemed games. In the end, BotW just wasn’t the “best” at anything it did, and the sum of its parts didn’t make it much more than that, IMHO. It’s not the prettiest game, so if I wanted to relax and enjoy the scenery, I’d go elsewhere. Combat isn’t very deep, weapons are expendable to the point of weapons having no value, and environmental puzzles are less compelling to complete as a result. I did my research and kinda figured this is how I’d react to the game, but I wanted to give it a shot. Perhaps now is just not the time...in fact, I initially hated ALL of the games I would now consider my top 5, so it’s just on the backburner for now. I appreciate Nintendo trying new things with the series, but I don’t think BotW is quite there yet...
Look, Fortnite is not my dance, to be honest, but I really don't see how this situation any different from when I played several hundred hours in Garry's Mod or Team Fortress 2 with my friends growing up. If it's bringing people together, let them have their fun while they are young.
Now iam addicted to Zelda note lol
I hate the Fortnite franchise. It feels so repetitive and devoid of any real challenge or story. The fanbase is insufferable as well. My nephew and my brother play it constantly and they could never convince me of its so called qualities. When they aren’t playing it, they watch YouTube videos and watch others play it. It’s just absurd and I’m grateful I never fell for its shallow trappings.
calming and therapeutic... until the guardians start chasing you and you hear the music...
This took too much effort to be the 69th comment
I'm getting the total opposite in Twilight Princess HD, at the moment...I don't know if the remake just screwed things up, but I don't remember the game being so stressful and frustrating. It has its moments here and there, but it's definitely not the relaxing ocean voyage that Wind Waker was...maybe it's just because my muscle memory keeps trying to press Majora's Mask buttons, but I keep finding myself anxious to move onto Skyward Sword.
FYI the abbreviated headline on the homepage's "Most Read" list literally reads:
"Random: Addicted To Fortnite? Try Playing Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Says Psycho..."
Addicted to vodka? Try beer
Remove addictive to lousy games by getting addictive to great games? Seems logical!
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