Yet another lawsuit has surfaced complaining about video game companies pushing video game addiction onto children.
The new lawsuit, filed in Arkansas on October 30th, claimed companies such as Microsoft, Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, and Electronic Arts use “patented designs, algorithms and marketing containing addictive features and technology”, causing addiction in consumers.
The aforementioned designs and addictive features were claimed to use data collection of minors as well as “predatory monetization schemes” and feedback loops to keep players engaged.
Casey Dunn, a mother who filed the lawsuit on behalf of her child, was quoted saying the following:
“We never imagined when our son started playing video games that he would become so addicted that his education would severely suffer, he would lose all interest in spending time with his friends, and his physical and mental health would be at risk.”
“These video game companies have targeted and taken advantage of kids, prioritizing their profit over all else. As a mom, I knew I had to do something to ensure they don’t get away with destroying the well being and futures of our children.”
Critics will no doubt blame the mother, who likely didn’t do enough to keep her child from playing such games in the first place, or didn’t bother to put greater priority on things that actually matter, such as education.
This is more likely the case as the Dunn family is suing for monetary recovery (likely due to the child spending the parent’s money without consent). Buried in the lawsuit are actual specifics on what games the 13 year old son is playing: Fortnite, Rainbow Six, Battlefield, and Call of Duty.
They are also suing to change how the games are designed and offered, as well as provide additional “mental health resources for families faced with trying to treat young children addicted to gaming”.
The attorney attached to the case, Tina Bullock, was of the opinion that video game addiction is “serious”:
“Gaming addiction is a serious, life-altering disorder that is stealing children’s lives and disrupting families across the country. Parents like me often mistakenly think it is a failure on their part when their child becomes addicted, but through this litigation we hope to shine a light on these companies’ reprehensible actions, deceit, and manipulation of our children for their own financial gain.”
Video game addiction and/or monetization have always been a hot topic – with numerous governments even attempting to ban things such a “loot boxes.”