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Why ‘Fortnite’ Is Facing Lawsuits

The maker of Fortnite may face a class-action lawsuit in Canada after two parents of teenage sons alleged last week the company purposely designed the multiplayer video game to be as addictive as cocaine, according to reports.

The Montreal-based law firm, Calex Légal, filed a motion in Quebec Superior Court Thursday on behalf of two parents who approached the firm separately about their 10- and 15-year-old sons, who they claim developed a severe dependence on the game, USA Today reported.

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The suit, which has yet to be approved by the court, seeks to hold the U.S.-based video game publisher Epic Games Inc., as well as its Canadian affiliate based in British Columbia, accountable for using psychologists and statisticians “to develop the most addictive game possible.”

“The addiction to the game Fortnite has real consequences on the lives of players, many of whom have developed problems such that they do not eat, do not shower and no longer socialize,” the lawsuit states. “Moreover, rehabilitation centers specifically dedicated to addiction to Fortnite have opened all over the world, particularly in Quebec and Canada, to treat people for addiction.”

Calex Légal attorney Alessandra Esposito Chartrand told the Canadian Global News that the lawsuit stems back to the same legal basis as a Quebec Superior Court ruling in 2015 that determined tobacco companies were responsible for disclosing the health risks of using their products. The lawsuit also noted that the World Health Organization last year declared video game addition, or “gaming disorder,” a disease. The game is free to use but requires players purchase virtual currency to buy accessories and other add-ons for their virtual players.

“The defendants used the same tactics as the creators of slot machines, or variable reward programs, (to ensure) the dependence of its users,” the lawsuit, which was translated from French, alleges. “Children are particularly vulnerable to this manipulation since their self-control system in the brain is not developed enough.”

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11 comments

  1. My 11 year old great grandson is also addicted to fortnight and it is getting out of control every where!!!

    • GEE…When I was young, my TV privileges were limited to 2 hours on weekdays, 4 hours on Saturday and Sunday, homework first/ As I said earlier, every computer has an On/Off switch. Grow a pair, be a PARENT!

    • Obviously the parents are incapable of self control. Stop blaming everyone else for your failures

  2. Yes, of course the parents have NO responsibility in this. When I worked in Quebec our attorney’s told us that the law of COMMON SENSE prevails. Instead of someone slipping on an icy sidewalk and suiting you, it’s the person’s responsibility to be careful because they know it’s slippery.
    All computers have an on/off switch.

  3. Just Some Poor Schmuck

    It’s your responsibility to ensure that they get up and go to school, shower, etc. When I was a police dispatcher I received a call from a lady who’s son would not get out of bed or go to school. She wanted a policeman to come to her house and drag him out of bed and take him to school. I told her that we didn’t have policemen to do that. It was a parenting issue. I also told her that if I had done that, my mother would have dumped a bucked of cold water on me. I also told her that I was not advising that she do that.

    • I love it. My kids were restricted to 1 hour a day but there were also 4 fighting over one computer

      The other rule was no computers in bedrooms. I had 4 boys.
      Need I go further.

  4. Really then don let your kids play the game it’s about parental responsibility. Grow the heck up you people and start raising your kids and stop using electronics as an excuse for everything that’s wrong with them.

  5. Anybody with any sense knows these games are setup to addict anyone especially the young and innocent. In the same context, parents have abdicated their parental responsibilities and allowed their children to be baby sit/occupied by these games so they are not perplexed by having to spend time looking after their children. Also, parents have allowed the government to gradually mandate what is right and wrong for our children through our own ineptness concerning our children.

  6. Hopefully the court will toss the lawsuit and charge the plaintiffs with all costs, including the defendant’s legal fees. No one is willing to take responsibility for their own actions and the rest of us are forced to accept their idiotic and or perverted lives as the norm. Time to tell them to get a job and a life.

  7. My son was struggling with the game as well. We had time limits set up and the Xbox automatically turned off after 2 hours. My son would have a huge fit and freak out when his time turned off even though he knew this would happen day after day. I finally went and saw a therapist over several months myself because our relationship had suffered so much and I didn’t know what to do. He told me the first visit to get rid of the Xbox. The relationship was the most important thing. Well getting rid of it would ruin our relationship so I didn’t. I tried other things. But nothing worked. I continued to visit the therapist and finally after about 6 months of trying many different ideas to help my son without taking the Xbox away entirely. Finally we took the Xbox away. It was tough. He hated me for months and still asks at least weekly if he can have it back and he promises to never get to that point again. It has been six months since we removed it from our home and things are SO MUCH BETTER! However, that was extreme. It was the only option. Everything else we tried wouldn’t work. This game it HORRIBLE! It’s not about being a good parent or not. It’s not about setting time limits alone. There is so much more to it. It is highly addictive with it’s daily challenges and weekly challenges and I worry about my son in so many ways after watching him become so addicted to that game. I will never judge another parent for what they feel is right to do for their children. But we aren’t talking about Mario cart or pac man here people. The fact that a company has gone out of its way to develop a highly addictive video game targeting young kids is really the worst. Is money really all they care about?. How about if video game creators try to make fun games rather that trying to ruin kids lives and making parents go to extreme measures like removing the gaming system from their homes entirely. It’s horrible!

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