Gamer sues MMORPG maker because he's addicted to their game

This is one of the maddest things I've read in a while. Tech and gadget website Wired is reporting that a gamer from Hawaii is suing NCSoft, the makers of MMORPG Lineage II. Why? Because, get this, he's so addicted to the game that he's 'unable to function independently in usual daily activities such as getting up, getting dressed, bathing or communicating with family and friends'. Seriously. That's what it says.

The gamer, called Craig Smallwood, says that he poured 20,000 hours into the game between 2004 and 2009. He claims that if he knew he would end up so hopelessly hooked, he never would've started playing and believes NCSoft 'acted negligently in failing to warn or instruct or adequately warn or instruct plaintiff and other players of Lineage II of its dangerous and defective characteristics, and of the safe and proper method of using the game'.

Above: Lineage II. The game that came between Craig Smallwood and rational thought

That's the general gist of it summed up in a couple of paragraphs, but if you want to delve deeper, Wired has got 49 pages of legal documentation to digest. Go ahead and dive in.

I like to think I can see both sides to any argument, but I'm struggling here. I appreciate that games can be addictive. Especially games like Lineage - the greater the time invested, the greater the rewards for the player. But playing to the point of being 'unable to function independently in usual daily activities'? We're not talking crack cocaine here. Just unplug the PC and go take a bath.

Am I missing something? If anyone can suggest why this guy can justifiably sue NCSoft, please enlighten me in the comments.

August 20, 2010




  • oryandymackie - August 21, 2010 5:47 p.m.

    So how did he manage to pull himself away in order to sue the company?
  • OneEyedGoon - August 21, 2010 4:06 a.m.

    Smallwood. heh.
  • Crabhand - August 21, 2010 2:42 a.m.

    @MetalReborn I thought the same thing. I, myself, am not particularly adept at playing a computer game while unable to get up. reCAPTCHA: conesia spooning?
  • xerroz - August 21, 2010 2:33 a.m.

    crack cocaine is just as easy to give up
  • ShaneCedt - August 21, 2010 12:03 a.m.

    Let's hear it for gamers and their own personal willpower!
  • MetalReborn - August 20, 2010 11:57 p.m.

    so if he cant get up, how does he play the game, ehh? There I just solved the case for you NCSoft. This genius expects a check in the mail by tomorrow for being awesome ReCaptcha: novinars evidence. If my name was novinar this would be perfect
  • Crabhand - August 20, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    I'm a fucking ghost most of the time, holed up in my home (yea, in Ohio), and even I think this is sad. Lack of self control is certainly not a reason to sue someone else, but I guess you can't roll in the money if you sue yourself.
  • magwe25 - August 20, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    What a jerkbag. I think (insert company that made Lineage) should counter sue for failure to comply with implied competency standards for playing the game.
  • seanhayden - August 20, 2010 9:31 p.m.

    Wow, This guy really does have dedication like ThatGuyFromTV said. Is Lineage really that good? But what a stupid lawsuit, its almost as stupid as the one where the lady sued the makers of the Captain Crunch Cereal because she thought that The Crunch Berries were real. And like others said, hehehehe, Smallwood.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - August 20, 2010 9:24 p.m.

    Almost half the time between 2004 and 2009 he spent playing that game, and he didn't die from it. Dude, that's dedication.
  • Snapp3r - August 20, 2010 9:17 p.m.

    Yea, 11 hours a day. HOOOOLY JESUS.
  • Clovin64 - August 20, 2010 8:47 p.m.

    This Craig Smallwood guy is pathetic. He has no life or personal hygene and is a complete saddo, and he wants to sue a game company for it? Seriously, if Craig Smallwood reads this comment I want him to slap himself. Thats right Mr Smallwood, you are pathetic. You gonna sue me too?
  • Fata1Stryke - August 20, 2010 7:20 p.m.

    5 years x 365 days/year x 24 hrs/day = 43,800 hrs. So this guy literally spent about half his life during that time frame playing Lineage. Jesus.
  • geneticallyalteredsupergiraffeejaculatinggrenades - August 20, 2010 6:56 p.m.

    Can I sue publishing companies for making good books, or TV networks for making good shows?
  • bongzilla - August 20, 2010 6:38 p.m.

    @Doctalen, Yea well in Europe they now how to bathe, they just don't do it.
  • Duke-Atreides - August 20, 2010 6:38 p.m.

    Yeah, at the moron who posted first. Stupidity is the international language, so you're not "escaping" anything. And admit it, you wont move to Europe because you live with your mom.
  • DrRock - August 20, 2010 6:34 p.m.

    When will people take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming others? Probably never.
  • ZiegZeon - August 20, 2010 5:53 p.m.

    Won't go anywhere. Especially if its anything like WoW and ever says to limit how long you play, I also bet that there is something in the EULA, at least on one of the patches. Also, Video game addiction is not currently recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition) which will hurt the case quite a bit. What I want to know is this- How did he keep paying for the game? If he somehow ended up on a private server, NCSoft wins immeditely.
  • TheCakeIsaPie - August 20, 2010 5:42 p.m.

    Actually we are talking about crack cocaine. MMORPG addiction is real.
  • db1331 - August 20, 2010 5:10 p.m.

    @matt Step 1: Touch yourself at school Step 2: Sue the school for allowing you to be molested by a teacher Step 3: ??? Step 4: PROFIT

Showing 1-20 of 47 comments

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