The Hawaii man has filed a negligence lawsuit against game publisher
NCSoft, claiming that he became so addicted to Lineage II that he was
"unable to function independently in usual daily activities, such as
getting up, getting dressed, bathing or communicating with family and
Smallwood believes that he sunk roughly 20,000 hours into the game
between 2004 and 2009, which he claims he wouldn't have done had he been
made aware of the title's addictive nature.
Among other gripes, he's accusing NCSoft of "failing to warn or
instruct or adequately warn or instruct plaintiff and other players of
Lineage II of its dangerous and defective characteristics, and of the
safe and proper method of using the game."
Though the lawsuit may sound a bit outlandish, U.S. District Judge
Alan Kay has refused to dismiss parts of the claim, meaning the suit
could well go to trial.
Game addiction has been a hot topic in recent years thanks to an
influx of treatment programs and centers intended to help gamers manage
their compulsion to play. Some games -- including Guild Wars, another
NCSoft title -- even include occasional notices prompting users to take a
break if they've been playing too much.
Smallwood is seeking unspecified monetary damages.
- Guild Wars
- World of Warcraft
- role-playing game