If you are a gamer, chances are you have asked Santa to bring you one of the season’s hot new releases. For us here at Abnormal Use, Bethesda’s Fallout 4 tops our wish list. We love the open world role-playing games and can’t wait to see how the newest edition of the Fallout series translates to next-gen consoles. If it is anything like prior Bethesda titles, we can expect hundreds of hours of entertainment. By “hundreds of hours,” we, of course, don’t mean hundreds of consecutive hours. More like hundreds of hours spread out over hundreds of days. After all, we are adults, and we have families and jobs and all kinds of other non-video game playing responsibilities (including the writing of blog posts!).
Unfortunately, one gamer in Russia failed to recognize his own responsibilities and ultimately filed suit against Bethesda as a result. According to a report from MaximumPC, the 28-year old gamer became so obsessed with Fallout 4 that he went on a three week gaming bender and shut himself off from the outside world. As much as we love gaming, the world is not quite accepting of the three week gaming session. In this case, the man lost his job, his wife, and his health as a result. Now, he thinks Bethesda should pay for making a game so good that he found it a good idea to hole himself up in his home playing it. In a statement given by the unnamed plaintiff, he summed up his specific complaints against Bethesda as follows:
If I knew that this game could have become so addictive, I would have become a lot more wary of it. I would not have bought it, or I would have left it until I was on holiday or until the New Year holidays.
In a way, we can almost sympathize with the man. From past experience, we know that it is not uncommon to become so immersed in these Bethesda RPGs that time simply flies by. Thirty minutes can easily become three hours when playing an entertaining game. There have certainly been more than a few nights we have found ourselves crawling into bed a couple of hours past our bedtime as a result.
With that said, even though our “30 minutes” may have turned into “three hours,” it has never turned into “three weeks.” Even if we could find the time, we can’t even imagine how any reasonable person would want to do anything for three weeks straight, much less play the same (albeit incredibly entertaining) game. Unless Fallout 4 emits heroin through the television screen, there is simply no way it can be so addictive. Reasonable people can separate life from gaming and won’t put their families and jobs on the line for entertainment.
This is one of those lawsuits where you have to ask if the plaintiff really wants to prevail. In the short term, a win may mean some financial compensation. In the long term, however, a win would mean less “addictive” games. In other words, holding a video game maker liable for making a game so good it becomes addictive would necessarily lead to game makers making worse games to shield themselves from liability. For a guy that loves gaming so much he thinks it is acceptable to devote three straight weeks of his life to it, we are guessing this result may have a more devastating result on this plaintiff’s life than the loss of his job and his wife in the first place.