WoW Wingnut Subpoenas Gore & Ryder


We are feeling
alienated and depressed this morning. Possibly mild flashes of OCD, too. Can we
have a million dollars?


By Fred Mills, Blurt Managing Editor


Here’s a fun story various outlets (among them, the
sharp-eyed MMOG buffs over at Pitchfork, who tipped us) are picking up on today: San Jose’s
Erik Estavillo, a kind of looney-tunes, litigious-minded online gamer has filed
a lawsuit against game maker Activision Blizzard, while additionally
subpoenaing Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore and actress Winona Ryder, for assorted
stuff related to the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft.


We’re not making this up. According to,
Estavillo had previously sued Sony after being banned from the PlayStation
Network – the suit was dismissed in September, and Estavillo appealed – and
more recently in another lawsuit he alleged that “a broken Xbox 360 caused him
undue stress, and that a Wii system update blocking access to the Homebrew
Channel third-party program interfered with his inalienable right to pursue


Er, last time we looked, that “inalienable right” had been
mentioned by founding father Thomas Jefferson in the original Declaration of
Independence, but as our rights as American technically derive from the Constitution
and the Bill of Rights, most folks would agree that “pursuit of happiness” is
not actually guaranteed to citizens.


At any rate, the Activision deal was filed yesterday in
California’s Santa Clara County Superior Court, and Gamespot reports that
Estavillo “accuses the publisher of maintaining a ‘harmful virtual environment’
with ‘sneaky and deceitful practice,'” singling out in particular the $14.99
monthly subscription fee. Then Estavillo gets really anal about everything:


“He contends the fee is aggravated by
the game requiring players to travel great distances at a slow walking or
running pace, with fast travel options like teleportation stones and mounts
only available to gamers who rise to an advanced level or purchase the game’s
expansion packs. He also cited the game’s resurrection process, in which
players travel in spirit from cemeteries back to the spots where they died in
order to revive themselves, as an unnecessary part of the game designed to cost
gamers money. Other fees at issue include the charges (up to $25) Blizzard
levies to change their characters’ names, races, factions, or servers.”


Hey, it’s called capitalism, baby!


Then, Estavillo brings up issues of “alienation” and “mental health problems”
related to the online gaming, saying that he, the plaintiff, “has suffered from
similar problems including major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder,
panic disorder, and Crohn’s disease.”


We can’t speak for the Crohn’s portion of those ailments, but the rest of
Estavillo’s issues can be solved pretty handily: unplug the goddam computer, you ninny, and go outside and get some
fresh air.


 You gotta read the whole report to
believe it – the dude is suing for a million bucks – especially the part about
Gore and Ryder:


“The gamer is subpoenaing Depeche
Mode’s Martin Lee Gore “since he himself has been known to be sad, lonely,
and alienated, as can be seen in the songs he writes.” He is also calling
Winona Ryder to testify, saying the actress’ appreciation for
Catcher in the Rye will make her a relevant witness “to how alienation in the book can tie to
alienation in real live [sic] / video games such as World of Warcraft.””


Why not Morrissey too? Anyhow, there’s the warning bell right there: anytime someone cites Catcher in the Rye in any context, there’s
trouble brewin’… Sheesh.


And people ask me why I refuse to get my 8-year old an
Xbox or PlayStation yet. Now you know. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody – do the
rest of us a favor and go for a hike tomorrow and stay away from the computer.






Leave a Reply