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View Full Version : Blizzard Sued for Death of Gamer UPDATE: Scam?


RobertoOrtiz
11-21-2005, 02:46 PM
Quote:
"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. "


>>Link<< (http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=14551&hed=Youth%E2%80%99s+Death+Linked+to+Game)

-R

erilaz
11-21-2005, 02:51 PM
Tragic death... but once again blame is pointed. *SIGH*

Slurry
11-21-2005, 03:03 PM
I know the parents must be grieving and upset but this is ridiculous.
And the article has 2 brief paragraphs (the lead-in and hook) about the child and then goes into detail about revenue of the game industry and Blizzard.
There MUST be more information about the child's actions, his history, etc...
A 13 year old must realise that his actions would be hazardous to his health. It would appear to me there must have been a mental disorder already in place.
Bahhhh...They shouldn''t even report these frivalous lawsuits. What a waste of everybodies time.
If parents are worried about game addiction, restrict the time the kids have at the computer. Make them read a book, go outside and play, whatever. Take the game away. Do something.
Suing a company for money hardly solves the problem of negligent parenting.

:banghead:

Art

Slurry
11-21-2005, 03:07 PM
Oh, and I think the idea of game-player fatigue being linked to the consectuive hours a human player is playing the game is an intriguing one.
Cool way to limit the hours a person plays the game, having their character need rest. In a way, that makes the experience even more real.

art

Dennik
11-21-2005, 03:09 PM
I know the parents must be grieving and upset but this is ridiculous.
And the article has 2 brief paragraphs (the lead-in and hook) about the child and then goes into detail about revenue of the game industry and Blizzard.
There MUST be more information about the child's actions, his history, etc...
A 13 year old must realise that his actions would be hazardous to his health. It would appear to me there must have been a mental disorder already in place.
Bahhhh...They shouldn''t even report these frivalous lawsuits. What a waste of everybodies time.
If parents are worried about game addiction, restrict the time the kids have at the computer. Make them read a book, go outside and play, whatever. Take the game away. Do something.
Suing a company for money hardly solves the problem of negligent parenting.

:banghead:

Art


For that i have to completely agree. This lawsuit is ridiculous. Their son could copy any dangerous stunt from an action movie and kill himself. If he was as stupid as he seemed to be.

FloydBishop
11-21-2005, 03:15 PM
Lame......

tozz
11-21-2005, 03:43 PM
This has to be about money. There's no way a normal healthy humanoid could think like this if it wasn't for personal gain. And to use their son's death for it... pathetic.

mummey
11-21-2005, 04:02 PM
Don't be so sure that its about money....

Questions to ask:

What are the laws in China for cases such as this?

The victum was a 13 year old boy, how does China's "one child" policy play a factor in this?

What is the Chinese govt's take on this?

How is the Chinese media portraying this? if even reporting it at all?

itsallgoode9
11-21-2005, 04:13 PM
this stuff is getting so absurd that really is starting to be funny.

WesComan
11-21-2005, 04:22 PM
"Gaming fanatics show hallmarks of drug addiction"...

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/info-tech/dn8327.html

Some evidence to show that perhaps the addiction is real.

Stillwell
11-21-2005, 04:44 PM
Yes, it's stupid. I don't think the parents will win though.

Although we've seen worse. Anybody remembers that fat woman that sued Mc'Donalds and won?

Maven
11-21-2005, 04:47 PM
Anybody can get addicted to anything.

<---- coffee

but the parent suing a game company because there kid was having some emotional problem (I guessing here) is really pathetic, how about grieving for the lost of your son instead of think about how to make some money on it.

BillSpradlin
11-21-2005, 05:22 PM
I'm going to jump off a building and then sue Brian Singer for making Superman.

I will win.

instinct-vfx
11-21-2005, 05:34 PM
Also makes me wonder why it´s the fault of the developer ? I mean the developer did not have any chance to intervene...the parents had. Why is it that ppl point at developers of games instead of asking why a 13 year old kid plays so much? And why he plays that kind of games ? Why are amok shooters considered victims of the gaming industry and why do ppl not ask why the heck a 15 year old is able to get ahold of heavy rifles ?

