Lawsuit filed against Sony, Wal-Mart over game linked to shootings


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outfieldjack
October 22, 2003, 02:21 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/10/22/videogame.lawsuit.ap/index.html

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- A $246 million lawsuit was filed against the designer, marketer and a retailer of the video game series "Grand Theft Auto" by the families of two people shot by teenagers apparently inspired by the game.

The suit claims marketer Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., designers Take-Two Interactive Software and Rockstar Games, and Wal-Mart, are liable for $46 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages.

Aaron Hamel, 45, a registered nurse, was killed and Kimberly Bede, 19, of Moneta, Virginia, was seriously wounded when their cars were hit June 25 by .22-caliber bullets as they passed through the Great Smoky Mountains.

Stepbrothers William Buckner, 16, and Joshua Buckner, 14, of Newport, were sentenced in August to an indefinite term in state custody after pleading guilty in juvenile court to reckless homicide, endangerment and assault.

The boys told investigators they got the rifles from a locked room in their home and decided to randomly shoot at tractor-trailer rigs, just like in the video game "Grand Theft Auto III."

In a suit filed Monday in Cocke County Circuit Court on behalf of the victims, Miami lawyer Jack Thompson and local lawyer Richard Talley alleged the game "inspires and trains players to shoot at vehicles and persons."

"These kids simply decided to take the thrill of that game out to Interstate 40 and started pointing at cars," Thompson said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Thompson, who said he sent letters to Sony and Wal-Mart to drop the game before the shootings, said, "It's not like this is coming out of the blue, they chose to ignore this danger."

San Mateo, California-based Sony and Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart did not return calls for comment Tuesday. The lawsuit alleges the retail giant sold the game to the Buckners about a year before the shootings.

Douglas Lowenstein, president of the industry Entertainment Software Association, called the shootings "an unspeakable tragedy" but said blaming a game played by millions for the boys' actions was "misguided and counterproductive."

"There is no credible evidence that violent games lead to violent behavior," he said. "While video games may provide a simple excuse for the teenagers involved in this incident, responsibility for violent acts belongs to those who commit them."

Thompson has made similar claims in the past and lost, notably a $33 million lawsuit against video game makers stemming from the 1997 school shooting near Paducah, Kentucky, by a 14-year-old boy.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case last year that it was "simply to far a leap from shooting characters on a video screen to shooting people in a classroom."

SO.... I KNOW GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, BUT NOW PEOPLE WITH GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE EITHER..... IT'S NOW VIDEO GAMES WITH GUNS IN THEM MAKE PEOPLE WITH GUNS KILL PEOPLE.....
:banghead:

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Daniel T
October 22, 2003, 02:27 PM
Walmart was tossed into the suit because it has deep pockets.

It's all about the money, damn the rest.

Makes me sick.

TarpleyG
October 22, 2003, 02:39 PM
Me too. How can Wal-Mart and Sony be held responsible for the actions of these two twits? Maybe the kids and parents should be held liable and their parents ought to cough up the dough for not adequately teaching their brats how to behave.

We need a law for stupid people and get rid of the rest.

GT

Nightcrawler
October 22, 2003, 02:42 PM
I'd like to see people in the Gaming industry and people in the firearms industry get together. They're both victims of the same government nonsense; video games and guns alike are blamed for the actions of individuals with free will.

Of course, it won't happen. There are plenty of anti-gun gamers, and plenty of duck hunters who don't think kids should be playing violent games anyway, so who cares if they ban them?

Nevertheless, we are all in this together, like it or not.

Aleko
October 22, 2003, 02:46 PM
Ain’t America great? You can always find a lame reason to sue almost anybody who has more money. In the end – everybody is happy (NOT): lawyers get their millions, taxpayers foot the bill for court expenses, SONY turns around and raises prices on their other products to make up lost revenue, taxpayers (again) end up paying higher prices for the same products. No wonder people hate lawyers (no offence to lawyers here personally, two of my good friends are lawyers, and while they are great guys/gals and help you during hard times, there are others that give the rest a bad name).

45R
October 22, 2003, 02:48 PM
That is probably the most ridiculous thing I have heard all day. A Lawsuit against Sony and Walmart because the bratty kids were never taught right from wrong......................

I think the parents need as much help as the kids.

Maybe we can all learn from this and buy our kids tin foil baseball caps for video games.

Nightcrawler
October 22, 2003, 02:51 PM
And you know, these types of games are rated like movies. Violent games are all CLEARLY marked, "M: Contains blood and violence, adults only" or something like that. (M is for mature) Wal-Mart won't sell 'em to you if you're under seventeen, so parents are the ones who are buying these games for their kids.

