We’re getting very close to a “stop the world I want to get off” moment here, as Australia seems to edge closer to the litigious society that the United States is known to be. Bannister Law has launched a call out for Parents in Australia to register their interest in a class action lawsuit against Epic Games the makers of Fortnite because the game is addictive.
Specifically, and a representative from Bannister Law challenged me to clarify this earlier on The Today Show, this action relates to the lack of a specific warning about the addictive nature of Fortnite being presented to players.
This all comes in consolation and collaboration with a Canadian Law Firm who are doing the same thing, where in Quebec a Judge has already ruled the class action to be valid in these circumstances.
Also, Epic Games has been ordered to pay US$520 million for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. So the company is really under the gun right now.
Bannister Law cites many things in their call to arms over this, the use of in-app purchases, the rewards, the fact it’s free to play and has been developed specifically to make the game addictive.
And they are probably right.
But isn’t Candy Crush addictive? Clash of Clans? Even Call of Duty. Hell, The SIMS is addictive too!
Folks, Gaming is addictive, because it’s fun, it’s a break from reality and for some people it makes them happier than whatever they’re up to during the day outside of that.
Riddle me this though, if there was a warning as the game was launched, saying “this game can be addictive”, wouldn’t you, and every player most particularly the youngest players – just click OK – in the same way we now just instinctively click “Accept all Cookies” on websites because they are forced to do so?
It’s quite frankly ridiculous.
If you are a parent, and your child is addicted to Fortnite, the game is responsible for that addiction only because you let them play the game for too long. You didn’t install or activate the parental controls that limit the time your child can play the game, the approvals for any purchases and you probably even let them play the game in their bedroom.
Parenting is tough, but if Fortnite is up for $$ because their game is addictive, can I sue EA sports for all the time I’ve lost trying to be the next F1 superstar over decades of being “It’s in the game” and driving on computer games. Can I get back the hours I spent building Cities in Sim City only to decide “this looks good”, and now “let’s turn on some disasters” and burn the city to the ground.
Come on folks. Perspective, Responsibility and reality.
Let’s not become that litigious society.
And no, I’m not linking to the class action sign-up form, you can look for that yourself if that’s how you roll.