Fallout 4 is, by all accounts, a really good game. And games that are that good tend to get played a lot. But one Russian man is suing the developer, Bethesda, for emotional distress caused by playing the game.

According to the report, the 28-year-old wants roughly $7,000 for his problems, which include losing his job and his wife. “If I knew that this game could have become so addictive, I would have become a lot more wary of it. I would not have bought it, or I would have left it until I was on holiday or until the New Year holidays,” he said in a statement.

If his case is able to go to court, it would be the first such case in Russia and could set a precedent. Lawsuits like this have become more and more common since video game “addiction” has become a hot topic, especially for those who want to censor or ban games. And one suit in the U.S. actually got some traction.

The whole question of video game addiction is controversial. We tend to joke about being addicted to games, but few of us are actually addicted. Most people are able to manage their gaming time and balance it. And some people spend so much time gaming that it hurts their relationships, their work lives, or their physical or mental health. This is sometimes called pathological gaming. Some experts believe pathological gaming can qualify as an official addiction, but others don’t.


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Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda Breneman.com or her family foundation's website, ludusproject.org.