A Quebec judge has allowed a class-action lawsuit against Epic Games that argues that Fortnite is “highly addictive” to continue. The suit, filed by three parents in the Canadian province, claims that the compulsive nature of the game caused their children to suffer psychological, physical, and financial harm.
According to CTV, the children in question have played thousands of hours of the game in just a few years, and spent hundreds of dollars on characters and dances, sometimes without their parents’ knowledge. One of the kids has allegedly notched over 7,781 hours of the game in less than two years, which is almost a full calendar year worth of play. It also claims that the children spend so much time playing the game that they would not eat, socialize, or shower on certain days.
The judge’s decision at this juncture means that the lawsuit has enough grounds to proceed under Canadian law, but these claims remain unproven in court. Epic Games’ legal representative argued that there is no clear definition of video game addiction in contemporary clinical standards. But in his ruling, the judge wrote that the claims were not “frivolous or manifestly ill-founded.” He also noted that the lack of understanding around video game addiction does not directly contradict the parents’ claims, comparing it to tobacco in the 20th century.