Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mix a slacker with an X-Box and a lawyer and you get...

one of the dumbest lawsuits of all time.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii man is suing the maker of an online video game because he says the game is too addicting. Craig Smallwood says he has played Lineage II for about 20,000 hours.

The lawsuit alleges that he is so addicted, he can't do daily activities like get up, get dressed, bathe or communicate with family and friends. Smallwood says the company, NCSOFT of South Korea, did not display proper warning that the game could become addicting.

The NCSOFT website describes the game as "an immersive and dramatic fantasy world known for its unique political and economic systems."

A federal judge is allowing the lawsuit.
So to sum it up, this loser spent 20,000 hours playing a game--a game that he could have turned off and walked away from any time that he wanted. He played so much that he failed to bathe, alienated his family and friends, and presumably didn't work (so whose house was he living and playing his game in and who bought the groceries that he ate?) and that's now suddenly someone else's fault and he deserves some cash? More to the point, he couldn't clean himself or talk to people but he still managed to shop for a lawyer?
According to Smallwood, he has spent some 20,000 hours from 2004 to 2009 just playing Lineage II. Because it got him hooked so bad, he is now asking for an unspecified amount of money as damages from NCsoft.

He also alleged that NCsoft "acted negligently in 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." Had he known that the game would be that addicting, he said he wouldn't have touched it in the first place.

The judge handling the case, U.S. District Judge Alan Kay gave out a ruling earlier this month, making it possible for the case to proceed to trial: "In light of plaintiff's allegations, the court finds that plaintiff has stated a claim for both negligence and gross negligence."
The only thing stupider than Craig and this lawsuit is the addle-brained judge, U.S. District Court Judge Alan Kay, who decided that this case was worthy of occupying space on the court docket. This is why we need tort reform...and a means of sanctioning plaintiffs like Smallwood and any attorney sleazy enough to file a case like this.

In other news, Jimmy Carter has gone to North Korea to try to gain the release of Aijalon Gomes, an American citizen held in prison there after (rather stupidly) entering North Korea illegally from China. Might I be the first one to suggest a trade where the North Koreans get Craig Smallwood in exchange for Gomes? That sounds like a good deal, at least for us, and if it's not good enough for North Korea, I'm open to letting them keep Carter too.


  1. Anonymous8:58 PM

    Oh yes keeping Carter has to be part of the deal

  2. First off, let me say that I think that loser should have been thrown out of court for clogging our already-overloaded legal system. However, I once heard the developer of the Game World of Warcraft speak, and he basically boasted that the game was designed to trigger the same pleasure centers in the brain that meth triggers. Given that information, there might be something to the addiction angle. IF they are doing it on purpose, they should be held responsible. If it was nicotine or alcohol, they would be held responsible if they admitted they were trying to trigger the pleasure center of the brain.

  3. If I may offer a half-hearted defense for lawyers, this plaintiff filed the case pro se. He is representing himself.

    I like to think he was unable to get a lawyer to file it for him, but who knows. Unfortunately, I know lawyers who would probably take this case and hope for a quick settlement.

  4. Doing the math, he claims that he played for just short of 11 hours a day for 5 years (assuming he didn't take any days off). Given the fact that most normal people are only awake 16 hours out of 24 and up to 3 hours a day of that are taken up by eating, showering and other necessary bodily tasks, I think it's fair to say that this guy was mooching off someone who was enabling this behavior.