It´s sad and pathetic indeed :(

Regards,
Thorsten

SpikeWorx
11-21-2005, 05:38 PM
I'm going to jump off a building and then sue Brian Singer for making Superman.

I will win.
That was a good one :D

Chris Bacon
11-21-2005, 05:42 PM
All due respect to the family, I cant even begin to imagine what there going through, but the kid couldnt have been in what I would call a sound mental state to do somthing like that.....again all due respect but its like when the two towers were hit and a copy of flight simulator was found amung the terrorist things, computer games had the finger pointed at them,

people need to step back, Ive just watched the new superman teaser....If i had the earge to jump out of my window now to react what I saw....does that meen my family could sue Warner Brothers....

switchblade327
11-21-2005, 07:05 PM
This has to be about money. There's no way a normal healthy humanoid could think like this if it wasn't for personal gain. And to use their son's death for it... pathetic.

I don't know. It's probably a lot easier on the human psyche to point the finger elsewhere then admit you raised a child who lacked the common sense to not immitate a 1000 polygon virtual character doing dangerous things and he died as a result.

I didn't see the specifics in the article though. What exactly did the kid do?

BillSpradlin
11-21-2005, 07:11 PM
Not to bring Superman up again, but funny little story. When I was about 6 years old I was standing on top of my parents car with a cape on imitating Superman. My sister thought it would be funny to tell me that I could indeed fly, and knowing that I really was Superman (I had a cape on, what more do you need?) I did a faceplant off the top of the car straight into the concrete. I shredded up my chin and face obviously, but my parents didn't rush to a lawyer trying to sue the film makers of Superman for my own stupidity and imaginitve nature.

I don't have any problems psychologically (at least none that I know of, crazy people think they are sane you know...) and that indeed was a pretty stupid act. But kids are kids and do stupid things and are easily influenced, it certainly doesn't mean that my parents or anyone else had the right to sue someone else over it.

Boone
11-21-2005, 07:12 PM
I can remember at the end of an old He-Man episode that he basically said "its just for fun - don't take it so seriously or someone could get hurt!" :lightbulb

I suppose there are kids who get over-excited and want to do it for real. Whenever I got "hyper" when I was a kid, my parents used to say "CALM - IT - DOWN!" and always kept me in check...hell - they still do! :argh:

I think that at the age of 13 you are starting to shake off that "hyper" state as you...oh, no - wait, thats not right as you then begin to notice how naughty'n'nice the opposite sex is... :D

My world would totally cave if it were my boy that took the great leap for mankind, but Blizzard are simply not in the wrong in this case. If you're going to blame them, you may as well blame Shakespere or Lucas... :hmm:

smoothoperator
11-21-2005, 07:32 PM
Next thing you know someone will sue Martha Stewart for following her online cooking show because they cut themselves with a knife. frikin idiots. Something is wrong with the law if they allow soo many lawsuits so easily.

pgp_protector
11-21-2005, 07:41 PM
Next thing you know someone will sue Martha Stewart for following her online cooking show because they cut themselves with a knife. frikin idiots. Something is wrong with the law if they allow soo many lawsuits so easily.

Allowing the lawsuits is one thing.
If they win that's another.

I'd just like a standard though so that if it's determed to be frivilious, that the suing party has to pick up ALL the legal cost.

Tonedef
11-21-2005, 07:49 PM
Ok, I am sorry but...what the hell could the kid have been reenacting from WoW that involved leaping to his death?!?! Whatever it was most likely killed him ingame too! I mean...was he trying to reenact just missing the Zeppelin outside of Duratar but still trying to leap aboard and missing??? Obviously the kid was missing....his whole BRAIN! Geeze...I would say sorry to the family, but they obviously didn't care enough about their kid to take actions before hand. They might as well sue Isaac Newton for 'discovering' gravity!

Superman joke FTW!! :p

pgp_protector
11-21-2005, 08:39 PM
Ok, I am sorry but...what the hell could the kid have been reenacting from WoW that involved leaping to his death?!?! Whatever it was most likely killed him ingame too! I mean...was he trying to reenact just missing the Zeppelin outside of Duratar but still trying to leap aboard and missing??? Obviously the kid was missing....his whole BRAIN! Geeze...I would say sorry to the family, but they obviously didn't care enough about their kid to take actions before hand. They might as well sue Isaac Newton for 'discovering' gravity!

