NEWS Fortnite developer Epic Games sued over games that made children ‘addicted’

Fortnite developer Epic Games sued over games that made children 'addicted'


While playing “Fortnite” around January 2019, a boy’s body warmed as he struggled to breathe and thought, According to a new lawsuit.

His guardian claims the boy, now 17, is going through His first panic attack was caused by the stress of a popular video game. Eight months later, the boy suffered another panic attack, and his guardians claim he was diagnosed with internet addiction and began meeting with a counselor at an addiction rehab center.

The allegations are part of a lawsuit filed by the trio Canadian parents object to Fortnite developer Epic Games. Parents argue the game is addictive and has turned their children’s lives upside down.

“There can be no doubt that defendants have achieved their goal of making Fortnite as addictive as possible,” the class action says, “and thus knowingly endangering users’ healthy”

The lawsuit, filed in October 2019, was authorized by a Quebec City judge last week.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Epic Games spokeswoman Natalie Munoz wrote: “We plan to contest this in court. We believe the evidence will prove that the case is baseless.”

Shortly after Epic Games released Fortnite in July 2017, an online shooter, survival, and world-building game become a global sensation.Free games attract more than 350 million Players can purchase exclusive items, characters and celebratory dances to enhance the experience.

The parents who filed the lawsuit say that in some cases their children stopped eating, bathing or socializing because of their addiction to the game. Plaintiffs also argue that children are not mature enough to understand the game’s terms of service.

“Fortnite, through its marketing, created a vicious cycle in which kids had to buy to feel fulfilled and accepted by their peers,” the lawsuit said, “thus exploiting their position of vulnerability.”

Following the July hearing, Quebec Superior Court Judge Sylvain Lussier wrote in a Dec. 7 ruling that the case was not “frivolous” or “patently unfounded.” As an analogy, Lussier writes: “Tobacco’s harmful effects did not become recognized overnight.”

If the lawsuit is successful, the addicted player, who has lived in Quebec since Sept. 1, 2017, will be compensated, Lussier wrote.

Jean-Philippe Caron, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said more than 200 parents across the Canadian province had emailed him in the past week saying their children’s well-being had also been affected by Fortnite. damage.

“We feel very confident about this case,” Karen told the Post.

In 2018, the World Health Organization recognized “gaming disorder” as a disease. Some experts say “Fortnite” players have a diminished vocabulary, while others end up in rehab for addiction treatment similar to heroin abuse.some professional sports teams They even banned their athletes from playing Fortnite.

Epic Games spokesman Munoz told the Post that Fortnite allows parents to monitor their children’s playtime and obtain their consent before making a purchase. Users under 13 have a daily spending limit of $100.

The children named in the lawsuit are said to have played thousands of hours of games, including one who completed 7,781 games in two years. The parents who filed the lawsuit claim their children now use vulgar language and find it difficult to enjoy themselves in other activities.

The boy, who suffered from panic attacks, first downloaded the game around March 2018, when he was 15 years old. His guardians claim he played 6,923 games, which equates to 59,954 minutes or almost 42 days of playing time. The boy sometimes wouldn’t stop playing until his parents begged him to quit, his guardian wrote, sparking controversy. The boy spent more than $5,550 of his savings on the game, the lawsuit said.

The guardian “was unaware that FORTNITE could have harmful consequences for her child,” the lawsuit reads, “and if defendant had informed her of the risks and dangers associated with using FORTNITE, she would have categorically refused permission to download the game.”

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