NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A class-action lawsuit is being readied against the creators of the popular video game Fortnite.
A law firm in Montreal, Canada argues the game is too addictive.
CBS2’s Dave Carlin got reaction to the lawsuit Wednesday from a New York City teenager and his mother.
Eli Forant enjoys online video games, including Fortnite.
“I really like playing it on the computer. Everybody jumped on it at around the same time,” the 10th grader said.
Players are pitted against each other in this game that is free to download. However, upgrades can cost players money.
Forant scaled back on Fortnite, but said one of his friends stayed hooked.
“He was staying home all day, not going to school. Just playing Fortnite. It was really sad,” Eli said.
Montreal firm Calex Légal represents parents who claim their kids became addicted to Fortnite, and believe they should have been warned.
In the suit, the parents are alleging the game triggers the so-called “pleasure hormone, dopamine” and could be as “potentially harmful as cocaine.”
“They consulted with psychologists. They spent years perfecting their game, studying human behavior, human brain to make it as addictive as possible,” attorney Alessandra Esposito Chartrand said.
Carlin reached out to Fortnite’s publisher, Epic Games, and a spokesman said the company would have no comment on pending litigation.
Some psychologists advise parents to think about a child’s exposure to video games in a similar way to nutrition.
“I think moderation is tremendous,” said Carolyn Montgomery, Eli’s mother.
Montgomery said this case can spark important family discussions.
“Perhaps it would save future generations from this problem,” Montgomery said.
Calex Légal has not said how much money it will seek. First a judge must rule on the class-action request.
The World Health Organization officially classified “gaming disorder” as an addictive condition that can be diagnosed.