Three Canadian parents file suit against Fortnite

A Canadian judge has approved a class-action lawsuit brought by three parents who say their children became addicted to video game Fortnite.

The plaintiffs say their children would forgo sleeping, eating and showering because they were hooked on the game.

In court filings, they noted that the World Health Organisation recognised video-game addiction in 2018.

The lawsuit is against the game’s maker, Epic Games, and its Canadian subsidiary.

Epic Games has argued that video-game addiction is not a recognised psychological disorder. A representative did not immediately respond to the BBC for comment.

The popular online game has amassed more than 350 million players online.

While the game is free to play, players pay to use in-game money called “V Bucks”. The game reportedly made more than $9b.

One of the children cited in the lawsuit played over 7 700 hours of the game in less than two years.

The legal action claims the game was deliberately developed to be “highly addictive”.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Sylvain Lussier ruled the lawsuit was not “frivolous”.

He likened current understanding of video-game addiction to early awareness of tobacco addiction: “The harmful effect of tobacco was not recognised or admitted overnight.”

He ruled that players who live in Quebec and experienced symptoms of addiction after playing the Battle Royale edition of Fortnite since 1 September 2017 can join the legal action. (BBC)

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