Fortnite blamed for UK divorce spike

Online video game Fortnite might be one of the most popular games in the world - but some people say it's having a catastrophic effect on marriages.

The game has been blamed for hundreds of divorces across the UK, according to new research by Divorce Online.

The site provides services and advice for people facing the end of their marriages, and their study found Fortnite was labelled responsible for around 200 divorces filed since the beginning of the year.

"These numbers equate to roughly five percent of the 4665 petitions we have handled since the beginning of the year and as one of the largest filers of divorce petitions in the UK is a pretty good indicator," their report reads.

While Fortnite is claimed to be damaging to some adults and parents, it's also claimed to have a devastating effect on a small proportion of the countless children who enjoy it. Its popularity is so great the UK government has issued a warning, and that's prompted others to consider the dangers.

"Fortnite is really addictive because it's a free-to-play game and it doesn't make any difference if you play it for one hour or 100 hours, you're always going to get the same experience," says video games journalist James Jarvis.

It's not just playing the game that's addictive for some players - a small proportion of Fortnite fans are also obsessed with watching people play.

"So many parents think, 'Well at least they've got something they're passionate about,' but it can be like a drug, and it excludes them from being social and those types of things," says parenting expert Ian Grant.

Attitude presenter Christian Gallen joined The AM Show in July to explain its rise and how it could potentially be harming children.

"When you're playing video games it's the funnest, most stimulating thing ever," he says.

"For a lot of young people their brain's reward pathways are just hijacked and you're flooding your brain with dopamine, serotonin, making you feel so good that when you stop it's such a big comedown that for a lot of developing brains they can't cope so they have tantrums."