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 websiteWired is reporting that a gamer from Hawaii is suing NCSoft, the makers of MMORPG Lineage II. Why? Because, get this, he'sso 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 documentationto 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

Matt Cundy
I don't have the energy to really hate anything properly. Most things I think are OK or inoffensively average. I do love quite a lot of stuff as well, though.