Superman joke FTW!! :p

Maby he thought he was a mage doing the Slow fall jump down in thousand needles :D, In game you would survive that, I do all the time ;)

tozz
11-21-2005, 09:18 PM
I don't know. It's probably a lot easier on the human psyche to point the finger elsewhere then admit you raised a child who lacked the common sense to not immitate a 1000 polygon virtual character doing dangerous things and he died as a result.

I didn't see the specifics in the article though. What exactly did the kid do?
Pointing finger is one thing, going to court to sue is another.

SalmonGod
11-21-2005, 09:47 PM
I think people will do anything to avoid personal guilt or liability... although I'm sure money often plays a part in cases like these also...

I was a Sophomore in high school when Columbine happened... and I was an outcast at the time and just becoming friends with the whole "black trenchcoat group"... I was also well-known to be a pacifist who had never harmed another person despite people trying to bully me into fights for years...

the day after Columbine a bunch of students were making up nasty rumors about my friends with the teacher and saying that they thought they were going to do the same thing... I borrowed a trenchcoat to wear to class the next day and everybody was actually afraid of me... even after I explained to them that I was only trying to prove a point... I was called to the office immediately after class, along with a couple other fellow troublemakers and everybody with a trenchcoat had it confiscated... soon after the principle had an article in the newspaper where he actually said that we were troublemakers because we got picked on, and they always had to keep us under control...

so ya... I dont know where I was going with this, except that I know all about the blame game

if you havent seen the music video for Pearl Jam's "Jeremy"... find it and watch it

Schwinnz
11-21-2005, 09:57 PM
Wow (no f* pun intended), bullshit squared. Sued for the stupidity of someone else? Insanely, friggin stupid.




*I'm in a bad mood, yes.

Kirt
11-21-2005, 10:09 PM
Sue Milton Bradley. The game of "Life" promotes the ideal and glory of being a lawyer and earning big bucks. This has obviously had a huge impact on today's society and the abundance of moronic lawsuits.

It's all their fault I tell you ...

http://gamefest.com/images/10661511981066151198Life%20Game.gif

animateddave
11-21-2005, 10:25 PM
Meh, its not like he was going to grow up and cure cancer anyways. :shrug:

switchblade327
11-21-2005, 10:31 PM
Sue Milton Bradley. The game of "Life" promotes the ideal and glory of being a lawyer and earning big bucks. This has obviously had a huge impact on today's society and the abundance of moronic lawsuits.

It's all their fault I tell you ...



Good point. Come to think of it, I am bitter about the fact that Im not driving around in a sweet 6 seater convertible with my hot pink peg of a wife.

steffenoid
11-21-2005, 10:41 PM
Meh, its not like he was going to grow up and cure cancer anyways. :shrug:

Yeah I think I'm going to have to cite natural selection here...

EDIT: though I do feel sorry for the family, they did open themselves up to criticism to some extent when they decided to sue

umfridus
11-21-2005, 11:28 PM
I looked up for more details, and it seems like "killing himself while reenacting a scene" is not a very fitting description because the boy apparently knew he would die by jumping off a 24-storey building. After all, he left FOUR wills and a 80,000 word blog detailing his journey in the game. It doesn't appear as if he's a little boy incapable of basic thinking and reasoning. Also, he played the game in an Internet cafe, and prior to suicide he stayed at the cafe for 36 straight hours. I'm doubtful it's his first time staying out for long hours, so what was his parents thinking for not intervening?

This incident took place last December but the lawsuit is coming only at this moment. In fact, I don't think the parents would take it to the court against Blizzard were they not backed by that so-called anti-Internet addiction advocate, who filed the lawsuit on their behalf. So while I find it totally wrong to blame the game developer, the parents are probably not as absurd as the article makes them to seem. That advocate, however, might well be using this case as an opportunity to advance his own cause. Heck, he's preparing a class action suit next.

