Ironically, I just finished watching an episode of Law and Order SVU. The premise of the episode involved a pedophile who kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered a girl. The later part of the episode dealt with the DA trying to nail a porn company for having a story on their site that the killer copied. In the end, the owner of the website was found guilty because the spam that his site sent out was found to be “facilitation”. Individuals are never entirely responsible for their actions, after all. Somebody with money has to be liable.

A federal judge is allowing a negligence lawsuit to proceed against the publisher of the online virtual-world game Lineage II, amid allegations that a Hawaii man became so addicted he is “unable to function independently in usual daily activities such as getting up, getting dressed, bathing or communicating with family and friends.

Craig Smallwood, the plaintiff, claims NCsoft of South Korea should pay unspecified monetary damages because of the addictive nature of the game. Smallwood claims to have played Lineage II for 20,000 hours between 2004 and 2009. Among other things, he alleges he would not have begun playing if he was aware “that he would become addicted to the game.”

Smallwood, who did not immediately respond for comment, alleged that the company “acted negligently in failing to warn or instruct or adequately 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.”

This game costs fifteen dollars a month to play, much like other MMO(massively multiplayer online) games. In other words, you have to go out and spend money in order to play for longer than a month. You have to have your computer on, run the program, and log in. You have to put in effort to be a regular player of the game. Yet, somehow, mystical forces emanating from the tendrils of the eeevil game makers reached out and took care of all of that for this guy. Additionally, millions upon millions of other people play World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, and other games just like Lineage II without their lives falling to pieces.

I guess ethical companies make games that are so dull and boring that they push players away after they’ve plopped down their money. For the public good, you know.

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