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Grand Theft Auto Civil Case Moves Forward 129

Posted by Zonk
from the so-close dept.
An Alabama court has refused a request by retailers and Take-Two Entertainment lawyers to throw out a 'Grand Theft Auto-style killing spree' civil case. From the Next Generation article: "Moore, who was 18 at the time of the 2003 slayings, is convicted of killing two Fayette county officers and a dispatcher, and claimed that Grand Theft Auto inspired him to do it. That defense was barred, and Moore was sentenced to death. Although that defense was thrown out, the multi-million dollar suit filed by relatives of the victims claim that Moore was in fact mimicking GTA, which attorneys claim Moore played 'obsessively'."
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Grand Theft Auto Civil Case Moves Forward

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  • WHY!?
    • begin sarcasm
      Because we all know there was no such thing as a "killing spree" before GTA invented the concept. Nobody had apparently ever run amok before that fateful software release....
      end sarcasm
    • WHY!?

      Because Take-Two, Rockstar, Sony, Wal-Mart and GameStop have a lot more money than Quentin Tarantino.
    • Re:Goddamnit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HTL2001 (836298) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:37PM (#15028021)
      http://www.bash.org/?627522 [bash.org]
      <comwalk> Remember, here in the U.S.A, we have reached a new age.
      <comwalk> NOBODY is responsible for their own actions.
      <comwalk> Remember that.
      <comwalk> Holy shit! I killed somebody! Bob made me do it!
      <comwalk> Bob: Joe made me do it!
      <comwalk> Joe: I blame the media!
      <comwalk> Media: Videogames.
      <comwalk> Videogames: Personal responsibility?
      <comwalk> Personal Responsibility: <AFK>
      • Re:Goddamnit (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        WTF? Insightful? Since when is quoting bash insightful?
  • Just unbelievable. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beavis88 (25983) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:19PM (#15027802)
    Love the culture of blaming anything on everyone except the person who actually did it to begin with. /disgusted
    • by jandrese (485) *
      Looks to me like they did blame him. I mean they did sentence him to death.

      It's just the part where they move past that and start blaming everything around him that makes me think they're overreaching. Do they honestly think that if he'd only played Solitare that he wouldn't be violent? I don't think so. He may have gotten some inspiration from the game, but ultimately the choice to do it was not dictated by Take Two or Rockstar or anybody but himself.
      • by Thing 1 (178996)
        Not only that, but if he did not have access to the game, I would bet money that he would have found something else less-than-healthy to obsess over (the attorneys claim he played it "obsessively"). If the game does not turn 100% of its consumers into crazed killers, then the chances that the game is the vector are rather low. The only explanation can and should be that he was an obsessive personality, and should have been watched more closely by authorities (parents, teachers, etc. -- I don't just mean b
    • To be fair, this isn't about blaming everyone except the person who did the act. If you read TFA, you'd notice that when the kid's lawyer raised it as a defense, the judge threw it out. The kid who pulled the trigger was convicted and, as this happened in Alabama, the kid was sentanced to death. Believe me, he's getting his fair share of the blame.

      What this *is* about is a seperate civil case based on the same facts. The lawyers for the victims are saying to Take-Two "Hey, you helped this happen; you sh
    • It is YOUR fault I posted this message.

      Think about it, it really is.
    • I think it would be great if companies defended against this sort of thing by premptively suing the families of these madmen. For example here Take two would sue the family of this nutball for allowing a mental midget to be influenced by thier game prior to his acting out years of neglect from said family and thereby tarnishing thier name in the media and thus causing financial harm.
  • legal lottery for week 13, now giving away $600 million for the lucky winner..
    Do we really need more disclaimers on game boxes?
    ".. by opening this box, you agree that we are not to be held responsible in any way if you get influences from our game and decide to kill 3 people .."
  • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:19PM (#15027806)
    The next time I'm arrested for stealing, lying and circumventing the law, I'm going to blame it on CSPAN, which I watch obsessively. While I may get a slap on the wrist and time served, I do wish my victims well in their civil suit against CSPAN for it's contribution to my anti-social behavior.
    • I'm going to have sex at work with an intern and then sue Bill Clinton if I get fired for inappropriate behavior.
  • the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:23PM (#15027843)
    >victims claim that Moore was in fact mimicking GTA, which attorneys claim Moore played 'obsessively'

    even if we're prepared to accept that there's a causal link in this case between observation and mimicking, surely that he played it 'obsessively' is enough to reject the argument. if you eat/drink/smoke/gamble/have sex/do anything 'obsessively' there are bound to be negative consequences.

    if, on the other hand, he'd played the game for 30 minutes and, for example, the seqence of lights and sounds put him into a suggestable state of hypnosis and programmed him to be a cop-killer (not possible annyway since hypnosis can't make you do anything you're not really prepared to do), then there might be a case.
    • It seems to me that it's easy to get someone to do something to do something they haven't "prepared" to do. (Rob the bank or I'll kill your family for example, or that pizza delivery bomb guy) Much harder if they have prepared against it. If you've talked with your family members and all of them have talked it over and agreed that they would all rather die than have any one of them rob the bank for them then such a scenario becomes much harder.
      • "Rob the bank or I'll kill your family for example"

        Then the preparedness question is whether someone is prepared to rob a bank in order to ensure that their family is not killed not simply whether they are prepared to rob a bank.

