Kids are begging their parents for just another minute of “Fortnite” game time.
People from both sides of the fence have argued the potential harms and benefits of video games. Some have argued that it’s helped kids enhance their cognitive skills while others have accused video games of playing a role in, well, everything that’s wrong in society. Video games, as a whole, have been placed under this category in the past, even a game as innocuous as Fortnite. But according to a new lawsuit, Epic Games is being accused of “knowingly” making Fortnite as “addictive” as a drug like cocaine.
A Montreal-based law firm is readying a class-action lawsuit against Epic Games on behalf of two parents who’ve accused the company of purposely creating a game such as Fortnite that causes kids to become addicted. They claimed Fortnite makes the brain release dopamine in a similar way to cocaine.
“Epic Games, when they created Fortnite, for years and years, hired psychologists – they really dug into the human brain and they really made the effort to make it as addictive as possible,” attorney Alessandra Esposito Chartrand said. “They knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth.”
The lawsuit also cites WHO’s recent decision to add “Gaming Disorder” to its International Classification of Diseases. The case is interesting, as well, because it cites a 2015 class-action lawsuit against tobacco companies that claimed that didn’t do enough to warn people of the harms of cigarettes.
Although there’s a clause in Fortnite’s TOS that says players lose the right to sue the company and must go into individual arbitration. However, Chartrand said, Epic Games’ Terms of Service, “don’t stand up in court in Quebec because the province’s Consumer Protection Act requires companies to clearly disclose risks associated with products or services.”