Some Canadian parents are suing Epic Games and Fortnite because they claim their kids are addicted.
Fortnite is a lot of fun. We can all agree on that. We can also agree that too much of anything is bad for you. What not everyone agrees on however is that you are responsible for your own actions. Or in this case, the actions of one’s children.
Parents in Canada, however, are trying to prove that Epic Games deliberately made their game addictive to the point that it would cause problems for kids when they tried to stop. Some parents alleged that their children have started to develop behavioral issues due to the game. With some alleging that their kids don’t eat, sleep or bathe anymore.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they were looking at memes from the late 2000s.
The court dismissed a claim that Epic Games deliberately created the game, knowing that it’d be addicting, but they did not rule out that Epic Games may have known about the potential addictive tendencies after the fact.
"The court finds that there is no evidence for these allegations of the deliberate creation of an addictive game. This does not exclude the possibility that the game is in fact addictive and that its designer and distributor are presumed to know it."
This is the second major legal issue brought against Epic Games in recent weeks, with the other being recently settled by the FTC, in which Fortnite was found liable for deceptive sales tactics in 2017 and 2018. They used “privacy-invasive default settings” and “deceptive interfaces” to trick people into buying stuff.
That time, there was proof that Fortnite messed up. This time? Not so much.
Blaming bad behavior on video games is as old as the medium
Listen, kids have had issues not playing video games since the 1980s. This isn’t anything new. See, addictive tendencies can pop up with anything. People are addicted to eating things that aren’t edible. It’s all about that dopamine rush they get.
So, the notion that Epic Games purposefully made a game that’s addictive is absurd. I don’t want to assume anything about these parents or their kids, but eventually, parents need to be held responsible. You know how your kid acts, you know how they behave. You don’t get to do the bare minimum as a parent and then blame anything and everything else for how your kid turns out.
The parents of my generation would not hesitate to smash a console into billions of tiny pieces if it interfered with our lives. It’s hard to say if the parents did anything so extreme but if kids were not eating for multiple days at a time, and parents didn’t smash their computers or consoles or whatever to bits, then how can you blame this on Epic?
I mean, honestly. Your kids weren’t eating? This sounds like it goes beyond a video game addiction.