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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 eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:01PM (#33315644) Journal
    3142 comments [slashdot.org]?
    Submission Summary [slashdot.org]: 36 pending, 879 rejected, 607 accepted (1522 total, 39.88% accepted)?

    Yes, surely that is why I have no life! See you in court, Slashdot!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:02PM (#33315658)
      Much like this lawsuit, you're running into a chicken and egg problem...

      Do you have no life because you post on Slashdot?

      Or do you post on Slashdot because you have no life?

      Ah, the great philosophical questions of our times...
      • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:11PM (#33315760) Journal

        While you bring up a point, I don't think it should matter.

        The immediate question is Should Smallwood get 3 Million dollars for playing a video game for 5 years?

        It doesn't matter how addictive it is. I could develop Alchoholism but I can't sue Bacardi for keeping me in the hole. It's negligent? What the heck is NCsoft supposed to do? Make Lineage II LESS fun?

        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?)

        • by asills (230118) on Friday August 20, 2010 @01:08PM (#33316654)

          (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?)
          Reply to This

          You must be pretty young or not from the US. The cigarette industry did get sued (quite a few times) and the biggest settlement was from 1998 where they effectively had to pay a bit over $200 billion over the next 25 years. The suit was 46 states versus the tobacco industry. You know all those "The Truth" ads? Those are funded by the tobacco companies.

          The downside to this settlement is it also exempts the industry from further tort lawsuits (although, apparently not, there have been some since).

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_politics [wikipedia.org]
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_Master_Settlement_Agreement [wikipedia.org]

          • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Friday August 20, 2010 @01:44PM (#33317066)

            In all fairness, the tobacco industries were sued for:

            - withholding information on and downright lying about the addictiveness of nicotine.
            - withholding information on and downright lying about the health consequences of smoking.
            - adding artificial agents to make the product even more addictive.
            - targeting their product at children while knowing damn well what smoking does to kids.

            Selling an addictive product is one thing. Lying to congress, marketing at those who are considered incompetent(children) is an entirely different ballgame.

      • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary&yahoo,com> on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:11PM (#33315774) Journal

        Much like this lawsuit, you're running into a chicken and egg problem...

        Do you have no life because you post on Slashdot?

        Or do you post on Slashdot because you have no life?

        Ah, the great philosophical questions of our times...

        And more importantly, how can you kill that which has no life?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by flibuste (523578)
        We need a class action against Slashdot for all of us clods who were rendered insensitive by this web site.
    • by altoz (653655)

      3142 comments [slashdot.org]?

      Submission Summary [slashdot.org]: 36 pending, 879 rejected, 607 accepted (1522 total, 39.88% accepted)?

      Yes, surely that is why I have no life! See you in court, Slashdot!

      I'm suing you for making your comments too entertaining!

      • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:16PM (#33315870) Journal

        I'm suing you for making your comments too entertaining!

        I'm suing you for giving my addiction positive reinforcement and feedback! I also want the logs so I can see which moderators continue to mod me up so I can add defendants to my lawsuit! By the time I'm done sobbing in front of the jury, they'll believe I never had a choice to quit!

        What the hell, did you just add me to your friend's list? Oh you better believe that's a lawsuit.

        Oh. My. God. Did you see my achievements [slashdot.org]?! My lawyer's head just exploded.

        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          I also want the logs so I can see which moderators continue to mod me up so I can add defendants to my lawsuit!

          *rubs hands together menacingly because he has mod points*

          I will mod you straight to insanity!!

          *submit*

          Shit! I can't mod now! Un-submit! Un-submit!

        • I'm adding you to my friends, too, sucker!

          I feel both diabolic and really, really kind at the same time. Too weird to express.

    • 3142 times she walked past her bedroom window, with the curtains just open enough to show her in her lace underwear.

      Flirty looks at you as you passed by on your way to the 7-11 for ramen. 0% returned.

      Yes, you are the reason she had to hook up with that jock. She is sueing YOU for emotional traume and unsatisfied sexual desire of her self and her close female friends because YOU spend all that time on slashdot instead.

      Pay up!

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:01PM (#33315646) Homepage Journal

    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.

    The whole victim-mentality that runs rampant makes my blood boil: "He had bad parenting" "She wasn't potty trained properly" "The breweries make beer taste too good" "I have a disease" blah blah blah fucking excuses blah blah blah.

