Estavillo Back on the Litigation Train
What do World of Warcraft, Winona Ryder and Depeche Mode’s Martin Lee Gore have in common? The answer is of course the videogame and law obsessed Erik Estavillo who today filed a civil complaint against Activision Blizzard on grounds of continuing “to maintain a harmful virtual environment to many of its customers by forcing them to follow the game’s sneaky and deceitful practices’.
Estavillo claims that the underlying design of World of Warcraft requires players ‘œto walk or run at a calculated slow pace, resulting in the player taking longer to get where he or she needs to go in the game’. The childish, harping whinge suggests that capped movement speeds are set deliberately in order to maximise the time players spend questing to achieve goals, in turn boosting subscription revenue for the publishing giant. Flagging that additional speed is only acquirable through purchasing expansion packs or increasing the level of one’s character rounds out an unbelievable claim which amounts to little more than suing on the grounds of having to play a game in order to make progress.
So far, so redundant. But in a bizarre twist, Estavillo somehow roped in both Ryder and Gore as subpoenas to his case; each on separate grounds of Estavillo’s own bizarrely reasoned logic.
Likening his own health problems to those of Shawn Woolley, the gamer who committed suicide in 2001 in the midst of EverQuest addiction, Estavillo stated that in “[relying] on videogames heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in [his] life’ he worries about the growing alienation so often connected to MMORPGs, desperate not “to end up like Shawn did”.
Martin Lee Gore was nabbed by Estavillo as ‘œhe himself has been known to be sad, lonely, and alienated as can be seen in the songs he writes”. It is currently unknown whether the musician is planning a touching acoustic rendition of Enjoy the Silence in order to help illustrate Estavillo’s points.
In an increasingly tenuous link, Winona Ryder is to ‘œexplain the significance of alienation in Catcher in the Rye and will also testify to how alienation in the book can tie to alienation in real life/video games such as World of Warcraft‘. After learning of a shared interest in Salinger’s existential classic, Estavillo presumably contacted actor Winona Ryder, a known authority on 20th century literature, as his first port of call. Ignoring the potential benefits of recruiting an a-list star with consistent media exposure, Estavillo shot straight to Ryder because of the uniqueness of her delivery, clarity of diction, widely extolled literary interest and oft-reported concern that World of Warcraft players spend a just a bit too much time walking.
Presumably Thom Yorke was a bit too busy to talk sadness and a constant babbling brook of angst-ridden, Salinger obsessed teens would fail to present the same star presence as the convicted kleptomaniac.
Estavillo is current seeking punitive damages of $1.0 million and a court order that makes demands of Activision Blizzard to address his charges.