Microsoft and Epic Games Sued Over Video Game Addiction
Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2023 at 2:53 pm
Have game companies like Microsoft and Epic Games knowingly caused video game addiction in kids?
According to a new lawsuit filed in Arkansas, that’s the case.
The lawsuit, filed on October 30, states that that Microsoft, Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, EA, and others “use patented designs, algorithms and marketing containing addictive features and technology” leading to addiction.
These designs and “addictive features”, the claim says utilized data collection of minors, predatory monetization schemes, and feedback loops to keep players more engaged.
“We never imagined when our son started playing video games that he would become so addicted that his education would severely suffer, he would lose all interest in spending time with his friends, and his physical and mental health would be at risk,” said Casey Dunn, the mother who filed the lawsuit on behalf of her child.
“These video game companies have targeted and taken advantage of kids, prioritizing their profit over all else. As a mom, I knew I had to do something to ensure they don’t get away with destroying the wellbeing and futures of our children.”
The Dunn family is suing for monetary recovery, changing how games are designed and offered, and additional “mental health resources for families faced with trying to treat young children addicted to gaming”.
The family’s attorney Tina Bullock says that she believes video game addiction is serious, and should be treated as such.
“Gaming addiction is a serious, life-altering disorder that is stealing children’s lives and disrupting families across the country,” Bullock said.
“Parents like me often mistakenly think it is a failure on their part when their child becomes addicted, but through this litigation we hope to shine a light on these companies’ reprehensible actions, deceit, and manipulation of our children for their own financial gain.”
As of publishing, none of the named defendants have responded to Insider Gaming’s requests for comment.
If you want to read the full claim, which the firm says is the “first of many to be filed in the coming weeks”, you can do so here.