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Blizzard Sued for Death of Gamer 544

Somatic writes "In the latest saga over online gaming addiction in China, the parents of a 13-year-old Tianjin boy are suing the makers of World of Warcraft, blaming the game for the death of their son, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua. The parents filed a suit against Blizzard Entertainment on Wednesday, saying their son jumped to his death while reenacting a scene from the game, the report said. The parents are backed by the anti-Internet addiction advocate Zhang Chunliang. Mr. Chunliang has spoken to 63 parents whose children have allegedly suffered from online gaming addiction and plans to file a class-action suit, according to the report."
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Blizzard Sued for Death of Gamer

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    • Re:Relavent link (Score:3, Insightful)

      I realize the link is a joke, but it doesn't hit too far from the truth. I'm amazed that someone hasn't tried to outlaw footballs or baseballs. After all, there's a good chance of death resulting from their proper usage.
      • Re:Relavent link (Score:5, Insightful)

        by IAmTheDave ( 746256 ) <basenamedave-sd AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:12AM (#14075734) Homepage Journal
        This is the same thing as suing Coors or Budwiser for DUI deaths, or liver disease... addiction comes in all sorts of forms. You can't sue the maker of a legitimate product just because the person using said product has an addictive personality.

        I know this comment will get me modded bad, but some idiot kid jumping to his death to reenact some scene from WoW or whatever is just a perfect example of what we call "Natural Selection." Survival of the fittest, and if some kid isn't fit enough to know that jumping from on high will kill you dead, well, oh well. The article says nothing of severe depression, or drug abuse - so he just jumped to jump? That sure isn't Blizzard's fault.
        • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @12:02PM (#14076039) Homepage
          You can't sue the maker of a legitimate product just because the person using said product has an addictive personality.

          Evidently, you can. :^(

        • Re:Relavent link (Score:3, Interesting)

          by LifesABeach ( 234436 )
          I guess I'll have to wait for the class action law suit of Child Services vs. the parents for letting their children endanger themselves. And if I think more about it, the parents in both law suits did all the work.
        • Re:Relavent link (Score:3, Interesting)

          by zakezuke ( 229119 )
          This is the same thing as suing Coors or Budwiser for DUI deaths, or liver disease... addiction comes in all sorts of forms. You can't sue the maker of a legitimate product just because the person using said product has an addictive personality.

          Actually... I seem to recall that there was one person who successfully sued some mfg. of spirits when her child was born with birth defects. Since then I there is a nice spiffy little warning label. And alcohol is not exactly the catagory of "legitimate" product.
        • Re:Relavent link (Score:3, Interesting)

          by daniel_mcl ( 77919 )
          A single incident is not an example of natural selection, any more than the collision of two particles is an example of the ideal gas law. Common sense is not genetic, and what we consider common sense isn't necessarily anti-survival. I'll bet that this kid, had he lived, would have quickly begun engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners, which would be doing a lot more to promote his genetic material than most of us are doing. Evolution is a scientific theory just like Maxwell's equations or qu
    • I rather expected that to be a link to this []
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I love how that article states "No one know exactly why the grenade exploded."

  • Dear Parents... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by charlesbakerharris ( 623282 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:39AM (#14075541)
    Your kid is a moron. Please sue either (a) his genetic contributors or (b) the people who raised him poorly enough that he thought that reenacting a jumping scene from a computer game wouldn't result in his death. Anyway, I hope his last sight was looking up at the branches of Teldrassil. I hear it's magnificent this time of year.
    • Exactly. This is like suing a casino for a gambling addiction instead of taking responsibility for one's addiction and getting help. If the kid was stupid enough to jump to his death, this is just a good example of Darwinism.
    • We are pleased to report that your son is now being considered in this years running for a prestigious darwin award []. You should be very proud.
    • Your kid is a moron. Please sue either (a) his genetic contributors or (b) the people who raised him poorly enough that he thought that reenacting a jumping scene from a computer game wouldn't result in his death. Anyway, I hope his last sight was looking up at the branches of Teldrassil. I hear it's magnificent this time of year.

