Warning: This article is about suicide and may be distressing for some readers.

A 17-year-old boy has claimed his "addiction" to computer game Fortnite led to him trying to attempt suicide.

Carl Thompson, from Preston in Lancashire, said he became so obsessed with the game that he ended up pulling all-nighters to boost his position in its rankings, the Daily Mail reported.

Carl even started stealing money from his parents so he could buy apps.
Carl even started stealing money from his parents so he could buy apps.

To fuel his epic 12-hour stints playing Fortnite, he started taking amphetamines - sending him into a spiral of misery ending in him trying to end his life.


He told The Mirror: "Fortnite turned me into a suicidal, thieving, lying drug addict.

"I want to warn kids or parents how the game sucks you in far, far worse than any 18-rated game I've played. The idea that young kids are playing this is terrifying."

The game is a battle royale-style survival shooter where players create a superhero avatar and compete against each other on a dystopian island to be the last one standing.

According to the most recent update from the developer behind Fortnite, Epic Games, the title currently boasts more than 125 million players worldwide.

Fortnite is free to download, with additional content available via in-app purchases, including new skins, dance moves and accessories for in-game avatars.

The most expensive in-app item is £99.99 ($192).

But Carl's mother, Carol, said she is "petrified" about children becoming addicted to the game.

The 38-year-old added: "I urge every parent to keep their gaming console out of bounds at night and to spot the warning signs. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor... this game sucks you in and ruins lives."


Carl explained that he became so desperate to succeed in the game that he started missing college and stopped playing sports.

He even started stealing money from his parents so he could buy advantages.

To help him put in the necessary time to progress in the game, he began doing all-nighters "three or four nights a week".

He was taking speed, not sleeping or eating and even peeing in bottles so he could stay at his computer.

When he suffered a comedown, he claimed, he just took more speed.

Then in April - just a few months after he started playing the game - he said he decided he should kill himself.

He said he was ready to 'end it all' but his father intervened just in time.

Carl is now seeing a counsellor and slowly returning to his old life.

Epic Games, which created Fortnite, declined to comment when approached by The Mirror.

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is a game that originally launched as a disk back in July 2017 and was then turned into a free-to-download game by its developer, Epic Games, in September.

There are three forms of the game: 'Battle Royale', 'Save The World' and 'Playground'.

Save the world is the original form of the game and is currently not available to play as part of the free-to-download game, instead it comes as part of a £30 ($40) extra.

It is a co-op mode with a story that's playable solo or online with friends.

Users compete in teams of up to four to complete a variety of missions.

It is rumoured that the game will be added to the free-to-play version of the game in the future.

Whilst Save The World may be the original version of the game, its sister mode is by far the most popular.

Battle Royale is a game of survival where players create a superhero avatar and compete against each other on a dystopian island.

Each game, or 'match' as each competition is known, starts with 100 players.

The aim of the game is to be the last one standing. Users can form allegiances and play in small groups.

To enable this and the interactive experience, the game allows completely open communication between players.

Inspired by the Hunger Games novels and films, gamers search for weapons to help them survive.

Armed with quirky weapons and amusing dances, the game has swept across the gaming world, with children flocking to it.

While there is no exact figure on how many children play Fortnite, the game has so far pulled in an audience of over 125 million players.


If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call 111.

If you need to talk to someone, the following free helplines operate 24/7:

LIFELINE: 0800 543 354
NEED TO TALK? Call or text 1737
SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 or text 234

There are lots of places to get support. For others, click here.