Grand Theft Lotto


Here's a quick update on the ongoing $246 million lawsuit against a video game. The backstory is depressingly familiar, but notice how deep pockets Sony and Wal-Mart have been roped into the case and the full-court press to keep the thing in a state court.

NEXT: Putting the 'Zero' Into Zero Tolerance

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  1. You know what I hate the most? I hate feeling like I want to smack people who have lost loved ones.

  2. I know exactly what you mean, Jason. It’s so tempting to just go and smack the people filing this suit. I’d like to believe that their judgement is compromised by their grief. Certainly I can cut people a lot of slack after such a loss, but this really tests my patience…

    If I do smack them, let’s sue Fox for that show “In Living Color” where Homey the Clown would smack people. It’s Fox’s fault, not mine.

  3. When I go on a killing spree in Vice City I end up getting busted or wasted. What’s wrong with that message?

  4. trainwreck,

    you need to practice more

  5. >It’s so tempting to just go and smack
    >the people filing this suit.

    More tempting to go out and smack their lawyers. One wonders how many of them were beating down this poor family’s door, dollar signs in their eyes.

  6. You need to learn where all the police badges are that lower the level at which the police chase you.

  7. Why is it when I type GUNSGUNSGUNS into my MP3 player while driving, no guns appear?

    This is insane. People under 18 are regularly tried as adults for their actions, 16 states can seek the death penalty for a crime committed at 16 and 5 more at 17. This would seem to (logically anyway) remove the justification to treat them as children when it comes to suing everyone for thier actions.

    I was more surprised to hear that they were tried in the juvenile court, then I realized that it’s an easier conviction and judges are handing out more and more “adult” length sentences in the juvenile court.

    The juvenile courts are becoming a lot like the adult court when it comes to punishment, but are still like courts from dictatorships when it comes to legal protections.

    Several articles said these two were sentenced to an “indefinite term”, whatever that means. That seems almost worse then handing down a fixed length sentence.

    I’m also wondering if the family of the victims wanted the two morons tried as adults.

  8. I dont understand what learning disability lawyers like these are infected with, but it goes to show that laywers dont learn from past lawyers mistakes.

    The one thing about law that I love is, precident. Once a judge sets precident, its difficult for another judge faced with similar circumstances to rule contrary to the set precident. The key to law is consistancy, while some judges may disagree, not many judges move through the ranks by ‘bucking the system’.

    Lawsuits vs. game companies over violent actions of thier users is not a new tactic, its been tried unsuccesfully for years. Arguably the highest profile lawsuit was brought against ID software, makers of Doom/Quake etc. after Columbine. The precident set was a dismissal of the lawsuit. This lawsuit will meet a similar demise.

    One could only wish that dismissal of a frivolous lawsuit would render the lawyer instantly disbarred. Betcha that would quell the ambulance chaser syndrome

  9. “One could only wish that dismissal of a frivolous lawsuit would render the lawyer instantly disbarred”

    I’m a lawyer myself, and I don’t think that’s such a bad idea. (Well, maybe not *disbarred*, but at least harshly sanctioned.)

  10. disbarred… how about dead? just hoping:)

  11. How about rebarred — you know, a steel construction bar up his ass. Or assette, for the lady lawyers.

  12. How about rebarred — you know, a steel construction bar up his ass. Or assette, for the lady lawyers.

    If there’s any justice in the world, that will be a new feature in Grand Theft Auto IV. 🙂

  13. Vigilance Matters,

    Why should the freedom of everyone be restricted because of the stupidity of a few? I’d much rather implement the system suggested by Bill ‘Here’s your sign’ Engvall in which instead of labeling every possible risk the labels are put on stupid people so the rest of us know not to trust them.

    Should The Beatles’ White Album have been banned because a single lunatic saw it as a plan for fomenting a race war? Of course not. The insanity of Manson is no excuse to deny the rest of us the right to enjoy those songs if we choose.

    I’ve seen more grisly deaths and evil acts on film and TV than I could ever hope to list, plus I’ve performed an equally countless number of violent act in video game simulation. Somehow this has never translated to similar behavior in real life. The same is true for most of the western world. Should we be restricted by the existence of a few very stupid people or should those people be identified and restricted?

