If you bring a lawsuit that appears ambitious, obscure or downright insane, you may find yourself accused of trying to create a circus atmosphere. One tip for people facing such accusations: don’t demand that Depeche Mode’s songwriter makes a live appearance with Winona Ryder as the support act.
That’s what’s happening in a case brought by avid PS3 user Erik Estavillo (to call him a gamer would probably be unfair on the rest of the games-playing public.) Estavillo is suing over World of Warcraft, but don’t get the impression he dislikes the game. He loves. Absolutely loves it.
But here’s his problem with the game: when you start off, your character can’t walk very fast. Activision Blizzard, the game’s creators and the subject of the lawsuit, are expected to argue that’s a core part of the game which is the key to character development. Estavillo knows better: it’s an intentional scam designed to force gamer to play for longer and thus pay more in subscriptions fees.
If you are thinking Estavillo is a little… odd, then he’s right there with you. He concedes that he “relies on videogames heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life.” And he argues that this means he is particularly vulnerable to sneakiness by games companies.
Estavillo would thus like a million dollars to make up for the pain caused by the slow-walking characters. And as well as articulating his suffering, he’s requesting that Martin Gore of Depeche Mode (pictured, courtesy of Flickr user Zyllan) appear because he has written about being “sad, lonely and alienated.”
Ooh, while he’s at it, can Winona Ryder speak too? After all, says Estavillo, she’s known to be a fan of the book Catcher In The Rye and that deals with loneliness.
Estavillo is no stranger to the court system. Last year he unsuccessfully sued Sony after he was kicked off the Playstation Network for using abusive language. That case set a precedent that players on an online games network are not protected by the First Amendment. He’s also brought cases against Nintendo and Microsoft.