      The thing is that the parents are obviously stupid as well. These kinds of lawsuits have been going on for years, and they simply don't work. If the company is doing something in
    • Re:Dear Parents... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dazhichen ( 739031 )
      maybe they should just sell the game bundled with a hard hat?

      - Dazhi Chen
    • Re:Dear Parents... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shakrai ( 717556 )

      Your kid is a moron. Please sue either (a) his genetic contributors or (b) the people who raised him poorly enough that he thought that reenacting a jumping scene from a computer game wouldn't result in his death.

      The key word in your suggestion and TFA's is "sue" of course.

      And to think, all this time I've been worried about our ability to successfully Americanize a billion Chinese. Seems like they are well on their way to adopting the very best of American culture and values ;)

    • Sounds like the boy is a candidate for a Darwin Award.
  • Re-enacting? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Nowhere in that article does it prove that he was re-enacting a scene from the game. By this logic, any family member of someone who played the game and jumped to their death can sue for re-enacting a scene from this game. And surely, the game is not linear, so he would have chosen to jump off the cliff in game as he did in real life, no one forced him to, sue Blizzard for providing the method to fall, sue Nature for providing the method to fall.
    • Nowhere in that article does it prove that he was re-enacting a scene from the game.

      For all we know, he could have been re-enacting Wile E. Coyote.

      (Clearly this reference might not apply in China, but in the broader context of blaming video games, there are precious few things left to be outraged about. What was so different in the 1960s that kids weren't offing themselves like lemmings whenever they saw the Roadrunner cartoons?)

    • Just another case where people won't take personal responsibility and want someone else to pay for it.

      On a slightly related note, it's nice to see that western society has successfully exported nuisance lawsuits to China.
    • Next thing you know, they'll be suing the creators of Mario when people start jumping down open manholes.
  • by gcnaddict ( 841664 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:41AM (#14075549)
    Doom encourages two high schoolers to go suicidal and massacre kids at a school, and all we hear is a public outcry on why violent games are bad. A kid playing WoW dies and Blizzard gets sued? What's the world coming to?
  • Darwinism? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:42AM (#14075554)
    Or is it Intelligent Design?

    You be the judge.
  • safety warnings (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ilf ( 193006 ) <{ilf} {at} {}> on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:43AM (#14075556)
    maybe they should jump on the bandwagon and print safety labels on game boxes, like they put on coffee cups (hot coffe in your lap whilke driving = bad) and microwaves (don't dry your cat in them)!

    or they just listened to him: []
    • Caution: Certain points in the game may be so awesome that you totally have to see if you can fly out of your window, because that would be crazy!
    • Re:safety warnings (Score:5, Informative)

      by prichardson ( 603676 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:19AM (#14075786) Journal
      I really want to clear this up because the likes of Jay Leno have really twisted the story.

      The McDonalds in question had repeated complaints about the temperature of their coffee, and the woman burned wasn't just burned a little. She recieved third degree burns on her thighs. They knew their coffee was too hot and they didn't do anything about it.
      • McDonald's Coffee (Score:5, Informative)

        by Pyromage ( 19360 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:55AM (#14076007) Homepage
        Mod parent up - more people need to know what happened.

        First, the person burned was the *passenger*. Secondly, the car was stopped at the time for her to put some cream & sugar in it. Third, McDonald's coffee is served 40 degrees hotter than that of other fast food restaurants. The temperature that other restaurants serve it at *would not* cause third degree burns.

        And the very large sum of money that she was awarded initially totalled less than a day's coffee sales for McDonalds. And that was reduced significantly, as well.

        I don't like the comparison, because McDonald's did screw up, and this kid screwed up. Blizzard just made a kickass game.
    • How about a safety warning label that is always floating two feet in front of every man, woman, and child that reads...

      Warning, everything you interact with CAN KILL you.

      Let preempt stupidity to avoid lawsuits. Better yet, lets give everyone a gun and tell them point it at their heads and pull the trigger. That way, only the smart will survive.
    • Re:safety warnings (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )
      I recall reading a recent story about a kid who died from a video game induced seizure. He had a condition which made him sensitive to bright flashy lights.

