9-year-old Girl Punches Dad for Trying to Take Away XBox

Published June 10th, 2018 - 11:14 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)

A nine-year-old girl is in rehab after becoming so addicted to a video game she wet herself to avoid moving and hit her father when he tried to stop her playing.

The primary school pupil became obsessed with Fortnite, which been downloaded more than 40 million times since it was launched last July.

She would secretly play the survival shooter game during the night and didn't even get up to use the toilet because she couldn't prise herself away from the screen.

The girl, who is now in intensive therapy to combat her addiction, would play for up to 10 hours a day. Worn out from all-night sessions, she dozed off at school.

She even lashed out at her father when he tried to confiscate her Xbox gaming console.

The girl's mother told the Sunday People newspaper: 'We had no idea, when we let her play the game, of the ­addictive nature or the impact it could have on her mental health.

'My husband saw her light on in the night and found her sitting on a urine-soaked ­cushion playing the game.

'She was so hooked to the game she wouldn't even go to the toilet.

'This is a serious issue which is destroying our little girl's life and someone needs to step in to ban it before it becomes an epidemic.' 

The girl's parents bought her the Xbox in January and she downloaded Fornite - endorsed by numerous celebrities - soon after.

Just two months later they became concerned about her behaviour after the headteacher asked to speak to them about her ailing grades and sleeping in lessons.

Once a keen sportswoman, the youngster starting saying she was too tired to do gym or ballet classes and avoided going to church on Sunday with her family.

Her parents also noticed payments totalling more than £50 a month were being paid to Microsoft from their credit card.

When they confronted their daughter about it, she said she had paid for extras on the Fortnite game. These in-game purchases help boost performance.

'Of course we were furious and confiscated her Xbox,' said her mother. 'But then she lashed out and hit my husband in the face.'

But after her father discovered her sitting on a urine-soaked cushion, the child came clean about her addiction.

She tearfully confessed she had been getting up in the middle of the night while they were asleep, sometimes playing the game until 5am.

In a last ditch attempt to help their daughter, her parents contacted an addictions counsellor who agreed to provide psychotherapy sessions.

The youngster is now working to get her life back on track. 

The therapist said: 'I know bright kids who will fail their exams this summer because of Fortnite, kids who are stealing from their parents and friends to pay for the extras, kids who urinate in bottles because they can't bear to leave the game.'

But experts fear many children are at risk of developing mental health problems as a result of over-exposure to violent and addictive video games.

Fortnite's most popular format is the Battle Royale in which 100 players fight each other until one is left standing. 

And professional gamers are making up to £500,000 a month from live-streaming their matches for addicted children to watch.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that addictive online shooter games can have a damaging impact on children. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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