The creator of popular eSports video game Fortnite has been sued by a group of Canadian parents alleging the game has turned their kids into addicts of video games as they have stopped eating, sleeping and bathing.
A Canadian judge has also approved the lawsuit filed by the parent group, as per a report by BBC, against the creator of Fortnite, Epic Games. As per the court documents reviewed by the publication, the lawsuit cites a World Health Information recognition of video game addiction in 2018.
Fortnite Creator Epic Games Sued For Video Game Addiction
Fortnite creator Epic Games, which itself is embroiled in multiple lawsuits against the likes of Apple for the infamous 30% app store commission, is now under fire for causing video game addiction among children.
The report claims one of the children have played Fortnite for more than 7,700 hours in less than two years, with the parents claiming that the game is purposefully designed to be highly addictive.
The report added that the game has made $9 billion worldwide through in-game purchases through the game’s own currency called V Bucks. More than 350 million people play the popular online video game available across mobiles, PCs and consoles.
Epic Games’ Defense
In its defense, Epic Games has claimed that Fornite has “industry leading parental controls that empower parents to supervise their child’s digital experience,” as per the BBC report.
“Parents can receive playtime reports that track the amount of time their child plays each week, and require parental permission before purchases are made,” Epic Games added.
Video Game Addiction: Is it Real?
Gaming addiction was recently recognised by the World Health Organisation as a pattern of gaming behavior wherein users have impaired control over gaming, with increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that “gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
As per studies, gaming addiction affects only a small proportion of people who engage in video games. For the addiction to be diagnosed, behavior patterns must include significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational and other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.
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published: Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 8:15 [IST]