    Hey Craig Smallwood, take responsibility for your actions; you're not a victim. In actuality your lawsuit paints you as a blatant parasite.
    • by Rijnzael (1294596)
      I actually think most problems like that of the plaintiff here are a result of insufficient parenting. Had the parents instilled in this person good time management and prioritization, he may well not have had this problem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kitten Killer (766858)

        Are they alive? Maybe he can sue them too!

      • by rainmouse (1784278) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:16PM (#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 jafiwam (310805)
          You know, for actual monetary damage, Farmville, Mafia Wars, Yahoo games and similar games probably do more economic damage to worker productivity than MMOPRGs ever could.
        • by Nkwe (604125)

          the fact of the matter is they are being psychologically manipulated.

          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? How about your peers, your boss, your spouse / significant other, or your parents? They are consistently trying to psychologically manipulate you.

          I am sorry, but the world is trying to psychologically manipulate you. This has always been the case and always will be. Deal with it. Have some personal responsibility.

          • They are consistently trying to psychologically manipulate you.

            Go shout fire in a crowded theater. That's "psychologically manipulating" the crowd to panic. And then you're liable for any injuries that result.

            Heck, it even works if we go for that mother-of-all libertarian examples, the 2nd amendment. You have an absolute right to own a gun. You have the right to keep it unlocked, loaded, and sitting on your desk in your home office while you're doing whatever. You even have the right to shoot it--but if you hit anything, you're 100% liable for what happens.

            MMOs make their games intentionally addictive. Nothing wrong with that, per se, and there's no reason to formally regulate it. The basic rule of "be responsible for your actions" should apply here, and to the extent that NCSoft making Lineage II addictive caused this guy harm, they should be held accountable. But, he's also an adult, and needs to have at least SOME self-control.

            Thankfully, we have an amazing system to decide how liable NCSoft is. It's called a trial, and the judge is letting that happen.

          • by rainmouse (1784278) on Friday August 20, 2010 @01:29PM (#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.

        • And when I write a Craig's list ad I use psychological tricks to get people to think my car is a better deal than some other car. I once sold a car for $200 more than my minimum acceptable offer, is that morally dubious also??? Before I got married, I would modify my behavior so girls wouldn't think I was a geek that enjoyed playing Counterstrike for hours so I would have a better chance of getting a date. Unless she was a geek too....then my geekiness was allowed to roam free. (My wife loves having a geek
        • Can I also sue my employer for psychologically manipulating me to spend 8 hours of my day working at a job?

          Could I also sue my Internet service provider since they provide me this addictive subtance that I need to communicate and function in regular society?

          Could I also sue a therapist because many people find relaxing to visit them weekly?

          Could I sue the milk companies because I really always enjoy chocolate milk while playing video games?

          Could I sue my friends because hanging out with them is such a posit

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:48PM (#33316398) Journal

          It's bullshit, sorry. Back in uni I did get myself into some serious mess because of online gaming addition (NWN, which, while not "massive", is still a multiplayer online RPG). And, in retrospect, I only had myself to blame for this. All the talk about being "psychologically manipulated" is silly - the "manipulation" is hardly above the level of your typical advertising, but you don't see people suing McDonalds for posting ad with a picture of a burger that looked so tasty they just had to go buy it.

        • by hedwards (940851)
          That is true, but at some point you've got to draw a line. It's the business of a games company to make games catchy, I'm not sure how this could possibly be going forward when pretty much everybody knows that to be the case. It's not that much different than tobacco, alcohol, gambling etc., where people have trouble but where it's hardly an unknown risk.
      • In my philosophy all your actions are of your own responsibility. To reiterate a line from one of my favourite movies

        "A king may move a man, a father may claim a son. But remember that, even when those who move you be kings or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God you cannot say "but I was told by others to do thus" or that "virtue was not convinient at the time". This will not suffice."

        If you draw away all the religious belief from that statement, I think it can still

        • by TheLink (130905)
          To me if you do not have free will, you are something that can be destroyed with no special considerations if you do not meet the specifications.

          Currently we still give the "we humans are special" treatment to brain dead or profoundly retarded humans, but if too many people keep saying it's not their fault because something else made them do it, it's going to be even harder to convince the Future Transhumans/AIs that "normal people" still deserve special treatment.
          • The whole "Someone else made me do it" Arguement is fundamentally flawed to begin with.

            By that logic, I can go as far as to say that all my actions are the deterministic results of everything leading up to that point, so I can blame my murderous rampage on the big bang. After all my psychology is shaped by my parenting, and my parents were shaped by theirs, and so on and so forth.

