Is popular online video game as addictive as heroin?

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Concerns about video game addiction are not new, but now the popular online video game Fortnite is getting compared to illegal drugs. However, a local expert disagrees.

Photo: Nintendo of America / Twitter

The multi-player game is an open world survival game where players collect resources, make tools and weapons and try to stay alive. In the first few weeks after its release, 10 million people were playing.

Recently the game received some negative attention in headlines claiming it's getting blamed for divorces and most recently being called as addictive as heroin.

"Video games are a medium just like books,” said Andre Thomas of the Texas A&M Visualization Department.

Thomas says there is no evidence to back up the claim the game is that addictive.

"Heroine or other addictive substances, if you don't get access to them, you have withdrawal symptoms,” said Thomas. “If somebody stops playing video games, they may be upset but they are not going to have withdrawal symptoms."

The American Psychological Association confirmed there was a link between playing violent video games and player aggression, but admitted their research couldn't suggest the link extended to criminal violence.

Thomas says there are examples of overuse, but he believes it's all about moderation.

"Ultimately, it is our responsibility as parents to monitor and regulate what our children are playing and how much they are playing,” said Thomas.

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board has rated Fortnite “T” for Teen, which means ages 13 and up.

Some agencies suggest playing the game with your child in order to better understand it.