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Parents can sue Fortnite

A Canadian court has approved a class action bought by three parents against the makers of the video game, Fortnite. 

It had been suggested by the parents that their children stopped sleeping, showering, and eating, in order to play the game. Consequently, Justice Sylvain Lussie from Quebec’s Superior Court, compared playing the game to the use of tobacco. One of the children, it was suggested, had played more than 7,700 hours in under two years, according to the lawsuit.

The game itself, which is hugely popular amongst children, involves players fighting against each other in a ‘kill all’ fight for survival. The cult game has amassed more than 350 million players online. 

The parents leading the lawsuit said their children had developed behavioural issues as a result of playing Fortnite. The lawsuit further described how one of the parents put a physical lock on their son’s computer to try to limit the time spent playing the game.

As part of the legal proceedings, the parents noted that the World Health Organisation, “recognised video game addiction in 2018”. In response Epic Games, the game’s makers, argued that video game addiction is not a recognised psychological disorder in Quebec and neither is it endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association. 

However, the judge found the lawsuit “does not appear frivolous or manifestly ill-founded” and he compared video game addiction to an early awareness of tobacco addiction. The judge said, “The court concludes that there is a serious issue to be argued, supported by sufficient and specific allegations as to the existence of risks or even dangers arising from the use of Fortnite”.


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