BillB
11-21-2005, 11:37 PM
Although we've seen worse. Anybody remembers that fat woman that sued Mc'Donalds and won? I always thought that was dumb, but happened to come across the details of that one recently, and she actually had a good case. McD's knew their coffee was dangerously, unnecessarily hot and had been warned several times about it but chose to do nothing. So we can have a little more faith in the legal system than urban legend would lead you to believe.

As for the Chinese kid - talk about "services to the gene pool"... I smell a Darwin Award.

helicopterr
11-21-2005, 11:37 PM
Don't get so worked up, this is in China we are talking about. All Blizzard has to do is to shove some dough into some local politician's pocket and all the parents and anti-video games activists will be locked up.

detached
11-21-2005, 11:43 PM
Blame? Take a look in the mirror Mom and Dad.

Get real..

BillB
11-21-2005, 11:43 PM
prior to suicide he stayed at the cafe for 36 straight hours Which raises an interesting point - is there some liability for a company that creates a game that lets you play for that length of time? I think I'd be starting to think pretty screwy after not sleeping for that long. Granted it would set an awkward precedent. Would every simgle form of entertainment have to detect how long you'd been engaged by it? A CD player on repeat? Animating in Maya for 30 hours to hit a deadline? Watching clothes going round and round at the 24 hour laundromat?
I think *I* need some sleep.

kees
11-21-2005, 11:47 PM
The poor kid must have forgot to cast his 'Aura of Protection' before jumping.
In the heat of the moment it can be tough to manage all your spells and auras sometimes.
Or maybe a level 60 horde pushed him of the edge.
...I hate horde. LOL

-Kees

Schwinnz
11-21-2005, 11:48 PM
is there some liability for a company that creates a game that lets you play for that length of time?

Ever heard of anyone killing himself after playing a 36 hour game of SimCity or The Sims?

umfridus
11-21-2005, 11:52 PM
Which raises an interesting point - is there some liability for a company that creates a game that lets you play for that length of time? I think I'd be starting to think pretty screwy after not sleeping for that long. Granted it would set an awkward precedent. Would every simgle form of entertainment have to detect how long you'd been engaged by it? A CD player on repeat? Animating in Maya for 30 hours to hit a deadline? Watching clothes going round and round at the 24 hour laundromat?
I think *I* need some sleep.
To a certain extent, with greater liberty comes greater liability. Maybe that's why China recently decided any online game can be played for only 3 continuous hours followed a 2-hour interval.

Schwinnz
11-21-2005, 11:55 PM
To a certain extent, with greater liberty comes greater liability. Maybe that's why China recently decided any online game can be played for only 3 continuous hours followed a 2-hour interval.
I wouldn't quote China on their laws really..

helicopterr
11-22-2005, 12:07 AM
I wouldn't quote China on their laws really..

hahah lol.

PhantomDesign
11-22-2005, 06:29 AM
I don't know what he could have possibly been trying to reenact in the game. How would anyone else know he was reenacting a scene in the game?

Maybe he found a "light feather" on his way home from the internet cafe & then ate it?

ThE_JacO
11-22-2005, 06:39 AM
what we really need is a company like Blizzard or Rockstar to flip these actions.

after they're found innocent they should sue the parents for having tryied to shift blame and tarnishing the concept of online gaming with stupid accusations that were nothing but the result of bad parenting.

wanna bet that all these ridiculous actions would go down in number right away if Blizzard managed to get these parents convicted for being responsible of the kid's death?

this kid's death is no different from the death of an infant forgotten in a car under the sun by the mother, and parents have been jailed for that.

tozz
11-22-2005, 06:42 AM
Ever heard of anyone killing himself after playing a 36 hour game of SimCity or The Sims?
That's because it's not humanily possible to survive those games for 36h. You would probably evaporate after 12h because of the strain on the cells ;)

bentllama
11-22-2005, 06:54 AM
WOW owns my soul

percydaman
11-22-2005, 01:17 PM
maybe he was running from a murloc? I swear Ive seen people IRL that look like em... :hmm:

tozz
11-22-2005, 01:49 PM
maybe he was running from a murloc? I swear Ive seen people IRL that look like em... :hmm:
as long as they don't sound like em :D

Ckerr812
11-22-2005, 04:06 PM
I think there is a lot more going on here then meets the eye.

