Just when you thought that the Fortnite video game was worrying enough, think again. Supplement companies are now making caffeine-loaded gaming stimulants and drinks. The most worrying thing? These companies are using popular Instagrammers to target young people.
Using hashtags such as #gamersupplements #reactiontime #insomnia and #fortnite, Instagrammers are promoting the products, which claim to give you ‘supercharged energy’ and ‘superior brain power’.
The only ‘warning’ they come with is along the lines of ‘will keep you up all night to game’.
“Games such as Fortnite are certainly very appealing to teens and children as young as nine and 10,” says cyber safety expert, Leonie Smith. “I’m hearing stories of parents who are struggling to control the amount of time their children are playing, and some teachers have banned discussions about the game because it’s too distracting.”
But when it comes to distraction, Smith notes that pills, powders and other caffeine-style drinks may take things to another level.
“These products may appeal to teens because they seemingly offer a great way to keep playing,” she says. “If a child already has a suspected gaming disorder compelling them to play all night, certainly taking these types of substances is only prolonging the problem of being unable to healthily balance their game play.”
A 2017 ranking of the best gaming stimulants on SupplementHQ.com showed that product ingredients lists that all have one thing in common. Caffeine. Of greater concern, Gamer supps GC also contains a meth-like stimulant called octadrine.
Within the list, each supplement is ranked according to its performance enhancing abilities. In some instances, the review outlines who may benefit from the product the most. For example, “We expect MOD to be popular among the older generations who really need something strong to get them into the game”.
– Jo Hartley