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Man sues video-game maker over 'addiction'

HONOLULU, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A man in Hawaii is suing a video-game maker, claiming his addiction to the game left him unable to bathe, dress himself or wake during the day, a lawsuit says.

Craig Smallwood, 51, of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, filed a lawsuit against South Korean game developer NCSoft Corp. for emotional distress and misrepresentation, alleging "phenomena of psychological dependence and addiction" to the game "Lineage II," the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday.

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"Lineage II" is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game with a medieval fantasy setting, the newspaper said.

Smallwood claims he spent more than 20,000 hours playing the game from 2004 to 2009 and that he continues to this day to have a "compulsive urge and need" to play the game.

He says he never received any warning from the company about the danger of addiction and would not have bought and played the game if he knew he would become addicted to it.

Smallwood, who says he is a disabled veteran, also alleges he has been "unable to function independently in usual daily activities such as getting up, getting dressed, bathing or communicating with family and friends."

The law firm representing NCSoft said Smallwood "fails to properly allege facts that would support each element of the emotional distress claim. As such, Smallwood has failed to properly give notice to NCSoft of the claims levied against it."

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