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Lawsuits Claim Video Games Intentionally Cause Addiction in Kids

Published: February 19, 2024

Parents have always been concerned about their children encountering too much violence in video games. While that is still a highly debated topic, the concern has shifted toward a new kind of exposure in recent years. Some parents now fear that certain games are intentionally designed to expose children to gambling, and potentially, promote addictive behaviors.

Two lawsuits were filed in December of 2023 in an attempt to hold video game developers responsible for the effects that their games are having on children. According to an article from WTRF, an Arkansas mother filed a lawsuit alleging that video games like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox are designed to be “as addictive as possible.” Roblox came up in the courtroom again a few weeks later, when a class action lawsuit filed in California claimed that the platform’s developer “does not do enough to keep children away from gambling websites that can connect to the application.”

Whether video games are designed to be addictive or not, one thing’s for certain: microtransactions in video games are here to stay. Loot boxes, mystery boxes, instant upgrades — all involve spending real money for a chance to earn in-game items for your virtual character. These microtransactions are a common part of today’s most popular games played by both children and adults, and they come with some of the same risks as gambling in a casino. They may seem harmless, but they could lead to lifelong issues for young people if they don’t understand the risks.

It’s more important than ever to talk to your kids about how participating in these purchases can come with risks. Visit the Education for Parents section of our website to find discussion guides that will help you start the conversation. Be aware of the games your child is playing and do your best to monitor their behavior so you can help them keep their gaming activities responsible.

As a parent or caregiver, here are some ways you can help: 

  • Establish limits and set controls on devices to regulate game time.
  • Support school policies that prohibit gaming.
  • Talk to your kids about gambling and set controls on devices to prohibit microtransactions.

Visit for more information about how to help the children in your life develop a healthy relationship with gaming and help prevent youth gambling.

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