      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        I think self responsibility is a greater trait to instil. This is the kind of person that blames everyone and thing but themselves for their own problems.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      While this lawsuit might sound a little ridiculous, pretending that problems with gaming addiction don't exist isn't exactly a very intelligent way to deal with the issue either.

      • Gaming addiction is a real problem, but this lawsuit is preposterous. That is the issue, not gaming addiction.

        Also, maybe I should check out L2.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DurendalMac (736637)
        And suing game companies will do...what, exactly? Make less games? People are responsible for themselves. If they can't cope with game addiction, then they need help with their lack of self-control. Suing game companies is a ridiculous measure by greedy lawyers and whiny little bastards who can't accept that they're responsible for their own damned behavior.
        • by grumbel (592662)

          And suing game companies will do...what, exactly?

          Force them to have a psychologist on staff to deal with such addiction cases or something along the lines maybe? It doesn't even need to have a ruling, just pushing the issue into the public view a bit with the lawsuit might already help to let companies reconsider there current behavior.

          If they can't cope with game addiction, then they need help with their lack of self-control.

          Yeah, but instead they just get more addictive material from the game company. The thing is: The company knows that those people are addicted and it doesn't care, instead it milks them for more money. How responsible is tha

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Hydian (904114)

            Why is it the responsibility of the game companies to police their users for addictive tendencies and then treat them? If those people weren't playing games, they'd be on IRC or Facebook all day or the next episode of hoarders or something. Games are the outlet, not the cause.

        • by LingNoi (1066278)

          People have sued MMOs since UO and possibly meridian 59. Everquest had lawsuits over trivial things such as in game items. So far it hasn't stopped the industry yet, they probably just have a lawyer on payroll anyway.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Blaming the object of abuse is a common tactic addicts use to deflect blame from themselves. Even with highly addictive drugs like nicotine and heroin people can and do will themselves to quit. If you are addicted to something the responsibility lies on your shoulders, no one else's.

        • Exactly. No one is saying it's necessarily easy, but the responsibility is yours to put the work in... not society's to take the object of your addiction away.
    • Yeah, not a whole lot of sympathy from me either on this one. In fact, I'm a little upset this hasn't been thrown out:

      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.

      So what the judge is saying is that if online gaming services don't regulate against lengthy usage of their services by adult citizens they may face lawsuits like this? Hopefully this sets a precedent that such a claim is a load of horse shit and should never be considered in a court of law again. Where does The "Science" of Game Addiction [slashdot.org] draw the line?

      In America, you're suppose to have the freedom to do whatever you want with your time so long as it doesn't impair another person's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This includes, for better or for worse, devoting as much time as you see fit to a game. It's called "responsibility" and I'd rather you accept it before the decision is made for you and you never had a choice to begin with (a la China's government regulations for online game play time [bbc.co.uk]).

      • by grumbel (592662)

        So what the judge is saying is that if online gaming services don't regulate against lengthy usage of their services by adult citizens they may face lawsuits like this?

        Where did anybody say something about regulation? What about just having a moderator/psychologist on stuff that has a little chat with those people that hang around for thousands of hours?

    • by spun (1352)

      With our country's "War" on drugs, we have a society which perpetuates the idea that addiction is the fault of the dealer. The drug war is socialism for cops and addicts, it takes money from the general population and uses it to "help" a small class of people who are prone to addiction or can't find employment except as a state thug. If drug addicts can get this socialist "help,"why not other addicts? If drug dealers are to blame for addiction, why not video game publishers?

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      I want to disagree on some level, but I really can't.

      I think the only thing that I would add is that addiction is painful (mental pain is no different from physical), even if it is the result of patterns of learned behavior. Those patterns are hard to change, and it takes a lot of work. Its not something most people can do without really wanting to do it.

      I have trouble blaming him for seeing himself as some sort of victim and looking for whatever remedy to the spiraling situation that he can. Its a little l

    • This judge should be removed from his position for letting this laughable shit actually get into the courts. It's called SELF-CONTROL. If you can't exercise some, then you get what you deserve. We're not talking about a physically addictive substance. We're talking about a VIDEO GAME. Yes, whiny idiots and greedy lawyers are part of the problem, but maybe we need to start booting judges for allowing unbelievable crap like this into the system in the first place.
      • A big problem with this country is that you can find a Federal judge somewhere that will make and/or support any ruling or decision imaginable. The trick is finding the right one for your case.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Planesdragon (210349)

        This judge should be removed from his position for letting this laughable shit actually get into the courts

        Funny, the cigarette companies felt the exact same way. And, in fact, I think they made the exact same argument. Hell, I think RAPISTS and CHILD MOLESTORS feel the same way. (And, yes, so do folk who get sued by the RIAA)

        It's a fundamental component of liberty that, if you cannot come to a reasonable settlement with someone between the two of you, you can go to a court of law to have an impartial jury decide on what "reasonable settlement" you'll get.

