November 5th, 2008 by Benjamin Duranske
This is an update in the MDY v. Blizzard case. Sort of. Here’s the deal — people who have nothing to do with a case sometimes file motions in U.S. Courts. These motions usually take the form of the amicus brief filed earlier by Public Knowledge, a digital rights advocacy group. But sometimes they take the form of a handwritten rambling screed filed by Jonathan Lee Riches (.pdf) “doing business as Gordon Gekko, Vincent Dragonetti, Steven Iaria, and Mario Cassarino.”
Riches, a South Carolina inmate serving a sentence for wire fraud who has his own Wikipedia entry, apparently kills time while incarcerated by filing briefs like this. Earlier this year he sued Rockstar Games over similar claims involving Grand Theft Auto IV. Riches has, at various times, also sued George Bush, Michael Vick, National Public Radio, Barry Bonds, Plato, and the Eiffel Tower.
In the motion in this case, Riches claims that Blizzard’s World of Warcraft:
…caused Riches mind to live in a virtual universe, where Riches explored the landscape committing identity theft and fighting cybermonster rival hacker gangs. Riches was addicted to video games and lost touch with reality because of defendants. This caused Riches to commit fraud to buy defendants video games. Riches chose World of Warcraft over working a legit job. Riches mind became a living video game.
The Arizona court will likely find procedural grounds to dismiss this motion without considering the claims on the merits.
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