Gaming Litigation To keep an eye on
Claim filed by addict could have widespread implications for online companies
Litigation filed by addicted online gamer Craig Smallwood against US game publisher NCSoft may at first glance appear irrelevant to online gambling, but carries implications for industry companies should it be successful.
Smallwood is a MMO internet gamer who is claiming that his life has been adversely disrupted by an addiction to playing Lineage II, a fantasy role-playing game set in Korea which attracts hundreds of thousands of players every month, reports the online publication Wired.
The plaintiff claims that he has played a total of 20 000 hours of Lineage II over a period of five years, from 2004 to 2009, and that his quality of life has been adversely affected because he is "…unable to function independently in usual daily activities such as getting up, getting dressed, bathing or communicating with family and friends."
At the heart of Smallwood's claim is the alleged negligence of NC Soft specifically that the publisher did not caution users that its game is of an addictive nature.
The temptation to dismiss the report as a "silly season" aberration must, however, be tempered by US District Court Judge Alan Kay's refusal in these early stages to dismiss Smallwood's case in its entirety.