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 fulfilling the role of mother and father? This is certainly a legitimate question. But the parents of an Arkansas teenager apparently decided to go their own way.
The couple is seeking to sue several major game publishers and manufacturers for allegedly encouraging their son’s video game addiction and negatively influencing various aspects of the young man’s life and health. The lawsuit was filed Oct. 30 in an Arkansas court.
Who’s who in the gaming industry is affected by the lawsuit
Five well-known gaming industry representatives are affected by the lawsuit. Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, Epic Games, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft and several subsidiaries are accused. They are accused of “Patented designs, algorithms and marketing with addictive features and technologies” to use.
They want to promote addictive tendencies among minors in order to “predatory“To support monetization methods. In particular, the lawsuit accuses the companies of negligence, which should lead to strict liability.
Video game addiction due to lack of education?
Companies failed to 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 more and more money on microtransactions.
The mother refers to her own son’s gaming habits. He plays every day “about 13 hours a day“Games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, Battlefield and Rainbow Six. Despite the ban, he continues to secretly gamble behind his parents’ backs and spend money on microtransactions
Video game addiction leads to psychological, physical and social problems
The lawsuit claims the Arkansas child’s video game addiction “physical pain in the hands, elbows and shoulders, weight gain and morbid obesity, decreased social interactions, drop in grades and inability to attend school, depression, lack of interest in other sports/hobbies, loss and/or absence of friends in school school when I could visit them, withdrawal symptoms such as anger, rage and physical outbursts, loss of friends and other emotional distress, mental anguish, pain and suffering” has experienced.
All of this meant the family had to seek counseling, medication and an individualized parenting plan, including homeschooling for their son. Publishers must now pay financially for this.
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 bear to care for the child. While some may want to spontaneously blame parents, there is extensive research into how video games can be addictive. Addiction can have effects similar to the psychological consequences of gambling.
WHO recognizes online gaming addiction as a disease
There are special clinics where those affected are treated. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even recognized gaming disorder (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 are calling 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.
Who is ultimately responsible?
Of course, many parents are simply overwhelmed by today’s technology because they 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 right way to deal with the problem? Blame the manufacturers through a lawsuit? Rethinking fatherhood or possibly both? What do you mean?
If you would like to read the petition presented in full, you can access this PDF document here.