Do video games need addiction warning labels?

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Russian Man Is Suing The Makers Of ‘Fallout 4’ For Accomplishing Exactly What They Set Out To.

When a video-game player in Russia began playing “Fallout 4,” he stopped eating, sleeping, spending time with his wife, and even going to work. No matter how much time you’ve spent with since it launched last month, it probably hasn’t had as big of an impact on your life as it has one gamer’s from Krasnoyarsk, Russia.If you’re even remotely into video games, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve spent a large portion of your free time over the past few weeks plowing through the immensity of Fallout 4.A few players have found interesting things underwater throughout the massive Fallout 4 map and Bethesda has already confirmed that Fallout 4 will get some downloadable content (DLC), sometime in the future.

He has now lost his marriage, job, and health, and he blames the video-game maker Bethesda Softworks. “If I knew that this game could have become so addictive, I would have become a lot more wary of it,” the man wrote in a statement, as reported by RT. “I would not have bought it, or I would have left it until I was on holiday or until the New Year holidays.” His request may sound bizarre – even his lawyers say they plan to “see how far we can go regarding this case” – but it also echoes of a culture growing increasingly fond of warning labels. The game launched to a very receptive audience, and despite complaints about graphics quality and glitches, most people have found the game quite enjoyable.

According to a report from RT, the 28-year-old man is suing Bethesda, the developer of the game, for 500,000 roubles ($7,000) after losing his job and his wife. The lawsuit originates in Russia, but Bethesda Softworks is an American company and the outcome could potentially have some ripple effects in the United States. The 28-year-old unnamed gamer, who hails from the Siberian town of Krasnoyarsk, picked up the game and ended up glued to his controller for three weeks-straight. But some of them can take a lot out of our time, with games like Fallout 4 requiring well more than a day’s worth of combined play to reach 100 percent completion. Plastic bags are printed with cautionary warnings that they could be dangerous for infants and young children; coffee cups bear caveats that the contents may be hot; many printer toner cartridges bear instructions not to eat the contents.

Many seemingly common sense warnings advising consumers not to use products in ways other than those for which they were intended stem from lawsuits, either realized or potential. In the games’ back story, the third World War has taken place in 2077, while gamers take on the role of a member of Vault 111 who searches the vast, post-apocalyptic lands in search of his spouses’ killer and his son, Shaun. In 2010, for example, a US Federal Court heard a case from Craig Smallwood, who demanded demanded damages after becoming addicted to ‘Lineage II.’ But for some, the pull of Bethesda’s latest adventure has proven to have a disastrous effect, as is the case for a Siberian gamer who is preparing to sue the game developer for failing to warn him about the game’s addictive qualities. Oreos, for example, have been characterized as addictive in some preliminary studies, but they are sold alongside peanuts and cheese crackers in the snack aisle without any nod to their addictive qualities on the packaging.

What’s fascinating is that when you fire the gun, apart the harpoon itself bubbles emerge from the gun; this clearly means that the gun was made to fire underwater. Smokers and the tobacco industry objected to the addition of labels detailing harmful health effects on packs of cigarettes, but the US surgeon general claims that those labels have saved 8 million lives. One continuing debate concerns trigger warnings, a label in a class syllabus alerting college students that the reading to follow may include references to disturbing events or ideas. The idea is still being debated in media and college circles around the nation, Husna Haq wrote for The Christian Science Monitor: Is it akin to censorship and another example of “political correctness” taken to the extreme, as some have argued?

However, we hope that an underwater DLC is in the works as even the console gamers want to try out the harpoon gun and other underwater accessories and weaponry. In the same way that those suffering phobias conquer their fears only through confronting them, those suffering trauma may find healing through the very literature they find disturbing. Today, the online and mobile commerce giant appointed Matthew Bassiur, an anti-counterfeit specialist, as its chief of global intellectual property enforcement. Bassiur will take charge next month and will head a team that will focus on cleansing the company’s system of counterfeit goods and other such malpractices. He has previously worked in Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), overseeing their respective anti-counterfeit programs. “We will continue to be relentless in our long-term commitment to protect both consumers and intellectual property rights owners, and we call on all companies in our industry to join our fight against bad actors,” Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said in the press release.

That report followed a white paper issued by China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce in January that said Alibaba was not doing enough to stop the sale of counterfeits occurring on its platforms. Alibaba has around 2,000 workers in place to identify fake goods, apart from collaborations with government and other authorities to clamp down on counterfeit items. Being a dominant force in Chinese e-commerce, counterfeit allegations tarnish the company’s reputation, and harm it’s expansionary efforts in new markets, especially developed ones.

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