      The condition got worse over a period of months the more he played console video games. His mother says she knew he was having these seizures but didn't know what was causing them.

      After he died, she learned that there was a warning/disclaimer in small print stating that the game could cause seizures.

      Another situation where someone didn't read the fine pr
    • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @12:39PM (#14076276) Homepage Journal
      I don't understand. I've never had a problem drying cats in the microwave.

      My favorite recipe for dried cat:
      1 40 oz cat.
      1/2 oz orange peel.
      1/4 cup mustard.

      Shave the cat if not purchased pre-shaved or hairless. Wash cat in disenfectant soap and warm water (warning, many cats do not like water and may become agitated).

      Coat cat liberally in mustard, then garnish with orange peel. Dry on low power in microwave for about 50 minutes at 300 watt power (check your microwave manual, microwave power will vary). Dry for additional 10 minutes if cat is still moist or squishy to the touch.

      Dice and serve in a bowl or party tray.
  • Columbine featured kids strolling into school and opening fire almost exactly as Neo did in the elevator scene in the Matrix.

    Didn't get that movie off the shelves.
  • I'm absolutely cheering to hear that it isn't just U.S. parents that no longer take any concern into the well being of their children. For a while I thought we had the "The Government should Watch My Kids for Me so I can Drink All I Want." wrapped up with a pretty blue bow.

  • by Diego and Aline ( 914966 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:44AM (#14075565) Homepage
    ... can be found at the Becker-Posner blog here []. Gary Becker is a Nobel prize winner economist and Richard Posner is, I presume, an equally important lawyer.

    It would be nice if we could get hold of the existing arguments and proposed solutions before jumping into naïve comments, fuck-the-corporations shouting and suchlike.

  • 0 1&threshold=-1&tid=95 []

    Our lawyer friend Jack from the USA would use this case in China as "proof" that video games are killing children. The sad truth is that some children are incapable of distinguishing fantasy from reality, and should not be playing video games. Darwin's theory takes over if they see something they shouldn't be doing, because whatever is wrong with their brain takes over and puts fiction to life. The results are enough to stir
    • And, if you jump to death to reenact a scene from a video game, you are basically a lunatic that could have been affected by anything. Lets ban everything that could give kids the impression that flying works, including pokemon.
      • Imagine what a kid that watched the news every night might do. Fuck, let's ban everything at let our wonderful leaders decide over what can and can not do. I personally think that Blizzard should sue the parents for not raising their son properly and then suing them and defiling their name (or rather give them great publicity "heard of that game the kid died from? Gotta try that one out!").
    • I think what's more likely here was the following scenario:

      Parents: "Oh, no! Our child jumped to his death!"

      Lawyer: "Let's find someone we can sue!"

      Parents: "Well, our son played a lot of this game called 'World of Warcraft.'"

      Lawyer: "Can you jump to your death in that game?"

      Parents: "I think so..."

      Lawyer: "A HA! So, *obviously,* your son jumped to his death while re-enacting a scene from a video game! Now, let's go sue the maker of this game."

      • That seems quite likely. It's not like you can ask a dead child why they jumped off a tall place to their death. Unless the kid said something like, "I'm going to go jump from a high place to reenact a video game called WoW," it's pretty hard to determine the impetus of his mental instability.
  • Lawsuit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I am not a lawayer, but wouldn't they need to prove that Blizzard was reckless in the creation of the video game somehow?
    • They already have proof of guilt:

      "China's online game market brought in $580 million this year"

      that's good enough proof for any lawyer to jump at the case.
  • awesome (Score:4, Funny)

    by everphilski ( 877346 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:47AM (#14075583) Journal
    Anything that has a chance of bringing the wayward children back to Everquest is gold in my book -_-

  • Stupid kid (Score:5, Funny)

    by garylian ( 870843 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:47AM (#14075586)
    Why didn't he cast invulnerability, like the other kid that jumped? Oh, he was only a warrior? What a moron!

    These kids today... They just don't read the game manual and class abilities in game.

