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The Courts Games

NCsoft Sued For Making Lineage II 'Too Addictive' 360

Posted by Soulskill
from the dopamine-farming dept.
An anonymous reader writes "South Korean MMO game publisher NCsoft is finding itself facing another lawsuit, this time for making games that are 'too addictive.' US Lineage II player Craig Smallwood is suing the publisher for $3 million because he found himself playing Lineage II for 20,000 hours over a period of 5 years. At times, his average play session would persist for over 11 hours, crippling his life and ability to function. A federal judge is allowing the court case to go forward (PDF), stating that the plaintiff has a claim for negligence and gross negligence against the publisher."
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NCsoft Sued For Making Lineage II 'Too Addictive'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, 2010 @01:16PM (#33315860)

    Recently I read a story [wired.com] that featured an idiot judge. The judge actually allowed a lawsuit go through that claimed negligence for making a product too good. So my question is, how does a normal citizen go about getting a federal judge permanently removed from the bench?

  • by rainmouse (1784278) on Friday August 20, 2010 @01:16PM (#33315864)
    The fact that these games do use very morally dubious techniques to create a feeling of addiction and endless time sinks to nurture that addiction. There are a LOT of people who's lives have been utterly ruined by MMORPG's and its easy to laugh at them, point fingers and call them weak but the fact of the matter is they are being psychologically manipulated. The problem is only going to get worse as developers better perfect these techniques and create deeper levels of immersion. I would have to agree that at some point a line has to be drawn and lawsuits like this could become more common until someone could actually win one.
  • by ooshna (1654125) on Friday August 20, 2010 @01:59PM (#33316568)

    I can't believe a judge allowed this case to go forward. On what grounds does developing an addiction allow you to persue a lawsuit? (If thats the case, can't every single smoker in the country sue the cigarette companies for 3 million dollars for every 5 years they smoked, essentially bankrupting that industry?)

    Do you think the Government would allow the cigarette industry to go under with all the taxes they are collecting?

  • by rainmouse (1784278) on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:29PM (#33316870)

    So we should also eliminate or create legal liability for all forms of psychological manipulation? Advertising and political speech come to mind, do we want to protect against that?

    Your quoting me out of context there and ignoring a lot of what I said. Try watching some of the Youtube video's on people deleting their Warcraft characters, people who have lost their jobs, homes, wives and kids. I hardly think being manipulated into buying another cheesburger or diet pepsi is going to have a similar effect. At no point did I say that this lawsuit was a good idea, in fact I think its ridiculous. I do however think that as developers get better at nutruring addiction and creating ever more immersive worlds, it's going to develop into an increasingly serious problem that will need addressing at some point.

  • by ChristopherBurg (1840388) on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:30PM (#33316874)

    I can't believe a judge allowed this case to go forward. On what grounds does developing an addiction allow you to persue a lawsuit?

    Although I'm not claiming this is the case sometimes a judge will let a lawsuit go through if they believe the grounds of the lawsuit are sufficiently stupid and there is a likelihood of the plaintiff losing. This sets up precedence and allows future lawsuits of the same nature to be thrown out using the original case as reasoning.

  • by Leafheart (1120885) on Friday August 20, 2010 @03:04PM (#33317324)

    I hardly think being manipulated into buying another cheesburger or diet pepsi is going to have a similar effect.

    You never saw someone with morbid obesity, did you?

  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Friday August 20, 2010 @04:07PM (#33318098) Homepage
    He'll get creamed as a pro se. I'm sure the defense is already hand selecting a psychiatrist or two to evaluate him and I have no doubt they'll find that he has some kind of obsessive personality disorder, which is probably true. My wife plays farmville obsessively, but before that, she hassled me constantly about some irrational dirt or germ issue till I said I was moving out, and before that she collected podcasts she never listened to till her 500gb HD died, before that it was playing spider solitaire, and before that it was something I forget. Anyway, my point it, the problem is the person with the obsessive disorder, not the object of their obsession.

    Secondly, this trial is about to become this guy's obsession, and one of the absolutely certain ways to scare of attorneys, is to come across as an extremely needy, obsessed client who will extravagantly abuse the lawyer's time, which is OK if you get paid by the hour I suppose, but in a contingent situation, it means losing money. So there are probably two reasons why he may have a hard time getting a lawyer: one, he IS crazy (intervening cause); and two, he's crazy (super annoying).

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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