A Canadian couple have filed a lawsuit against game publisher Epic Games, claiming Fortnite is as addictive and as potentially harmful as cocaine, USA Today reports.
The case was filed by a Montreal-based law firm on behalf of Québécois parents, who have two children aged 10 and 15. The suit alleges that when engaged in the game for long periods of time, player’s brains begin to release the “pleasure hormone dopamine.”
The suit claims that Fortnite was developed to elicit this reaction, making the game very addictive in order to reap financial reward, as while Fortnite is free to play, real money is used as in-game currency to pay for certain features.
Translated from French by USA Today, the case states, “The defendants used the same tactics as the creators of slot machines, or variable reward programs, (to ensure) the dependence of its users, (and) the brain being manipulated to always want more.”
It continues, “Children are particularly vulnerable to this manipulation since their self-control system in the brain is not developed enough.”
The suit has been filed months after the World Health Organization officially listed “Gaming Disorder” as an illness. Find out more about that here.