They had screenshots of a funeral in WOW in the chinese forums for (I think) this kid, and nothing was mentioned about "acting out a scene"....there is no scenes in WOW, except the opening movie. Aparently he's been playing for awhile and was in a huge guild... So there is probably a lot more then simply seeing something and then acting it out *shrug*

Guess we will never know though.

So sad.

RobertoOrtiz
11-26-2005, 12:54 PM
Chinese Teen Suicide Victim Did Not Play WoW, Site Claims

Quote:
"Asian game blog Pacific/Epoch (http://www.pacificepoch.com/blog/46367_0_26_0_C/) claims that Chinese news agency Xinhua bungled the report, which was then widely circulated by media outside China. Shang (left), a blogger with Pacific/Epoch, makes a telling point when he argues:

"World of Warcraft (WoW) was not released in China until May 2005... the actual lawsuit claimed he committed suicide after playing the real time strategy game Warcraft III... Without WoW, it would have been much harder to pin the blame on Warcraft because it's a strategy game, not role playing. But with WoW, and the recent focus on the alleged addictive qualities of MMORPGs, the lawsuit gets much more attention... (Chinese game addiction 'expert') Zhang is also not suing The9, which is the distributor for WoW in China, even though The9 has plenty of cash"

>>LINK<< (http://www.livejournal.com/users/gamepolitics/140172.html)

-R

JeroenDStout
11-26-2005, 12:57 PM
I once killed myself after playing Sacrifice too long. I was resurrected at my altar afterwards, though, so I kind-of wonder why I even bothered.

FabioMSilva
11-26-2005, 01:12 PM
they should make kids play "POSTAL" in schools.

ower
11-26-2005, 04:43 PM
Which raises an interesting point - is there some liability for a company that creates a game that lets you play for that length of time? I think I'd be starting to think pretty screwy after not sleeping for that long. Granted it would set an awkward precedent. Would every simgle form of entertainment have to detect how long you'd been engaged by it? A CD player on repeat? Animating in Maya for 30 hours to hit a deadline? Watching clothes going round and round at the 24 hour laundromat?
I think *I* need some sleep.


It's not an interesting point at all. Are you not capable of deciding when you are tired and should go to bed? Do you need to be told when you are hungry or need to go to the bathroom as well? We don't need a nanny state. Personal responsibilty, people should try looking it up. If it's your child doing it.. get involved turn it off for them. Sure you might have to put up with a little whining, but that's what being a parent is about. Should of thought of that before you decided to have the rug rat.

Ckerr812
11-26-2005, 06:24 PM
There are many reports like this. ..

FYI: WOW wasn't released in China till may 2005 that is right, but it was easy to get a north American version in china and play on North American servers since Nov 2004 (and two years before if he was a beta tester) which included 20000 people. A good chunk of players where Chinese when released in North America.

So that article to me is misleading.

Here are other WOW stories to take a look at. How much validity you want to put in them, well that's up to you :)
----------

http://www.joystiq.com/entry/1234000947066552/

Quote:
"Another tragedy from the virtual battlefields. During China’s week-long National Day holiday last month, a young girl died after playing World of Warcraft for several consecutive days. Her nickname was “Snowy” (perhaps inspired by Maggie Cheung’s tragic character in Hero?) and her passing was acknowledged in an online funeral service by fellow WoW gamers. A young South Korean boy met the same fate (http://www.joystiq.com/entry/1234000520047842/) back in August and there have been other instances of online game addiction resulting in exhaustion, bodily neglect, and death."

-----------

http://www.joystiq.com/entry/1234000520047842/

Quote:
"Wow, aren’t we just a little ray of sunshine. The other day it was the idiots in South Korea leaving their four month old daughter to die while they played WOW. Then earlier today, the boy who killed his parents. Now it’s a 12 year old who died after 12 hours of gaming! Perhaps we should be carrying a “May Cause Depression” warning"

----------

and so on and so forth.

ashrumm
11-27-2005, 04:22 PM
This situation is now even more bizarre, because i cannot seem to remember any jump options in warcraft III. Some people i tell you.

