In 2019, Canadian law firm Calex Legal, representing a large group of parents, sought approval from a Class Action against Epic Games per the addiction that Fortnite would create for their children. Today, three years later, a Quebec judge approved it, thus giving the green light to its continuation.
How many times have we heard of addiction in relation to video games? This time, the Class Action in question went further, since the document presented to the court states that “Fortnite addiction is similar to cocaine addiction”, also citing a British behavioral specialist who said in 2018 that “Fortnite is like heroin”. A very daring and in our opinion out of place comparison (we are talking about very heavy and illegal drugs, not trifles), but which evidently convinced the Quebec judge.
According to the promoters of the Class Action, during the development of the game Epic Games would have made use of the contribution of some experts to make it as addictive as possible, moreover it would have deliberately chosen not to inform people about “the risks and dangers associated with the use of Fortnite “. The plaintiffs also allege that Epic has subdued children with the promise of prizes and fame, such as with “the Fortnite World Cup, which offers more than $30 million in cash”.
The document, which we remember to be dated 2019, quotes a 13-year-old boy who would invest more and more time in play over the course of two years, going from “a couple of hours a week to several hours a day”, often until 1 in the morning. Another child, 10-year-old in this case, allegedly began to engage in “very aggressive and vulgar” behavior during the game, also spending nearly $600 in V-Bucks. The law firm also emphasizes the recognition of video game addiction by the World Health Organization as a real disease, which occurred that year.
Approval of the Class Action is only a first step, but it is very important as it legitimizes the Calex Legal process. According to the Canadian court’s statement, the claim of the plaintiffs (the parents) against the defendants (Epic Games) standsand “doesn’t appear frivolous or unfounded”, so he can proceed.
Epic Games, clearly, sees it very differently, and has stated that he wants to fight in court to get his point across. “We intend to fight in court. This decision only allows the case to proceed. We believe the evidence will show that this case is baseless.”
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