Hawaii native Craig Smallwood is claiming that the game Lineage II is so addictive that for five years, he apparently lost all measure of self-control and became “unable to function independently in usual daily activities such as getting up, getting dressed, bathing or communicating with family and friends.”
Smallwood is suing Lineage maker, NCsoft of South Korea, claiming that the developer should pay an unspecified amount of money due to the addictive nature of the game. The suit states that Smallwood played the game between 2004 and 2009 for 20,000 hours, but would not have played if he were aware of the addictive nature of the game. To put that in context, that entire five year period was only 43,848 hours, meaning that for nearly half of every moment over the five years, Smallwood was playing Lineage II, which Smallwood blames on the game.
”In light of plaintiff’s allegations, the court finds that plaintiff has stated a claim for both negligence and gross negligence,” U.S. District Judge Alan Kay stated in a ruling that was obtained by Wired.
For those that have not spent nearly half of the last five years playing it, Lineage II is a MMORPG that was released in 2003. Since the initial release, the game has seen several updates and expansion packs, and even now more are planned. As recently as 2007, the game still counted over 610,000 potential victims as active players.
This isn’t the first such claim against a game publisher. Typically, the defendant companies move for the suit to be immediately dismissed, and typically the judge agrees. NCsoft has again asked that the judge dismiss the claim, but for whatever reason, Judge Kay has decided that the case has enough merit to proceed.
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