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Addicted Gamer Sues Lineage, Wants 20,000 Hours Of His Life Back

Illustration for article titled Addicted Gamer Sues Lineage, Wants 20,000 Hours Of His Life Back

A Hawaii man is suing the makers of Lineage II, a product he says is so dangerously addictive that he played it for 20,000 hours over five years, forgetting to get dressed, bathe or call mom during that span.


Better yet, a federal judge is letting the lawsuit, a negligence claim, to proceed against NCsoft. Normally, publishers ask for dismissals of these sorts of claims, and normally, judges agree. But U.S. District Judge Alan Kay sees something in the case that indicates "plaintiff has stated a claim for both negligence and gross negligence."

That claim, by Craig Smallwood, says he became so addicted to Lineage II that he is "unable to function independently in usual daily activities such as getting up, getting dressed, bathing or communicating with family and friends." He says he played the game for 20,000 hours between 2004 and 2009. For reference, that five-year span amounted to 43,848 hours (two leap days boosted the total.)


Judge Kay's ruling came Aug. 4; on Tuesday, NCsoft again asked him to toss the claim.

Addicted Gamer Sues Game-Maker, Says He is ‘Unable to Function' [Wired]

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This was originally intended as a reply to "Kratchy" but I felt it was long enough to warrant it's own post, so I'm posting it up here.

Some people have taken the side of Mr. Smallwood here, and agree that it is the fault of the corporation for creating this product, or not "properly" warning him of the dangers that unchecked, un-self-regulated gaming might hamper his ability to function outside his computer chair. While it is, of course, good corporate policy to practice responsible marketing, this particular stance is becomming a more common sight in America and culture abroad: The Destruction of Self-Responsibility.

We are, as a society, slowly agreeing that the actions of the self are no longer the responsibilities of the self. That your body is not your own, or under your control, but merely a vessel that responds to outside stimuli, no matter what your brain attempts to tell it.

You hear about things like this all the time, and as much as we scoff at them on our little internet boards, society as a whole has begun to agree with these people.

—The hundreds of people who do what their GPS device tells them to do, like drive off a cliff, drive into a river, walk onto a busy highway, or turn your car onto the train tracks and follow it into an oncoming train.

—All the people out there suing fast food companies because advertising "forced" them to eat burgers and fries and soda and fried chicken 7 days a week and had "no idea" it was detrimental to their health.

—All those people who don't pay attention to where they're going and walk directly into open manholes or giant puddles of water/spills on tile floor.

These are only a few of the stories and examples of our ability to think for ourselves just rotting away and we are all okay with that.

If you can tell me that the only thing stopping you from walking into a fish & Tackle store and swallowing as many of the fish hooks as possible is the warning label on the box saying "HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED" then we have a deeper, more serious issue that needs to be addressed.

When we have many warning labels on everything we aren't making the world safer, we are TAKING AWAY people's ability to think and look out for themselves. Instead of paying attention to where you are walking and noticing the wet spill on the floor, people are now only looking for the signs telling them to NOT walk there.

"Hey look, there's a 5 foot wide neon orange Gatorade spill in the tile floor, but no "wet floor" sign. I think I'll walk right through it because I'm not being told to do otherwise."

It doesn't matter if the game has addictive qualities, it's not the game's fault he spent that much time on it. It's entirely his own. No one, no human being, no higher power or deity or alien life form forced this man to play this game. It was, and always has been 100% his own conscious thought and actions, and thus 100% his own responsibility.

In closing:

We live in a society where Road Rage and Obesity are considered *Diseases.* Something is terribly wrong with this picture, and if you don't see that as well, you're part of the problem.