    Maybe it was a Chinese translation error?
  • by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:49AM (#14075594) a 13-year-old kid plays a video game where there's magic, all kinds of non-real species and objects, all of which transpires on a place that isn't real. And from this, he develops some notion that he can fly, or survive jumps from very high up, or some other physics-ignorant notion. And some people believe that somehow, in some fashion, Blizzard is responsible?

    All I have to ask is this: have the evangelical Christians been much more effective at discounting the theory of evolution in China than they have here? Kind of sounds like it...
  • Mario bros. (Score:5, Funny)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:50AM (#14075602) Homepage
    Please raise your hand if you ever tried to smash a brick wall reenacting a scene from Mario Bros.

  • by DingerX ( 847589 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:50AM (#14075605) Journal
    We sit here and ridicule the notion that a video game could sap someone's free will and make them do something as patently absurd as commit suicide. Okay, probably this is a case that's bound to be lost.

    But this is an industry where addiction is a major problem. Some video gamers are showing the signs of clinical addiction []. These things are making people sick, and what do marketing and design people do? They try to make them more addictive, of course.

    Heck, your whole MMORPG industry is built on the concept of "levelling", which some smart lawyer is sooner or later gonna figure out is nothing other than intermittent behavioral reinforcement. Then they'll find that the games like that have whole "support" industries of addicts encouraging others in their addiction.

    Snicker, call me a troll, but take a look at the tobacco industry for a second.

    Better make it a few minutes -- I'm gonna finish this level before continuing my rant.
    • I don't buy it [literally and figuratively]. I have made stupid choices in my life [e.g. buying video games over the net when I really shouldn't have] but I know when to quit. I pull myself away from it and do something else.

      These kids getting super addicted to WoW and other RPGs are just kids who don't have proper perspective on life. They place an over abundance of importance and value in the games when personal and professional development is more important.

      For instance, I don't spend all day on slash
    • Yeah, you're absolutely right, but how the hell does selling an addictive product make you liable? Is the porn industry liable for destroying (or saving) marriages? What about the makers of Battletech or Dungeons & Dragons? What about Gold's Gym or Weider, both of whom sell weight lifting equipment which leads to addictive chemical reactions in your body?

      Perhaps my 2nd grade orchestra teacher is liable for my addiction to playing musical instruments? I can't even get the damn thoughts out of my hea

      • Bah, the medieval catholic church wasn't nearly that bad. The problem was faulty economic theory (money is dead, it doesn't grow, therefore there shouldn't be interest); and yet in the Middle Ages there were many good Catholics who made livings as merchants (selling goods for more than they paid for them), and bankers.

        The disanalogy between all your other examples and video games is that none of the industries behind them design their products specifically to be addictive, none market them as addiction-cau
    • I have played World of Warcraft, Everquest, and text MMORPGs (well, MUDs) for many, many years. Before this, I was a D&D fan, and other such games.

      Never, ever, have I tried to anything this absurd as a result of my experiences in these games.

      This is NOT the fault of the game or the company that brought into being. This does not have anything to do with the fact that these kinds of games support the idea of behavioural reinforcement (which I agree with entirely). This was the case of a child that did
    • Your comparing addiction to dangerous chemicals to entertainment media. I think they are on two completely different levels in terms of danger to a person. If a video game can make someone delusional then the same could be said for TV, music, or a book which have all been criticized in the past under similar circumstances.
    • There is a difference between selling physiologically addictive products that will kill you and slightly psychologically additive entertainment.
  • I think the real question is, how do you keep your game from getting into the hands of the fraction of the population that suffers from mental illness. Millions of teens play the game and don't want to kill themselves re-enacting a scene. It's not about the software company. It's about the player. I assume this kid would have eventually found some other way of escapism to do himself in with. Didn't the parents realize by the kid's behaviour that something odd was up *before* he killed himself?
  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:52AM (#14075618)
    Suppose a man wishes to have sexual intercourse with a video game CD, and proceeds to place his penis into the hole in the centre. Now let us suppose that while thrusting, the CD manages to tear his cock's knob off. Should the video game designers and the CD pressers be held liable for creating a dangerous product, one so heinous that it resulted in a man losing his glans penis?

