The Impact of Compulsive Gaming on Divorce Rates

Q: Is video gaming impacting divorce rates?

Because Arizona is a “no fault” divorce state, filing for divorce in Arizona is generally easy and straightforward in most cases. Unless you are trying to dissolve a “covenant marriage”, you don’t have to have specific grounds in order to get divorced. You don’t have to allege or prove adultery or some other wrongdoing on your spouse’s part in order to end the marriage. You merely need to claim your marriage is “irretrievably broken with no reasonable prospect for reconciliation” in order to file for divorce.

Infidelity, incarceration, and abuse—while unfortunately still popular reasons for couples to call it quits–may no longer be the top reasons people get divorced. “According to a sample of 200 divorce petitions beginning January 1, 2018, Fortnite and other online games has been cited as a top reason” for divorce.

Fortnight is reportedly a free-to-play game with a massive reach and is the “current king of the ‘battle royale’ genre where 100 players are dropped into a shrinking map with only one player (or team) that can win the throne”. College-age men account for 72% of the player base, but the game is popular with older adults as well.

In fact, a 44-year old New York man was recently “charged with aggravated harassment and acting in a manner to injure a child” after the sore-loser allegedly made aggressive death threats after the boy beat him at the Fortnite game. An order of protection was also issued for the boy.

Whether a gaming addiction by a couple’s child is causing stress in the home or an addiction by one of the spouses is killing the relationship, compulsive gaming has apparently joined other distractive and destructive compulsions and addictions like drugs, alcohol, and pornography in driving married couples from “I do” to “I’m done”.

If you have questions regarding getting divorced in Arizona, Cohen Family Law can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our office in Phoenix, we represent clients in all matters of family law throughout Arizona in areas including Mesa, Glendale, Surprise, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Tempe. Helping families in transition is all we do.