After being banned from Sony’s PlayStation Network during a game of Resistance: Fall of Man, a San Jose, California gamer sued the electronics giant, alleging a violation of his First Amendment rights. That case was dismissed in September, but the plaintiff was undeterred. In addition to filing in an appeal in that case, earlier this month he filed a new suit against Microsoft and Nintendo.
In that case, he alleged that a broken Xbox 360 caused him undue stress, and that a Wii system update blocking access to the Homebrew Channel third-party program interfered with his inalienable right to pursue happiness.
With the big-three platform holders accounted for, the same plaintiff is now turning his attention to largest third-party publisher. The gamer, Erik Estavillo, provided GameSpot with copies of his latest civil suit, a case against Activision Blizzard…
The suit comprises a handful of complaints against Activision Blizzard, specifically relating to the company’s successful massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. Specifically, the gamer accuses the publisher of maintaining a “harmful virtual environment” with “sneaky and deceitful practices…”
Beyond the monetary complaints, the suit also references the 2001 suicide of an EverQuest player, attributing it to a sense of alienation related to the game and mental health problems. The suit goes on to say the plaintiff has suffered from similar problems, including major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and Crohn’s disease, and he “doesn’t want to end up like [the EverQuest player] did as he relies on video games heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life, via the gaming medium.”
This is the kind of pitiful human being for which the religion gene still maintains itself in our DNA. I realize more and more people will lose that Stone Age mutation as we evolve as a species; but, extreme examples of egregious obsession still exist in sufficient number to plague the courts.