  14. I’ve never played GTA but, if I did, the only people I’d shoot would have law degrees. And I would shoot them twice.

  15. Yeah, but who’d plead your case in court?

  16. You’ve never heard of justifiable homicide?

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

    As usual, the media got it wrong. They make it sound like shooting tractor-trailers is a specific goal in the game. In reality, there are tractor-trailers.. but they are one of many types of vehicles driving around. And, yes, you can shoot at them, but you also rack up “police stars” and soon the cops are showing up and putting an end to your spree. There is a roundabout “morality” of the game.. the more sick you play the harder the game gets.. eventually becoming impossible.

    It’s a grave injustice that Rockstar and Walmart has to waste money on this stupidity. However, the good news is that they are getting a ton of free publicity. Hopefully this will encourage more people to cash in on the hype.

    I strongly encourage video game lovers to buy copies now if they haven’t already. A repackaged version of GTA III and IV is (I believe) now available for Xbox, and offers updated graphics. GTA is easily one of the most fun game series I’ve ever played (however, this is clearly for adults only).

  18. Who is really at fault?

    1) The kids who did the shooting. Punish them.

    oh, mercy me, but they are minors! Ok then so the fault also lies with:

    2) The parents who failed to monitor their children’s behaviour – failed to raise them to have any common sense – failed to keep the weapons out of their hands. Punish them too. (meaning in addition to the kids.)

    Parents who refuse to raise their kids to act responsibly and to take responsibility for their actions are partially to blame for the actions of kids who go astray. But teenagers are old enough to know better.

    Parents have a responsibility to know what their kids watch and do and how it affects their judgement. Be involved. Blaming a video game / pop music / movies / blah blah blah is moronic.

    If you believe that pop culture is poisonous for your children throw out your TV, don’t allow the “wrong kind” of software into your home; police all forms of entertainment. Is it hard? yes. I would never do it but my sister has with her two kids and they have excelled (though I do think that they probably are not as well socialized as they might be).

  19. i think what offends some about GTAIII and to a larger degree vice city is that they are machiavellian in the extreme – only the incorrect kind of immorality is punished, just like real life. one you gain enough money and status, and as long as you obey certain forms and game rules, you can pretty much do whatever you want.

  20. I just want to know how many times this sort of thing has to happen before somebody accepts obvious repsonsibility.

    Of course violent video games don’t cause kids to go around shooting people. But still, kids using violent video games go around shooting people. How many people will die before somebody says “ya know, maybe we shouldn’t make a game like this — people will die if we do”?

    A lot of kids have been hurt from copying Jackass stunts. But the producers are of course not responsible. And neither are the people who sell and air this stuff — even though THEY KNOW KIDS ARE GONNA GET HURT FROM IT!

    Somewhere, sometime, somebody has to say no. Which is it gonna be folks, shareholder values or family values?

  21. Shareholders values, because there are many people who like the game and (gasp) do not shoot real people.

    People were shooting each other long before video games/movies/rock-n-roll/TV existed. And randomly killing each other before guns existed

  22. No amount of litigation or legislation will eliminate the blot of stupidity and mental illness behind tragedies like this.

    If 99.8% of people exposed to things like Grand Theft Auto and Jackass and violent movies and bloody news stories manage not to go off and do horrible things, I think it’s a stretch to lay the blame anywhere but on the person committing the act.

    The mind of a moron is a fertile field waiting for the seed of a bad idea to land on it. That seed is going to come from something, unless the moron is in a complete vacuum.

  23. The connection to Wertham’s ‘Seduction of the Innocent’ runs even deeper. Wertham based much of his claims on his finding that nearly all of the juvenile delinquents he interviewed said they enjoyed reading comic books. What he left out was that this was also true of almost every child in America, yet most of them were not prone to lawbreaking.

    Thompson is practicing the same faulty logic. The portion of American children and young adults who regularly play video games is very high. Thus the very small percentage of players who commit major crimes are obviously driven by something else or vastly more suggestible than their peers.

    As Frank Zappa once noted, the vast majority of popular music is love songs yet that hasn’t been seen as controlling our minds. Only when abhorent behavior is seen is a connection made.

  24. I want to play grand theif auto vice city

  25. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/20/2004 06:19:46
    The world is a beautiful book for those who can read it.

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