        The bar for just dismissing a case is VERY high, and s

    • It seems like in America you can sue for coffee being too hot, ice-cream being too cold, water being too wet. Now this??? I'm surprised there are still people doing business over there, the legal costs to operate a business in America must be enormous.
      • by nomadic (141991)
        It seems like in America you can sue for coffee being too hot, ice-cream being too cold, water being too wet. Now this??? I'm surprised there are still people doing business over there, the legal costs to operate a business in America must be enormous.

        If you believe the breathless paranoia of slashdot and the rest of the media, maybe. You have to ask yourself, though, whether it's possible, just possible, that the media has overhyped the problem.
    • by dhermann (648219) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:38PM (#33316222)

      I get it; you're hard and edgy, and by disagreeing with you, that makes me an emo pansy, but just to put up a decent counterargument...

      What would you say if, during the discovery phase of Craig's claim, e-mails and documents subpoenaed reveal that NCSoft actively created their games with the intent not to entertain, but to entice and entangle? What if they commissioned a psychological research study on how to make their games more addictive, and made major alterations to the gameplay based on the results? What if they made it a primary goal to target certain segments of the population, what you would call the weak-willed and easily manipulated, what others might call aged 18-25 unmarried males?

      What if their next game specifically targeted children, aged 9-15? Is it a parental responsibility to identify each game's level of addictiveness before purchasing it for their child? Isn't there no way to tell until the child has become addicted, and now both parent and child are forced to endure a period of withdrawal?

      I think that this lawsuit is probably frivolous, but I can definitely see a situation where it is not. You certainly can't make the blanket assumption that this guy's claim is worthless before it plays out.

  • by scribblej (195445) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:06PM (#33315694)

    I firmly believe that Craig Smallwood is an appropriately named man with no sense of personal responsibility.

    That said, it will be interesting to see how this court case plays out considering there is NO QUESTION that the developers of these games intentionally try to make them as 'addictive' as possible. There are many studies in the industry meant to determine the appropriate level of payout (loot, level gains, etc) required to keep someone interested all the time.

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:31PM (#33316092) Journal

      It should get laughed out of court, there should be no question about that at all.

      In every article, summary, post, comment, reply, you can easily interchange 'addictive' with 'entertaining'.

      Now try it, and see how ridiculous it sounds. NCsoft Sued for Making Lineage II 'Too Entertaining'.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Wrong, and stop using logical fallacy.

        If a game company exploits skinners box to psychologically addict someone, then they should be held liable.

        I son't know the specifics of this case, so I'm not commenting on that, just that you can use psychology to manipulate someone to do more then they normally would have the desire to do so.

        We live in a world where advertiser are using neuroscience to create ads to keep peoples attention even though they really don't want to watch the ads.

        IT is absolutely possible to

      • Lets face it, if McD gets sued because people like their hamburgers so much they can't stop eating, everybody is a target. Just waiting for the first thief to claim the object he stole was simply to tempting.

        On a more serious note, this is exactly what people who claim women cause rape by dressing to sexy are claiming AND have at times got away with.

        Anything to get off facing the consequence of your own actions.

        And I played Lineage II. It is not that good a game. And you got to wonder what the hell he wa

        • by couchslug (175151)

          For once, I think the 4chan meme is appropriate. If he's that fucked up, he won't get better, and should "an hero".

    • What you want to call "addictive" I call "fun." Games need to be fun, that's the reason I buy them. I wish to be entertained, I wish to enjoy my experience. Part of that can be a feeling of accomplishment via payouts in the game. This should be optimized to be the most fun, the most rewarding. If the game is deliberately made to discourage me from playing well, then, I won't. I'll go find another game.

      Now will some people get addicted to that? Sure. However that shows that they have a problem, not the game.

  • by countSudoku() (1047544) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:07PM (#33315708) Homepage

    I'm putting Atari on notice for Asteroids Deluxe and Namco for Xevious! I've wasted far too many hours of my younger days on those two games and I want my quarters back! Waaaaah!!1!

