Parents sue 11 gaming companies over their son’s video game addiction

Arkansas couples are suing several companies for “predatory design” and monetization of their games. It’s about video game addiction.

Is it easier to file a lawsuit for inducing video game addiction than to fulfill the role of mother and father? This is certainly a legitimate question. But the parents of an Arkansas teenager have apparently decided to go their own way.

The couple is attempting to sue several major game publishers and manufacturers for allegedly fostering their son’s video game addiction and negatively influencing various aspects of the young man’s life and health. The lawsuit was filed on October 30 in an Arkansas court.

Who’s who in the gaming industry is affected by the lawsuit?

The lawsuit affects five well-known representatives of the gaming industry. Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, Epic Games, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft and several subsidiaries are accused. They are accused of β€œProprietary designs, algorithms and marketing with addictive features and technologies.” wear.

They want to promote addictive tendencies among minors to β€œpredatorβ€œTo support monetization methods. In particular, the lawsuit accuses the companies of negligence, which should give rise to strict liability.

video game addiction

Video game addiction due to lack of education?

The companies did not inform consumers about the potentially addictive design of their games. At the same time, they market them to young children. According to the lawsuit, the publishers designed the games to encourage underage players to spend increasingly more money on microtransactions.

The mother refers to her own son’s playing habits. He plays everyday”about 13 hours per dayβ€œ Games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, Battlefield and Rainbow Six. Despite the ban, he continues to play secretly behind his parents’ back and spends money on microtransactions.

Video game addiction causes psychological, physical and social problems

Lawsuit claims Arkansas boy’s video game addiction “physical pain in hands, elbows and shoulders, weight gain and morbid obesity, decreased social interactions, decreased grades and inability to attend school, depression, lack of interest in other sports/hobbies, loss and/or absence of friends at school when you were able to visit them, withdrawal symptoms such as rage, anger and physical outbursts, loss of friends and other emotional distress, mental anguish, pain and suffering“has experienced.

All of this resulted in the family having to seek counseling, medication, and an individualized parenting plan, including homeschooling their son. Now publishers should pay for this financially.

Manufacturers must pay the costs incurred plus compensation.

The family is seeking compensation for their son’s physical injuries. But also because of the various expenses they had to face to care for the child. While some may spontaneously want to blame parents, there is extensive research on how video games can be addictive. Addiction can have effects similar to the psychological consequences of gambling.

The WHO recognizes addiction to online games as a disease

There are special clinics where those affected are treated. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even recognized video game addiction as a legitimate health problem since the summer of 2018. However, the inclusion of online gaming addiction as a recognized disease is controversial among scientists. Some experts call for more research to clarify the symptoms and effects. Others believe it makes more sense to ask patients why they are prone to addictive behaviors in the first place.

Who is ultimately responsible?

Of course, many parents simply feel overwhelmed by today’s technology because they themselves didn’t grow up with it. Some mothers and fathers may have no idea about the possible side effects of their children’s leisure activities. What is the correct way to approach the problem? Blame the manufacturers through a lawsuit? Rethink parenthood or possibly both? What do you mean?

If you would like to read the submitted statement of claim in its entirety, you can access this PDF document here.

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