BigJay
11-27-2005, 04:51 PM
There are many reports like this. ..

FYI: WOW wasn't released in China till may 2005 that is right, but it was easy to get a north American version in china and play on North American servers since Nov 2004 (and two years before if he was a beta tester) which included 20000 people. A good chunk of players where Chinese when released in North America.

So that article to me is misleading.



He was playing at an internet cafe so it was probably WC rts game not WOW

Ckerr812
11-27-2005, 05:06 PM
He was playing at an internet cafe so it was probably WC rts game not WOW

True, but with WOW, all you need is an account. If WOW was not available in China yet, and was available in this "internet cafe", it would attract a lot more players...then if it where readily available in stores throughout China.

It probably was WC3 (but it doesnt matter), my point was can you actually sue for it? I don't think so, because there have been many deaths attributed to playing games to long, or a direct result of addiction to these game. IF one case gets money out of something like this, it would open a HUGE Pandora's box, it would open the flood gates for much more lawsuits.

JeroenDStout
11-27-2005, 06:11 PM
It's actually pretty sad that people who clearly never told him 'don't jump off tall buildings' try and sue Blizzard for 'not being responsible enough'. Crying 'sue!' after each rough part in the road seems to be fashionable, which almost makes me think that this is a solution: if you sue someone and you loose the case in a way like this is going to be lost (yes, well, I have that much trust in the world left) you'd actually have to pay a huge sum of money to Blizzard for various things including "Name smut", "Senseless attack" and the fine for "we are idiots".

Oh yes :)

gunslingerblack
11-27-2005, 06:37 PM
and yet none of it mentions the parents accountability for this kind of bs

seriously game companies can't be held accountable for bad parenting anymore!

A. Wright
11-27-2005, 07:03 PM
and yet none of it mentions the parents accountability for this kind of bs

seriously game companies can't be held accountable for bad parenting anymore!

But that's because people think it's videogames and tv's job to raise their children now :sad:

PhantomDesign
11-27-2005, 07:21 PM
But that's because people think it's videogames and tv's job to raise their children now :sad:
Awwww..... CRAP! I didn't know that the CG industry was all about babysitting! Guess I should read the fine print next time! :deal:

Trenox
11-27-2005, 07:33 PM
They should sue people who build tall buildings instead.. Damn irrisponsible architecture!

JWRodegher
11-27-2005, 07:38 PM
Oh you didn´t know? How is that posible, geesh...what are we gonna do with this irresponsible cg artists?

By the way, ban the sugar! it´s killing every diabetic guy around! Oh wait! This people were actually sick, and so it is everyone that´s willing to die/suicide over a game.

Oh well, blame blizzard, it sure is great their consumers die because of the games.

Now, what´s going on with the lawsuit, is it goin´anywhere? had anything happened since?

Bazooka Tooth
11-27-2005, 07:51 PM
Awwww..... CRAP! I didn't know that the CG industry was all about babysitting! Guess I should read the fine print next time! :deal:

What, you expect people to be responsible for their own life? Thats crazy talk! :p

FabioMSilva
11-28-2005, 12:51 PM
they should sue blizzard for 11th september too, since in the undead ending cutscene the building falls in a pretty same way the towers did... bin laden was a beta tester so he got inspiration from it...

it's crazy to sue a company for a game not yet released at the time yet.

maybe it's blizzard who should sue the parent's since their son was playing their game illegaly...

PattyMelt
11-28-2005, 03:19 PM
Why is it that when something horrible happens usually due to stupidity, we blame others who could not do anything about it. Are we, as humans, to hold each others hands like infants? if we are to blame a game for one's injuries/death (even though the person who can think rationally or at least with some common sense would know a game is fake), then wouldn't we blame the manufacturer of the bullet in the chamber of the gun that kills or the company that sells uber-hot coffee that can scald even though there are warnings on the cup?! Shouldn't murders and rapists be set free while the companies as well as the victims who supposely seduce a person to act out be placed in prison!?

i thoguht people were well above the rest of the animal species, civilized and thinking beings who know the meaning of responsibility... i apologize if this sounds like ranting, but scapegoating others needs to end.

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