    Plus, we should blow up the moon. Thank you.

  • by ThinkWeak (958195) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:08PM (#33315728)
    If he somehow wins this case, NCSoft should payout with the equivalent of $3,000,000 in in-game currency.
    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      Actually, I think that would cure his addiction.

      With that much cash (billions in in-game currency) there would be nothing he couldn't buy, and the game would start to suck.

      Maybe.

      However if he really has no life and just fills it with Lineage (instead of filling his life with Lineage, causing him to have no life), it won't work.

  • What kind of lawyer takes on a case like this?

    • by SirGeek (120712) <sirgeek-slashdot@@@mrsucko...org> on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:14PM (#33315824) Homepage

      What kind of lawyer takes on a case like this?

      One who gets paid regardless of the outcome ?

      • by schwit1 (797399)
        This case needs 'loser pays' rule. Paid by the loser and his lawyers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SirWhoopass (108232)

        He's representing himself.

        In fact, he nearly got in trouble over it because used an attorney as ghostwriter for the claims. Something that was not initially disclosed. NCsoft tried to get a dismissal because of it, but the court decided that was too drastic. Instead, he is not being afforded the latitude normally given to a pro se litigant. (pages 14-16 of the PDF linked from the summary).

    • by SirWhoopass (108232) on Friday August 20, 2010 @01:45PM (#33317072)

      As of now, no lawyer takes on a case like this. The plantiff is pro se (representing himself).

      The court is allowing a portion of the case to go forward. The summary fails to note that the judge dismissed the claims of misrepresentation, unfair trade practices, intentional infliction of emotional harm, and punitive damages.

      The judge is merely determining if there could be a case. The plantiff was hospitalized for three weeks and has on-going therapy. There has been no determination yet that the game is the cause or what liability the game makers may have (the court notes it is limited to levels set in the game user agreement for negligent infliction of emotional distress). In short, the guy has been injured by "something". He says it was the game, and he'll get his day in court to try and make that claim.

      It's funny how so many /.'ers complain about people who believe the outrageous stories from [Glenn Beck, Fox New, whatever]. This is pretty much the same thing. The actual story is only about 1/10 what is implied in the headline, but now we have a forum full of people screaming about it

  • by Daddy-Oh (306170) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:10PM (#33315746)

    I waste 2,000-3,000 hours *a year* working for my employer. I can't stop myself. I feel that, if I stop, my ability to function in society will end. I must be addicted to work.

    Anyone have the number for a good lawyer? (hmm, is that an oxymoron?)

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Anyone have the number for a good lawyer? (hmm, is that an oxymoron?)

      Not if you mean proficient. Or NYCL...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      Worse, your employer obviously feeds your addiction far more than a video game company ever could.

      I mean, they pay you by the hour for something as precious as your soul.

      If Smallwood gets millions, I think you could get billions man.

  • NC Soft needs only to drastically increase the chance and amount of player gear to be dropped on the ground upon player death so that PvP gankers have a much higher chance of stealing other people's hard earned gear. I guarantee that within a month, player base will dwindle to a few hardcore PvPers cannibalizing each other while everyone else moves on to other MMORPGs. The problem of addicted Lineage players will be gone forever.
  • Any who has been on hold forever needs to sue as well.

    start with comcast and don't forget to add time waiting for the tech to come as well.

  • would this same judge let a case against a board game manufacturer go forward? I'm reading Work Freak [amazon.com] right now about competitive Scrabble players, and it's a truly sad book in a lot of ways. The folks who make up the upper echelons of competitive Scrabble are basically completely dysfunctional and completely addicted in every way- most have quit their jobs in order to compete and many are about one step from homelessness, assuming they aren't still living with their parents in their 40s.

    Can we hit up o

    • by jafiwam (310805)

      So... Rule #35? No matter what it is, there's some loser somewhere addicted to it?

  • I mean, tobacco is ACTUALLY addictive and no one is suing them. Tons of other hobbies and activities are addictive, either mentally (sudoku) or chemically (jogging) and no one is suing puzzle designers or Nike. People don't like to take responsibility for their actions any more. We're all victims of someone else's evil. It's never actually our fault.
  • by Ironhandx (1762146) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:15PM (#33315850)

    My first thought was "Hmm, I haven't played lineage, apparently I should."

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      Nah, it doesn't mean anything.

