Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Alexander Stern is not very good at video games. Not his fault, of course; he's just got some kind of unspecified "visual processing impairment."* He says that because he's disabled, he's unable to "fully enjoy[] the video games manufactured by Sony.... As a result, [he] has not acquired the items some players of video games amass through their play.... Nor has [he] progressed as far or as successfully in the video games to provide him with sufficient knowledge of the games to meaningfully interact with fellow video game enthusiasts at the conventions and other events Sony organizes to promote the video games."

Rather than visit GameFAQs or enter cheat codes or find a different goddamn hobby, Mr. Stern decided his best option would be to file suit against Sony under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

His theory was that because he wasn't any good at the games, he was effectively denied access to Sony's conventions, and Sony was using the games as a test to screen out the disabled so that Sonywouldn't have to accommodate their disabilities - which is a little like saying that failing to allow a blind skater to participate in roller derby is just a ruse to keep her from bringing her guide dog to Rollercon.

Judge Percy Anderson of the Central District of California ruled that no, Americans do not have the constitutional or statutory right to pwn noobs. (I cannot believe I just typed that.)

*Note that some therapists consider OCD to be a visual processing disorder, which might also motivate someone to be so focused on beating a game to cause him to file a lawsuit to make it happen.

No comments: