Dr. Plokta QC, announced today that the Plokta cabal was bringing a class action against Microsoft, Intel and British Telecom. The plaintiffs allege that these large multinationals, who between them control 80% of the home computer market, failed to let them know that computers were addictive when they bought the companies' products.
A____ S____ said "It started early for me. I was about ten, and someone offered to show me how to play Pong behind the bike sheds. How was I supposed to know it was addictive?
The ads promised that computer use was sophisticated, glamorous and grownup. Slogans such as "You're never alone with the Net" and "Where do you want to go today?" held forth a promise of a lifestyle far in excess of anything these sad anoraks could afford.
Children were encouraged through cartoon characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog. Computer companies denied that Sonic was intended to appeal to children. "We're just trying to get older computer users to switch to Sega," they explained.
Plokta today called for an immediate cessation of such promotions as "Tesco's Computers for Schools." These campaigns are blatantly attempting to increase addiction.
The plaintiffs are also concerned about the effects of sidestream computer use. Ms G______ de C_____ explained "He used the computers all day. I tried to avoid it, you know, to keep out of the room, but I couldn't help but notice what he was doing. I asked him to only use the computers in the garden, but he refused. You can't imagine how bad it is. You pick up the phone, to make an emergency call, and all you can hear is the sound of the modem -- he's logged on again."
Astonishingly, no health warnings are required on computers, despite the fact that addiction is commonplace, well documented and insidious. Many addicts log on several times a day, for hours at a stretch. Little do they realise the damage this is doing, until their phone bills arrive, in some cases not till months later. By then it is too late.
Cures are few and far between. Some success has been achieved through hypnosis, acupuncture, homeopathy and other alternative therapies. Marriage has been known to work in some cases, but all too often leads to the tragic addiction of small children. Miss M______ C____ is such a baby. Due to her mother using her computer continually during pregnancy, poor M______ was born addicted.
M____ shown having her daily fix
She is being treated for withdrawal symptoms, though doctors are confident she will learn to suck a mouse soon (instead of shooting aliens with it). Children born to computer addicts tend to have unusually short attention spans, flickering eye movements, and their own web sites.
Users find themselves being sucked into buying more and more expensive upgrades of their hardware and software as they become more dependent. S___ D___ has just bought a new computer. We asked him how much it cost. "I'm not exactly sure," he replied. "I just kept adding more and more features. I won't know for sure until I get my credit card bill." This is not the first time S__ has purchased a new machine.
Software is similarly expensive. Users need to keep upgrading software to get the same kick.
A spokesman from Microsoft said "We absolutely reject the suggestion that our products are in any way addictive. Quick, watch out for that demon -- he's got a shotgun!" Meanwhile, the Intel spokesman was unavailable for comment, as he was too busy playing Diablo.
One effective therapy is software patches. The Plokta cabal is marketing Intel Outside patches. Addicted users can attach the patches to their arms in order to wean them off their computer addiction. A free sample is attached, and further patches can be downloaded from the Plokta website as they become available.
Visit the Plokta News Network: News and comment for SF fandom