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The idea that video games are dangerously addictive certainly isn’t new, but now that idea is at the center of a legal battle involving Epic Games and their popular online shooter Fortnite. Back in 2019, a group of parents from Montreal set out to sue Epic for supposedly making Fortnite “as addictive as possible”. Now, a Quebec Superior Court Justice has authorized the class-action lawsuit, allowing it to move forward in their court system.

The lawsuit centers around the condition of the parents’ children, who have spent thousands of hours playing Fortnite, allegedly resulting in panic attacks and socialization issues. The judge’s ruling reads as follows:

“The Court is of the opinion that the facts alleged with respect to the plaintiffs’ children make it possible to claim, if we put them in relation to the statements of certain experts with respect to the creation of an addiction to video games, and more particularly to Fortnite, that the plaintiffs have a valid product liability claim against the defendants. The claim does not appear to be frivolous or manifestly ill-founded.”

Epic Games was given 30 days to appeal the judgement before they’ll be forced to defend themselves at trial. In a message to the Canadian station CTV News, an Epic correspondent gave the following statement:

“We have industry-leading Parental Controls that empower parents to supervise their child’s digital experience. Parents can receive playtime reports that track the amount of time their child plays each week, and require parental permission before purchases are made, so that they can make the decisions that are right for their family. We have also recently added a daily spending limit by default for players under the age of 13.

We plan to fight this in court. This recent decision only allows the case to proceed. We believe the evidence will show that this case is meritless.”

Most readers here will likely agree that the notion of video games being harmful or addictive is an outdated one that holds little merit. Nonetheless, if this does go to court, there’s a chance it could have an impact on the future of Fortnite, or video games in general, though it sounds like Epic is determined to fight that outcome. In any case, these lawsuits tend to take years before they’re resolved, so don’t expect things to get wrapped up any time soon. Stay tuned for future updates.

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fish

"Most readers here will likely agree that the notion of video games being harmful or addictive is an outdated one that holds little merit."

Eh, don't speak for us. "Living games" especially are built with lots of addictive practices in mind. Loot boxes, battle passes, daily login bonuses, first win of the day bonuses, etc. There's a lot that conditions players into wanting to play more even just on that behalf.

A lot of the psychology is similar to gambling which is fine for adults to do, but not children. Still, children play video games and while there are spending limits and children don't have access to their own credit cards, there are predatory practices at heart to keep you playing.

fish

2M ago

"Most readers here will likely agree that the notion of video games being harmful or addictive is an outdated one that holds little merit."

Eh, don't speak for us. "Living games" especially are built with lots of addictive practices in mind. Loot boxes, battle passes, daily login bonuses, first win of the day bonuses, etc. There's a lot that conditions players into wanting to play more even just on that behalf.

A lot of the psychology is similar to gambling which is fine for adults to do, but not children. Still, children play video games and while there are spending limits and children don't have access to their own credit cards, there are predatory practices at heart to keep you playing.