Man sues Bethesda over Fallout 4 addiction

Fallout 4 salesman

Fallout4 1

Games have long been described as addictive by reviewers, as shorthand for describing how pleasurable feedback loops can lead to marathon play sessions. But according to one Russian gamer, in the case of Fallout 4 the addictiveness is very much real. According to an RT report, the (it should be noted, unnamed) man is filing a lawsuit against Bethesda Softworks and localization firm Softklab for failing to warn him that playing it would be dangerous to his health and well-being. The article says the man claims his life fell apart after he installed the game and couldn't tear himself away from it for three whole weeks.

The plaintiff, a 28-year-old from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, ended up losing his job because he was skipping work to play Fallout. He also stopped hanging out with his friends, and neglected his wife to the point that she left him. Naturally, his health went downhill too, since he wasn't sleeping or eating.

"If I knew that this game could have become so addictive, I would have become a lot more wary of it," he said in a statement. "I would not have bought it, or I would have left it until I was on holiday or until the New Year holidays."

Konstantin Bobrov, the director of the "Single Center for Protection" legal service (bear in mind that's Google translated, so the wording might be a bit off) said that his agency helped the man make the initial claim, and is willing to represent him in court.

"Russia does not like the judicial practice of resolving disputes between ordinary consumers and foreign companies for compensation for moral damage," he told Единый Центр. "However, we do not have to question the legal qualification of our company, and we are ready to see how far we can go in this business. "

Of course, the whole thing is patently ridiculous. I mean, three weeks? I'll probably spend half that much time on the character creation screen. And honestly, if your marriage falls apart after three weeks of a videogame, the videogame isn't your problem. I should also probably point out that this is a hard one to verify, as the only English-language source I've run across is RT, and as we all know, unexpected things can sometimes happen in a Google translation.

The suit seeks 500,000 roubles in compensation; luckily for Bethesda, that works out to about $7000, which means Todd Howard could probably pay this one out with what he finds behind his couch cushions. I've reached out to Bethesda for confirmation that this is a legitimate lawsuit (legitimately filed, anyway), and I'll update in and when I receive a reply. In the meantime, remember:

Just say no

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.