July 22, 2009 // 3:05 am
- A PlayStation 3 gamer has filed suit
(PDF) in U.S. District Court in California, alleging that SCEA suppressed his free speech rights and caused him pain and suffering by banning his account on the PlayStation Network.
In a complaint filed on July 6th, Erik Estavillo
of San Jose writes that he is disabled by a variety of disorders; among these are agoraphobia, a fear of crowds, to quote:
The pain and suffering was caused by the defendant, Sony, banning the plaintiff's account on the PlayStation 3 Network, in which the plaintiff relies on to socialize with other people, since it's the only way the plaintiff can truly socialize since he also suffers from Agoraphobia...
Estavillo's issues with SCEA apparently stem from his play of the PS3 hit Resistance: Fall of Man:
The ban is supposedly due to the behavior of the plaintiff when he plays the video game "Resistance: Fall of Man," which Sony owns and employs moderators for its online play. These moderators kick and ban players that they feel are deserving; though their biases to a player seem to be what determines the kick or ban...
The plaintiff was exercising his First Amendment Rights to Freedom of Speech in the game's public forum when he was banned from, not only [Resistance], but also banned from playing all other games online via the PlayStation Network...
Estavillo also claims that the PSN ban amounts to a theft of his pre-paid points:
The plaintiff... cannot access [his] money when a moderator from Resistance and Sony gives a player a arbitrary wide-range ban... which in essence, is stealing money from the player.
Estavillo also argues that the EULA for online play of Resistance is ineffective in blocking players under the game's recommended age of 17, although it's unclear how this fits into his claim.
In his request to the court, Estavillo, who appears to be unrepresented, asks that SCEA be enjoined from banning players. He also seeks $55,000 in punitive damages.
To date, SCEA has not filed a response with the Court.