An upset gamer sues Fallout 4 maker over game addiction, complaining that the company failed to warn him beforehand about how addictive the video-game can really be. The man, who lives in Russia, said that he lost his wife, job and developed some health problems after playing Fallout for three consecutive weeks.
The man said that he was so immersed in the game that he lost interest in life, his wife; he barely ate and often skipped work. He recently said in an interview that he would have probably postponed playing it until he was on holiday, if he had known from a warning label how addictive it could get.
He now wants the game developer Bethesda Softworks to compensate him with $7,000, or 500,000 rubles. He also asked from Russia court to force the U.S. game studio to put warning labels on the series to prevent other people from falling into the same trap.
His attorneys recently said that it is unclear whether the case has odds of success in Russia but they were, too, curious to learn how things would unfold. The case also echoes the public’s growing taste for warning labels on all sorts of products.
If the Russian succeeds in his country, law experts believe that the case may impact the U.S. market, as well. But warning labels are relatively common in the U.S. You can see them just about everywhere from plastic bags and cosmetics to coffee cups and toys. Many of these labels advise users to use products as they were intended to in order to prevent accidents from happening and costly lawsuits from being filed.
But in the case of video games it is very hard to prove that a certain product may make players become addicted. Some companies even started to market their games as being some of the best just because they can be so addictive.
And if Fallout 4 maker loses the suit, the case could impact other industries as well. For instance, there are foods that can cause addiction, and past studies had confirmed. So, putting a warning label on them could have a long-lasting effect on their sales. This may be why not many companies boast about their products’ ability to lead to addiction.
Nevertheless, in Oreos’ case, which had been found to lead to addiction by a 2013 study, there was little to no impact on sales. Smokers also have to see warning labels on their cigarette packs on a daily basis and that doesn’t convince them to quit smoking. Yet, according to the US surgeon general, those labels may have saved the lives of nearly 8 million Americans.
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