Pointed out to me by a co-worker, a story over at GameSpot reports that one of my former neighbors (though San Jose is a big city) is suing Activision Blizzard over issues he has with World of Warcraft. From the story:
He first takes exception to the game’s $14.99 monthly subscription fee, calling it the highest of any MMORPG. He contends the fee is aggravated by the game requiring players to travel great distances at a slow walking or running pace, with fast travel options like teleportation stones and mounts only available to gamers who rise to an advanced level or purchase the game’s expansion packs.
He also cited the game’s resurrection process, in which players travel in spirit from cemeteries back to the spots where they died in order to revive themselves, as an unnecessary part of the game designed to cost gamers money. Other fees at issue include the charges (up to $25) Blizzard levies to change their characters’ names, races, factions, or servers.
(Somebody find an MMORPG that charges more than $14.99 a month please.)
According to the story this guy recently had a case against the Sony Playstation Network dismissed and is currently suing Microsoft and Nintendo because:
…he alleged that a broken Xbox 360 caused him undue stress, and that a Wii system update blocking access to the Homebrew Channel third-party program interfered with his inalienable right to pursue happiness.
The rational behind his WoW suit:
…the suit also references the 2001 suicide of an EverQuest player, attributing it to a sense of alienation related to the game and mental health problems. The suit goes on to say the plaintiff has suffered from similar problems including major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and Crohn’s disease, and he “doesn’t want to end up like [the EverQuest player] did as he relies on video games heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life, via the gaming medium.”
In addition to the suit, the plaintiff also wants a pair of celebrities to attest to the effects of alienation. The gamer is subpoenaing Depeche Mode’s Martin Lee Gore “since he himself has been known to be sad, lonely, and alienated, as can be seen in the songs he writes.” He is also calling Winona Ryder to testify, saying the actress’ appreciation for Catcher in the Rye will make her a relevant witness “to how alienation in the book can tie to alienation in real live [sic] / video games such as World of Warcraft.”
For all of this he wants (say it with me) ONE MILLION DOLLARS!
And he wants Blizzard to fix all the issues he brought up. Good luck on that.