If you made an online purchase from GameStation on April 1, 2010, you may be surprised to discover that the company now legally owns your immortal soul.

It’s common knowledge that nobody ever actually reads the various end user license agreements, terms and conditions and other legalistic walls of text that gamers are commonly assaulted with. It takes too long, they’re way too complicated and they all say the same thing: Do this, don’t do that, no warranties explicit or implied, etc. Nobody cares about them anyway, so what’s the point?

But on April 1, U.K. retailer GameStation decided to make a point: It inserted an “Immortal Soul Clause” into the T&C of its online game sales, then sat back to watch what would happen.

“By placing an order via this web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul,” the terms and conditions read. “Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from or one of its duly authorized minions. We reserve the right to serve such notice in 6 (six) foot high letters of fire, however we can accept no liability for any loss or damage caused by such an act.”

True to form, according to the company, 88 percent of customers didn’t read the T&C and thus legally forfeited their souls. How could it tell? Because the 12 percent who did notice the clause also saw the opt-out option, which included a voucher for £5 – roughly $7.75 – off the price of their purchase. More than 7500 customers missed out on the offer and are now beholden to GameStation for all eternity.

Fortunately, management says the company isn’t actually interested in harvesting souls, so it will be issuing an email to all customers nullifying its claim.


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