  • There is a point. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:56AM (#14075641)
    Kids do stupid stuff. Heck when I was a Kid me and a bunch of others would climb to the highest point of the playground. a good 10 Feet and Jump off it and onto the pebbled ground pretending that we were He-Man, and those who didn't fall on their face, or have their hands or bent their knees the least won. Looking back to it It was really dumb and we could have easily got hurt or killed ourselves if we fell the wrong way. If it wasn't He-Man we would probably do it pretending something else. Kids do stupid things, they lack good judgement skills that is why 8 year olds are not allowed to vote or drive cars on public roads, it is not that they can't physically do it, but because they have poor judgement skills and left on their own they will more often then not make poor decisions. Older Kids are at an age where they work off their old phobias and see what they can do with their new found abilities. If the kid played Tetris he would probably still jump off the cliff pretending that he was his favorite piece.
    • Re:There is a point. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by daigu ( 111684 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:49AM (#14075977) Journal

      I call B.S. This is a convenient story that people that are no longer kids like to tell themselves. I'd bet if you reflected on your entire life, jumping from a tree pretending you were He-Man probably wouldn't make your top 25 of all time stupid things you have done. If you were to make a top 25 list, probabilities would have that most of these happened while you were an adult.

      I used to do flips off my roof into a pool. Stupid? Yeah. Top 25 stupid? Probably not. Kids are testing boundries - and there is inherent risk in doing so. Adults more frequently do stupid things out of complacency. There's a reason why people take notice of a kid jumping off a tree and killing themselves. There's also a reason why people don't think twice about people that kill themselves (or worse, another) because they were driving and talking on the cell phone - or some other "normal" activity. Which do you think is more common?

  • Sue The Parents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by przemeklach ( 905526 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @10:58AM (#14075651)
    I'm not sure if such an organization exists but there should be an organization that sues the parents in cases such as this. Where were the parents? Slacking off? Don't say that parents can't keep an eye on their children all the time becuase that is bs. Both my parents worked and they still managed to keep me from inserting things up my nose and jumping out of windows.
  • The fact that lawyers in Communist China are being allowed to file frivolous lawsuits to chase after the money is good news that capitalism is being warmly embraced by that society. It won't be long before the government passes a law banning Shakespeare because he advocated killing all the lawyers.
  • by Xarius ( 691264 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:04AM (#14075688) Homepage
    There is no way in this world to prove that the child in question re-created a scene from a computer game, unless he left a detailed suicide note detailing that he was mimicing a fictional world.

    Perhaps the world could do with either a) less irresponsible parents or b) less stupid children, or my personal favourite c) both.

    I mean seriously, I'm going to consume babies and then sue the Vatican because a passage in the Bible inspired me to do so*. Would I get away with being such a moron, of course not. A much preferred headline would have been: Parents imprisoned for failure to properly raise a child.

    * Here is the passage:
    "And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son,that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son. -- II Kings 6:28,29
  • So now you can sue somebody for *showing* you stuff that might result in death IRL? Or for telling you a fantasy tale about how people grow wings and fly?
  • by a_greer2005 ( 863926 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:10AM (#14075726)
    If the kid is so fucking addicted to a game, why didnt the parents pull the fucking plug?!?!?!?!?

    I dont know about you but if I didnt do my homework, clean my room, take the garbage out and so on, Mom would like clock work un plug the Nintendo...Have parents lost their authority?

  • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:12AM (#14075738) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    "The Chinese government has already said it plans to restrict gamers to three hours of consecutive play, using a "fatigue technique" in games. After three hours of play, the online game would lose some player power, and after five hours, the player would lose most power. After that, there would be a delay of five hours before the game could be accessed to its full capacity."

    I'd be curious to find out if this proposal might actually enhance gameplay. This could be the first good thing to come out of China's Government... you'd be forced to spend the time you have to play doing worthwhile things that are fun instead of being able to 'grind' players up the rankings...