Penny Arcade (http://www.penny-arcade.com) has a GREAT take on this whole subject, I think. Observe:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2001/20010516l.jpg

I think that sums it up VERY nicely. Visit the comic while you're at it. Funny stuff, if you're a gamer. If not..well..

Penny Arcade: You wouldn't get it. :cool:

sch40
October 22, 2003, 02:58 PM
penny arcade is great :)

Stupid, irresponsible parents that raise stupid, irresponsible kids that succumb to the myriad of stupid and irresponsible temptations in life SHOULD NOT SHIFT THE BLAME!!!
... but I'm sure that you all know that :)

(sorry-- I'm better now)

Daedalus
October 22, 2003, 03:00 PM
I just finished playing Max Payne 2 and now I am forced against my will to dive around corners in my house with and Ingram in each fist blasting furniture. This has caused me sever mental trauma and resulted in my arrest.

Gimme $$$

George Hill
October 22, 2003, 03:12 PM
GTA III and GTACV are fun games. Let me say that again...
Fun.
Games.
Just because I ride a roll coaster, doesn't mean I am going to run my car into a gold course and race up and down all the little hills and stuff. Its just a ride... and GTA is just a game. Most sane people can seperate the differences.

JimJD
October 22, 2003, 03:15 PM
I posted this story from "gamespot.com" over at another forum.
Yet another frivolous lawsuit...
The reaction so far at the other forum has been the same as it is over here.

Of course, it won't happen. There are plenty of anti-gun gamers

Actually, there are a lot of Pro-Gun gamers out there.

BTW: Beretta has teamed up with the makers of "thrustmaster" game accessories to develop and market Beretta type/branded lightguns.
It's on the Beretta website...
Ooooo...a CX4 carbine lightgun would be fun! Besides the obvious M9...
:D

wingnutx
October 22, 2003, 04:05 PM
More Penny-Arcade:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2003/20030811l.gif

I thought only Judas Priest albums caused this sort of thing.

Balog
October 22, 2003, 04:18 PM
wingnutx: Come on, everyone knows only Slayer and Ice-T albums make people do bad things. The same way only "Assualt Weapons, N***** Town Saturday Night Specials (how come nobody ever uses the full name anymore?), and Sniper Rifles" make people commit crimes.

Beav
October 22, 2003, 04:27 PM
We should allocate some land and create a fascist state. When these people come up with this nonsense we say "fine" and ship them off. Hypocritical, yes, but this kind of reasoning has become so tiring.

Balog
October 22, 2003, 04:29 PM
Beav: hmmm, let's just fence off the PRK and use it. Why design a tyranny when we have a ready made one?

Bruce H
October 22, 2003, 10:51 PM
There are two lawyers who need to be swinging from street lamps come daylight. It is way past example time.

Abenaki
October 22, 2003, 11:03 PM
OH NO!

I play Half-Life!
And I have a crowbar in the tool box!
I feel like I'm slipping into darknes!!!!!!!!

This is California......and I'm gonna get RICH! RICH! RICH!!!!!!!!!
Woooooooo hoooooooooo!

Yes your Honar........The game took over my mind!
I had no control!
And now I have all sorts of mental anguish over what the game MADE me do!!!!!!!!!

Yes......I'm gona be RICH! RICH! RICH!!!!!!!!!

I am just suprised that the kids.....er.....I mean killers are not the ones asking for the money.

Abenaki

Chairman Meow
October 22, 2003, 11:18 PM
Gotta love rabid democrats dont ya? They call themselves liberal and then try to make everything in sight illegal. Makes me giggle and cry simultaneously. I think GTA is a GREAT game, as is Max Payne 2. Realistic weapons combined with rampant blood lust and a reset button. What more could you ask out of a video game?

Standing Wolf
October 23, 2003, 12:20 AM
When does the season open on assault lawyers?

tyme
October 23, 2003, 02:47 AM
SO.... I KNOW GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, BUT NOW PEOPLE WITH GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE EITHER..... IT'S NOW VIDEO GAMES WITH GUNS IN THEM MAKE PEOPLE WITH GUNS KILL PEOPLE.....
Or do video games make the guns shoot people? Eliminate people from the equation and lawyers have one less thing to discuss. :eek: :rolleyes:

TheeBadOne
October 23, 2003, 02:52 AM
I read the bible, and went right out slaying people with the jaw bone of an ???... :banghead: :cuss: :banghead:

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