Anyone who’s played a few rounds of Candy Crush or Call of Duty know video games can be a bit addictive. But while most of us likely chalk to this up to more of a craving to reach the next level than a true dependency, a group of Canadian parents think it’s far more serious than that. They’ve filed a new lawsuit alleging that the wildly popular video game Fortnite was created specifically to release dopamine levels comparable to cocaine usage, leading to an actual chemical addiction.
Representing the group of concerned parents is Montreal-based Calex Légal law firm, which has filed the suit agains Fortnite creators Epic Games. Speaking with CBC, attorney Alessandra Esposito Chartrand asserted the software company put years of deep research into creating the game, claiming they “hired psychologists” and “really dug into the human brain.”
She continued, “They knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth.”
The law firm is modeling its case on an approach taken toward battling the tobacco industry. In 2015, a Quebec Superior Court ruled that tobacco companies weren’t properly informing users about risks of smoking. Similarly, Calex Légal hopes to show that Epic Games knowingly released Fortnite with addictive properties, and should have warned consumers.
“In our case, the two parents that came forward and told [us], ‘If we knew it was so addictive it would ruin our child’s life, we would never have let them start playing Fortnite or we would have monitored it a lot more closely,” Chartrand shared.
The case comes months after the World Health Organization officially added “Gaming Disorder” to its International Classification of Diseases. Even Prince Harry has recently take a stance against the dangers of Fortnite.
This also isn’t the first time the Epic Games has been under legal fire for Fortnite. Let’s not forget last year when Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Alfonso Ribeiro sued the company for trying to steal his sweet moves.