    On the other hand if this was forced on the Game Developers and Distributors legally, ie. they have to build it in to their system... it would set a very bad precedent for all products of all types.... think cars and driving, or cellphones or TV viewing. Imagine a curfew system for using anything electronic, where you can only use it during preset times and for pre-approved purposes (well I guess you don't have to imagine it, just move to China and try using the internet). China's attempt to regulate the people's behavior is going to backlash in a major way soon, IMHO. They want all the benefits of a free market but all the control of a closed market... can't have it both ways...

    • In the BBS day we had a solution which was to time limit your connection. Of course that was because most BBSes had only 1 line [sometimes a couple] and wanted to share with others.

      So why not make RPGs where you can only play 1 hour per 24 hour period?

      In the grand scheme of things it makes sales sense since the player progresses EVEN SLOWER through the game and it has the social benefit of not having losers play 24 hours a day.

      Of course this won't stop people from making 24 accounts ... I guess you can lim
      • In the BBS day we had a solution which was to time limit your connection. Of course that was because most BBSes had only 1 line [sometimes a couple] and wanted to share with others.
        So why not make RPGs where you can only play 1 hour per 24 hour period?
        In the grand scheme of things it makes sales sense since the player progresses EVEN SLOWER through the game and it has the social benefit of not having losers play 24 hours a day.
        Of course this won't stop people from making 24 accounts ... I guess you can

  • by zarthrag ( 650912 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:12AM (#14075741)
    And lo-and-behold the ESRB warns of "Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, and Violence"/T for Teen... so I guess my 15 month old won't be playing - but she clearly has more sense than their 13yo child: she's terrified of heights.
  • I had to check that this really was on mainland China, not Taiwan. It is. Does this mean that China is starting to evolve a civil society with a civil legal system? If so, disregarding all the comments about frivolous lawsuits, this is a very interesting development. The really newsworthy bit would come if an ordinary Chinese was allowed to sue a Chinese corporation rather than a foreign corporation or its local agent. But the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep.

    As for the lawsuit itse

  • by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:25AM (#14075831) Homepage
    Although I disagree with the conclusion, some interesting arguments in this letter [].

    Personally, I approve of the controls on selling violent games to minors.
    But I don't approve of liability for game studios when the parents have purchased a violent game - ignoring the rating - without evaluating the game themselves.

    Protecting your child from harm is a parent's responsibility, and not just in the video game arena. It's your job to make sure that your kid wears a helmet - and not Schwinn's responsibility. It's your job to make sure your kid doesn't stick a fork in the electrical outlet - not National Power's. It's your job to teach your kid right from wrong. I would more willingly accept civil and criminal liability of parents of murderous children than liability of artists.

    Do we really want liability for companies who make violent movies?
    Yes? Ok, no more movies about Vietnam, WW2, or Iraq. Oh, and no more news coverage either, could get sued. We will all just have to trust our righteous leader that the war is going great. We don't want our kids to see it on TV. We don't want to hear any social commentary if it's bloody. We don't have time to keep violent images and games away from our children. That's the government's job.

    It's sad when people die, but blame the right people: The murderous little bastard's parents.

    • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @12:30PM (#14076216) Homepage Journal
      I totally agree. There are two basic related disfunctions in society today. First are the people that are blaming the rest of the world for the results of their bad decisions. Second are the friends and relatives of the first group that got themselves killed as a result of their own poor decisions - they're blaming anyone that was even remotely connected to the deceased as somehow being responsible for their death. People need to take respsonsibility for their actions, and they need to accept that decisions made by others were their responsibility. The whole world is not made for your benefit and protection, and the whole world is not responsible when you screw up. Take ownership of your actions.
  • by J'raxis ( 248192 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @11:33AM (#14075871) Homepage
    from the if-you-can-sue-tobacco-companies-why-not dept.

    I would compare this case more to suing gun manufacturers than to suing tobacco companies. In my opinion, the tobacco lawsuits were actually reasonable: People were claiming the tobacco companies actively suppressed research into the addictive and carcinogenic nature of tobacco; thus, people bought the product, got addicted, and came down with cancer, all the while thinking what they were doing was reasonable safe. Thus, there were ample grounds for a lawsuit.

    This case, however, is a lot more like the nonsense over suing gun makers for what criminals do with them, suing bars over deaths caused by drunken drivers, &c. -- someone's just looking to place blame on a tangentially-connected, and -- coincidentally, I'm sure -- well-monied third party.

