The allegations are part of a lawsuit filed by three Canadian Parents v. Epic Games, the developer of “Fortnite”. Parents argue that the game is addictive and has turned their children’s lives upside down.
The class action alleges: “There is no doubt that the Defendants achieved their goal of making FORTNITE as addictive as possible and therefore knowingly endangered the health of users without warning them of the danger associated with the use of FORTNITE.”
The suit, which was 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 fight this in court. We believe the evidence will show that this case is without merit.”
Shortly after Epic Games released “Fortnite” in July 2017, the online shooting, survival and world-building game A global sensation. The free game attracted more than 350 million Players who can purchase exclusive items, characters, and festive dances to enhance the experience.
The parents who filed the lawsuit say that in some cases their children have stopped eating, bathing or socializing because of their obsession with the game. The plaintiffs also argue that the children are not mature enough to understand the terms of service.
The suit states, “FORTNITE, through its marketing, has created a vicious cycle in which children must purchase to feel accomplished and accepted by their peers, thereby taking advantage of their vulnerable status.”
After hearings in July, Quebec Superior Court Judge Sylvain Lussier wrote in a recent ruling that the case was not “absurd” or “manifestly unfounded.” By analogy, Lussier writes: “The harmful effect of tobacco was not recognized or acknowledged overnight.”
Lossier wrote that if the lawsuit prevails, the addicted players who have been resident in Quebec since September 2017 could be compensated. Attorney Jean-Philippe Caron, who is representing the plaintiffs, said that in the past week, more than 200 parents in the Canadian province have emailed him, saying that the welfare of Their children have also been diminished by “Fortnite”. “We feel very confident about this issue,” Caron told The Post.
In 2018, the World Health Organization recognized “gaming disorder” as a disease. Some experts said “Fortnite” players were left with a reduced vocabulary, while others ended up in rehab to be treated for an addiction similar to heroin abuse. Some professional sports teams They even banned their players from playing ‘Fortnite’.
Munoz, a spokeswoman for Epic Games, told The Post that “Fortnite” allows parents to supervise their children’s playtime and ask for their approval before making a purchase. Users under the age of 13 have a daily spending limit of $100.
The children referred to in the lawsuit are alleged to have played the game for thousands of hours, including one who completed 7,781 games in two years. Parents who brought the case claim that their children now use foul language and no longer find joy in other activities.
The boy who suffered from panic attacks first downloaded the game when he was 15 years old around March 2018. His guardian claims he has played 6,923 games, which equates to 59,954 minutes or roughly 42 days of play. Sometimes a boy won’t stop playing until his parents beg him to sign out, which his guardian wrote causes controversy. The suit alleges that the boy spent more than $5,550 in savings on the game.
“The guardian had no idea of the harmful consequences that FORTNITE might have on her child,” the suit says, “and if Defendants had informed her of the risks and dangers associated with the use of FORTNITE, she would have flatly refused to allow the game to be downloaded.”
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