A Real Lawsuit from the Virtual World Print
Thursday, August 26 2010

A federal judge is allowing a negligence lawsuit to proceed against the publishers of an online virtual-world video game after the plaintiff alleged that he became psychologically dependent and addicted to playing Lineage II.
In a complaint filed on his own behalf, plaintiff Craig Smallwood of Hawaii sought unspecified monetary damages against NCSoft and NCInteractive, Inc., the maker and publisher of Lineager II, because of what Smallwood claimed to be the addictive nature of the game. Smallwood alleges that he became so addicted he was "unable to function independently in usual daily activities such as getting up, bathing or communicating with family and friends."
According to court documents, Smallwood claims he played Lineage II for over 20,000 hours from 2004 through 2009 and that he "experienced great feelings of euphoria and satisfaction from persistent play."  Smallwood further contends that defendants were aware of plaintiff's psychological addiction because of his continued play and never gave him any notice or warning of the danger.   Smallwood charges that defendants "acted negligently in failing to warn or instruct plaintiff and other players of Lineage II of its dangerous and defective characteristics, and of the safe and proper method of using the game."
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Alan Kay ruled that: "In light of plaintiff’s allegations, the court finds that plaintiff has stated a claim for both negligence and gross negligence.” In the same ruling, Judge Kay dismissed most of Smallwood's other counts, namely for misrepresentation/deceit, unfair and deceptive trade practices, intentional infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages.
—Source:  Wired.com