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Thread: Parents Sue Grand Theft Auto Game

  1. #1
    Inevitable's Avatar Poster
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    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - 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, Va., 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, Calif.-based Sony and Bentonville, Ark.-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, Ky., by a 14-year-old boy.


    The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) 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."


    Well I think they have no chance in winning. Whatever they did was on them. No one told them to do it they did. They should know better.

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    Mr. Mulder's Avatar pepper your angus BT Rep: +10BT Rep +10
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    They're using the game as an excuse to reduce their punishment (whatever it may be). There are games out there that are far more detailed in the way of "training people to kill" Hitman being one of them. If they were playing Hitman then that would be the game in question. The point being that it's not the games or game industry that has encouraged them, It's the two boys who made the decision to enter a locked room, take out a weapon and start firing.

    Should irresponsible 16 and 14 year olds be playing the game in the first place?

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
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    Yeah, I read about this, on IRCSpy, the teenagers claimed to be "bored", so they decided to shoot a car's tyres as it was passing by, much via the influence of the game. But what confuses me is why teenagers are in possession of arms and the fact that the blame was to be put on the teenagers' parents, for being irresponsible in allowing their children to play the game in the first place; it shouldn't be Rockstar Games who ought to be blamed, there's an "18" logo there for a reason ...

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    This is a simply get rich plan. There coming out with an excuse so they can get a lower sentence time, and they will get a load of money in return. Also in order to purchase, rent, the game you must be 18 or older. The person that should be responsible for the shootings are the parents, or whoever purchased the game for them. I believe that this is bull and sadly ythis not the only case that grand theft auto been targeted for other peoples crimes.





    -Mike

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    sArA's Avatar Ex-Moderatererer
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    I am afraid that this is just another example of the litigation, get rich quick, blame society that is inherent in the US and is becoming more prevalent across the western world. A sad reflection of a society that encourages blame and compensation but does not encourage personal responsibility and knowing right from wrong.


  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Originally posted by sara5564@23 October 2003 - 01:42
    I am afraid that this is just another example of the litigation, get rich quick, blame society that is inherent in the US and is becoming more prevalent across the western world. A sad reflection of a society that encourages blame and compensation but does not encourage personal responsibility and knowing right from wrong.

    'nuff said.
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    omfg what bullshit. damn legal system. we need to abolish our legal system.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
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    Excellent idea. I'd love to live in a lawless land.

    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    Inevitable's Avatar Poster
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    Getting rich quick? That's like only a 1 out of a billion chance of get rich plans that actually work.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
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    Americans sue too much.

    I wish i could punch that bitch who sued Mcdonalds for burning herslef with coffee she spilled on herself.

    Yes the legal system needs to change but anarchy will only make things worse

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