20Guy Sues MMO For Being Addicting, Actually Wins
So apparently, games have their own 'McDonald's hot coffee case.' It's common knowledge that video games, especially the MMO genre to which Craig Smallwood started playing, can be addictive. Personally, I've been playing World of Warcraft since the game launched in 2004. Craig, however, has me beat by
a mile and then some. Craig's game of choice was Lineage II, a game released one year before WoW. Enraptured by it, he sank over 20,000 hours of his life playing the game. He couldn't communicate with his family. He wouldn't bathe, wouldn't dress himself, he would just do nothing but play Lineage. Because he felt the game ruined his life, he decided to sue the game's maker, NCsoft, for damages.
Now, in most cases, judges take one look at the game's End-User Licensing Agreement (EULA), find the clause in it that protects them from this sort of thing, and dismisses it. However, that wasn't the case here. In Hawaii, where the case was filed, contracts that waive the ability to make gross-negligence claims are not recognized, so NCsoft's only defense didn't hold up.