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New Lawsuit Looks to Hold Video Game Companies Accountable for Selling Addictive Products

Photo by Alexey Savchenko via Unsplash

New Lawsuit Looks to Hold Video Game Companies Accountable for Selling Addictive Products

By Movieguide® Contributor

A new class action lawsuit looks to hold nearly every major video game company accountable for intentionally making their products addictive.

The lawsuit claims that video game companies intentionally create products that hook young gamers largely by mimicking gambling products. This is especially true for “live service” games which take things a step further by monitoring users’ habits and using algorithms to introduce new activities to keep them playing for longer.

“Each Defendant is aware that is video games are harmful to minors and young adults because Defendants specifically design their games to addict,” the lawsuit states. “To this avail, each Defendant employs behavioral psychologists and/or neuroscientists in order to develop games that will bests utilize psychological tactics to keep players engaged for longer periods of time.”

The most egregious examples are loot boxes and microtransactions which look to squeeze out more money from players, often for purely cosmetic changes to gameplay. Loot boxes, in particular, imitate gambling by offering lucrative prizes that drop extremely rarely. Through this system, gamers are essentially playing slots as they keep coming back for more tries at an item.

Video game developers have been so successful at creating addictive products that in 2019 WHO classified a new mental disorder: “gaming disorder.” This addiction is marked by players who forgo real-life duties such as school, work or taking basic care of themselves in order to spend more time playing video games. It is also often associated with poor behavioral habits such as increased anger and aggression.

This class action lawsuit looks to finally hold the companies accountable for the lives they have ruined. Previous lawsuits against video game companies have been filed in the past, and this class action lawsuit has combined them into one complaint to avoid duplicative discovery and contradictory rulings.

Microsoft, Epic, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Nintendo are all named as defendants.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Video game addiction is a real problem that affects thousands of adolescents and sucks the joy out of every aspect of life. 

Brigham Young wrestler Logan Visser found out firsthand just how addictive video games can be. After arriving at college, Visser’s favorite pastime took over his life and became a problem that he could not control. 

The then-18-year-old told The New York Post how he would play League of Legends all night and sleep through the day. During his first semester at school, Visser put on weight and flunked out of most of his classes. 

“When you’re that deep into it, you just have a bunch of shame and it’s like the only place to turn to is back into the thing that’s creating all your problems,” he said. 

“Gaming just took over. I was completely wasting my life,” he continued. “I wanted to keep getting better at this thing that doesn’t even matter.”

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.