Erik Estavillo is back. If the name doesn’t ring any bells, it’s likely because you haven’t heard of the string of cases he’s filed against game publishers and platforms over the last decade. He’s back at it again today with a new lawsuit against Twitch, suing Twitch for $US25 million in damages for exposing him to “overly suggestive and sexual content from various female streamers”.
A quick bit of background. A decade ago, Estavillo — once dubbed the “PSN Plaintiff” — filed a lawsuit against Blizzard for “sneaky and deceitful practices” in World of Warcraft. What were the deceitful practices, you might ask? Walking. And to top it off, Estavillo tried to rope Depeche Mode and Winona Ryder into the suit, which is best explained by this glorious passage:
The best part follows: to back up his claims, Estavillo has subpoenaed Winona Ryder (who would presumably be able to “explain the significance of alienation in Catcher in the Rye”) and Martin Lee Gore, of Depeche Mode (“he himself has been known to be sad, lonely, and alienated as can be seen in the songs he writes”).
Estavillo’s previous suits targeted Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony twice, none of which succeeded. “What I wanted to do was exploit the weakness of each console and show that they’re not impervious to flaws … each console has a flaw and they should fix it,” Estavillo told Engadget at the time. He also promised that the WoW claim would be his final filing, but this week he’s back with a new case against Twitch.
So what’s the problem? Twitch is exacerbating his sex addiction by surfacing “many sexually suggesting women streamers through Twitch’s twisted programming and net code”, according to the complaint filed with in the County of Santa Clara’s Superior Court.
“There is no way for the plaintiff to filter streams he’d like to watch based on gender, male or female, therefore the plaintiff has to choose a game and/or category to watch, with thumbnails showing these scantily clad women, alongside men, of being the only streaming channels available to him,” the suit continues.
It goes on to note that Estavillo is “exposed to all genders” while searching for streams, and that Estavillo follows “exactly 786 female streamers while following zero male streamers”.
In justifying the $US25 million in damages, the suit outlines three examples of how Twitch’s algorithms have supposedly harmed him:
The case goes on to claim that Twitch violated Estavillo’s rights because Twitch’s Free Games With Prime service lacks the same quality and range of games that Xbox Game Pass has. “These games are hardly up-to-par compared to what other gaming services are offering at the moment and at an even more reduced price; meaning Twitch is over selling their Prime service and have committed false advertising,” the case reads.
Along with the damages, Estavillo has asked the court to issue an immediate and permanent ban on a string of female streamers, including Australian streamer and YouTuber Loserfruit:
- ST Peach
The full details 0f the suit can be read here.