      I heard of a guy who played that stupid Pirate MMORPG for 22 hours a day, and most people agree that game sucked. That's twice the hours Smallwood put in.

  • 20,000 hours over 5 years is 80 hours a week. Impressive. If we assume time and a half for overtime, that's 3 million for 25000 hours, or $120 an hour or ~$250,000 a year as a base salary. I don't know if that would be close to enough to make me put in hours like that, for 5 years straight.
  • Seriously? Ok, lets break this down.

    Said person is addicted to game. Why is he addicted? Presumably, because the game is fun (well, to him; I personally found it just "ok"). So, because the game possesses such a great deal of entertainment, he spends most of his waking hours with it.

    Sounds like there's a bit of a disconnect. The idiot isn't addicted to the game, he's addicted to the departure from reality and responsibility... AKA, he's a child.

    Ok, that's a bit harsh. There is such a thing as internet

  • "At times, his average play session would persist for over 11 hours, crippling his life and ability to function."

    Actually it's not "at times" it was all the time. 11 hours every single day for 5 years = 20,000 hours.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      Also note that "At times" and "his average play session" are contradictory. It's either "at times his play session would persist over 11 hours" or it's "his average play session would persist over 11 hours" and the "at times" bit would be some number higher than 11 hours (probably 20 hours on occasion).

      Since we can do basic math, we know it's the average play session that was 11 hours. :)

  • by Blackwulf (34848) on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:22PM (#33315962) Homepage

    I skimmed NCSoft's defense pdf (linked in the Wired article) and it winds up that the guy in question was involved in real-money transfers and had all of his accounts banned from Lineage II in 2009.

    Could that possibly be the REAL reason he's suing?

  • ... at how some people think that they can not take responsibility for their own choices.
  • [sarcasm]I spent about 20,000 hours there over the last 5 years, and it is cripeling my social life.[/sarcasm]

    Dude, if you want to stop playing the game, just start playing something else, like WoW, or Eve, or this thing called life....
  • The headline should read "NCSoft Sued For Having Money And Coming To The Attention Of A Liability Lawyer".

    The "plaintiff" has already demonstrated a complete disregard for concepts of personal responsibility or a work ethic. This is the exact personality-type which engages in lawsuits like this, hoping to never have to work again (as if they'd ever worked before). And of course there are always lawyers with an equally-commendable outlook on life willing to collect 40% of an ill-gotten settlement.

    If ther

    • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Friday August 20, 2010 @12:51PM (#33316450) Homepage
      Oh give me a break, it's such an echo chamber in here, the usual screeching about how horrible the courts are, without anyone even looking at what the judge actually did. The problem with this country isn't the judicial system, it's the ignorant people who go from zero to outraged in 5 seconds based on a slashdot summary written by some anonymous guy. The judge is ruled by the Federeal Rules of Civil Procedure. Those rules say you can't just throw out a lawsuit AT THE DISMISSAL STAGE simply because you don't think the plaintiff will win. To survive dismissal, all you have to do is draft your complaint in a way that, if the facts you allege are accepted as true, your claim can move on to the next stage. That's it. The judge isn't saying the guy's going to win, just that under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, promulgated by the Supreme Court, as authorized by Congress, he has to let the lawsuit go to the next stage.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Agreed - and now, having read the judge's decision (OK, to be honest, I skimmed sections of it) - he actually tossed out about half of the complaint. This motion to dismiss from NC-Soft was strictly on procedural grounds (alleging that the plaintiff hadn't properly worded things, etc.).

        The plaintiff was originally representing himself (and may still be, that was unclear) - and the judge points out that federal courts give a certain amount of leeway to people who represent themselves, as it is assumed tha

  • anything enjoyable is addictive

    so the only way to comply with your complaint in order to protect from all future such lawsuits would be to destroy the potential for anything to be enjoyable that might be sold

    what an awesome world that would be

    in short, i hope that your wood is not so small that you still can't choke on it, you asshole

  • All NCSoft's lawyer has to do is show up in court and say "cigarettes" over and over again.
    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      Don't you mean the plaintiff's lawyer? As I recall, cigarette manufacturers got hit hard in court...
  • ...for personal responsibility.
  • Watch out Blizzard...
  • by linuxgurugamer (917289) on Friday August 20, 2010 @01:01PM (#33316594) Homepage

    When you do the following google search:

            craig smallwood honolulu

    it becomes evident that Mr. Smallwood has plenty of time on his hands to file lawsuits. This seems to put the lie to his claim that he is unable to function.

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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