Gamer Sues Developer Because a Game was “Too Addicting”

Yes, you read that title correctly. Wired recently reported that Hawaiian resident, Craig Smallwood, claims that South Korean based NCsoft should pay an undisclosed sum of money for damages on the premise that their game is “too addictive.” NCsoft is the developer of the highly popular MMORPG title, Lineage II. Supposedly Smallwood logged somewhere in the ballpark of  20,000 hours between 2004 and 2009 on Lineage II. That’s an average of 64 hours a week!

I can be addicted to this all day.......

Smallwood states that during that time, he became “psychologically dependent and addicted” to the game. The case also states that NCsoft “acted negligently in failing to warn or instruct or adequately warn or instruct plaintiff and other players of Lineage II of its dangerous and defective characteristics, and of the safe and proper method of using the game.”

A Hawaiian judge had thrown out most of the claims Smallwood made, but did not dismiss the entire case based on the negligence claims. Here is a copy of the claims that Smallwood made to a Hawaiian court, as well as the court documents.

Included in the court documents is a statement made by Smallwood that NCsoft locked him out of his multiple accounts in September of 2009. NCsoft states the reason being  Smallwood was involved in “an elaborate scheme to create real money transfers.” Smallwood claims that NCsoft locked him and other users out of Lineage II in an attempt to force everyone to upgrade to NCsoft’s newer title, Aion.

Smallwood says that Aion does not fulfill his gaming needs and that “he continues to this day to have a compulsive urge and need to play Lineage II.” The court documents also state that he has suffered “extreme and serious emotional distress and depression, he has been unable to function independently, he has suffered psychological trauma, he was hospitalized, and he requires treatment and therapy three times a week.”

So this brings the age old question, are video games in fact addicting? Is Craig Smallwood just trying to find an excuse to go after NCsoft because they locked out his accounts for violating their user agreements? In my professional opinion, I think he’s full of $%*#. He got caught doing something wrong, got in trouble and now is suing the developer because he’s too stupid to follow the rules. As for the claims, they’re ridiculous. It sounds like he needs psychiatric help for other things. Again, that’s just how I feel.

Although I really thought a WOW player would have been the first to do something like this, lol. J/K

What do you think of the situation?

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