  • by dindi ( 78034 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @12:27PM (#14076194)
    I am surprised no typical /. conspiracy theorists did not bring that up.

    Would you consider tha chance that the kid was totally normal, and simply fell out of the window? Than the parents are just trying to make a buck ?


    How did the parents know that he was "re-enacting" a scene from the game? Were THEY playing the game and the kid just watched?

    Now if they saw or played the game, they should have realised that it was dangerous and just forbid the kid to play it. I have motorbikes, quads, drill machines and whatever else dangerous stuff, if I know it is dangerous I do not let my kid play with it, simple like that. If I do fail so it is my responsibility.

    This is just another retarded case of let's blame games practice.

    How many people sued the makers of superman ? Or mary poppins? I mean I knew a kid who broke both her arms trying to parachute with an umrella. She landed in front of our garage entrance in fact. She was stupid but not stupid enought to make 1st jump from the 3rd floor, and the first floor jump did not kill her.

    Now I ask again: why not sue movies? I mean how many kids movies feature people flying, shooting, killing. Or how many homes are without a channel blovking device with password control for non-suitable content?

    It is a joke. Kids see more violence on a day staying home and watching TV that I can experience playing grand theft auto for hours.

  • Level? (Score:3, Funny)

    by trollable ( 928694 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @12:54PM (#14076358) Homepage
    What was his level? Because, even in WoW, you die when you jump from a 60m-high tower. Sad anyway.
  • geez... (Score:3, Funny)

    by kavau ( 554682 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @03:01PM (#14077021) Homepage
    In other news:

    Boy drowns while trying to walk on water; parents sue God.

  • by Gyorg_Lavode ( 520114 ) on Sunday November 20, 2005 @04:18PM (#14077422)
    From the Blizzard Terms of Use:

    1. Establishment of a World of Warcraft Account.
    A. You may establish one (1) user acount (the "Account") with which to play World of Warcraft by accessing the Service pursuant to the terms, conditions and restrictions contained in the Agreement. In order to establish an Account, you must be a 'Natural Person,' who is the age of majority in the country where you are a citizen. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, partnerships, or any other form of legal entity other than that of a "natural person" may not establish an account, and by accepting this Agreement, you hereby represent and warrant that you meet these eligibility requirements. You may not share the Account with anyone except that if you are a parent or guardian, you may permit one (1) minor child to use the Account when not in use by you. You are liable for all uses of the Account. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, you acknowledge and agree that you shall have no ownershiup or other property interest in the Account, and you further acknowledge and agree that all rights in and to the Account are and shall forever be owned by Blizzard Entertainment.
    While the legality of such an agreement is obviously questionable, the agreement seems to put liability squarely on the parent who registered the account.

    (If you want to read some other crazy stuff. Read the entire ToS. Its damn scary. I wouldn't be supprised if they showed up wanting my first born.)

  • My Son (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geomon ( 78680 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @01:18PM (#14083382) Homepage Journal
    My son plays video games - plenty of them too. He plays WoW, GTA, and about a half dozen games that involve various levels of mayhem. He laughs hysterically at the images of bodies dropping, sans heads, with the appropriate level of blood splatter to boot.

    But he is a major-class wimp when it comes to seeing the real thing. My wife, my daughters and I can sit in the living room watching a Discovery television program on surgery techniques, where flesh and bone are exposed and articulated for the camera. No problems for us. My son, however, gets noticeably queasy and has to leave the room to avoid getting sick.

    I took him in to the podiatrist to have him examined for surgery on his feet. The doctor described in detail the procedure they will be following to correct his bunions. That process involves cutting wedges out of his phalanges and shaving the metatarsals. I watched my son as the doctor went through his description and noted the loss of color in his face, his agitated state, and his breathing. I thought he was going to vomit in the examination room. And all the doctor was doing was talking.

    When we got in the car to head back home I asked my son why he was unable to deal with the descriptions of cutting and shaving bone when he could watch people blown to bits playing video games.

    His reply was: "I know the difference between fantasy and reality".

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.