        "It seems to me that it's easy to get someone to do something to do something they haven't "prepared" to do."

        Most people with families are prepared to defend them so, no, that's not an example of getting someone to do something they're not prepared to do.

        • But they generally don't consider "robbing a bank" as part of their defense preparedness, so no, they are not prepared to rob a bank to defend their family. Speaking strictly in terms of "prepared defenses" most people are hardly prepared to defend their family at all.
          • "But they generally don't consider "robbing a bank" as part of their defense preparedness,"

            So what? You're trying to shift the argument. Having a net "prepared" to capture a burglar and being "prepared" to rob a bank in order to save one's family may both be using the word "prepared" but the meaning is quite different. I'm surprised you can't see that without my help.

            As the other poster more eloquently pointed out - your initial post is invalid because you're replying to a statement on hyponosis with an e

      • Coersion is a very different animal than hypnosis. You might murder a stranger if it meant saving the lives of your loved ones, but I sincerely doubt that you'd murder that same person if someone said "you are getting very sleepy... now bludgeon that man to death..."
      • The original post was referring to not being able to get someone to do something they were not prepared to do through hypnosis. How exactly does holding someone's family hostage qualify as hypnosis?
        • It is my understanding that it is likely you can convince someone under hypnosis that their family will be killed when that is not the case much easier than if they are not hypnotized.
        • You hypnotise them and when they are asleep, you kidnap their family and leave a ransom note. When they awake in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... They will find the note and be more inclined to do what they were previously not prepared to do.
    • Does it occur to no one that in order to be 'obssesive' about something, like a video game for instance, there have to be present psychological problems? Since when do we hold companies accountable for selling a product to a distributer who doesn't get a psychological profile before selling to their customers?
      • Don't we get to a point where something that treats reprehenisble behaviours in a glorified way is socially unacceptable? I say change the game so it can only be played as a victim. I.e. the one avoiding getting car jacked. It is the same exciting scenario and might actually teach empathy instead of desensitizing the player to the pain he/she is creating (albiet, to virtual people in a virtual world).

        I kinda hope they win the law suit. There is no contribution the the human condition, no insight, no teachin
        • Don't we get to a point where something that treats reprehenisble behaviours in a glorified way is socially unacceptable?

          Yes, when society quits buying it, but they don't. They LOVE it. I know I LOVE that game. Now, I don't like it because I get to kill "virtual 'My Radio' LL Cool J's" - but that is fun. I like it because I can do close to anything I want without going to Jail.

          See, I don't want to go to Jail. I don't want to hurt people. What I do want to do is experience activities where that could happe
    • "even if we're prepared to accept that there's a causal link in this case between observation and mimicking, surely that he played it 'obsessively' is enough to reject the argument. if you eat/drink/smoke/gamble/have sex/do anything 'obsessively' there are bound to be negative consequences."

      What gets me is that if somebody did play GTA so obsessively that they tried to play it for real, they'd not only know that killing will bring the cops down on your ass, but that it's also a roll of the dice whether they
  • Hey relatives (Score:3, Informative)

    by 77Punker (673758) <spencr04 AT highpoint DOT edu> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:23PM (#15027844)
    If he was mimicking the game, it's time to remove him from the game. Sometimes helping somebody with a problem is as simple as "let's go fishing" or something similar. If they noticed terrible behavior from him before hand and they actually cared about him and not making money off his mistakes, they would have sought to help him beforehand instead of whining after the fact.
  • by Neurotoxic666 (679255) <`neurotoxic666' `at' `hotmail.com'> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:25PM (#15027864) Homepage
    The murderer is the sole persone responsible. If people start to sue the game maker, then they could sue Sony too (Playstation) and/or Microsoft (Windows) for making this game playable. What TV brand was he playing GTA on? Maybe they could sue Samsung, or Hitachi too? And Wal-Mart. Definately Wal-Mart. I mean, they sell the game. And every single magazine and website who a) gave good critics to the game and b) has advertised the game. ...

    You know, this has to stop somewhere. The guy was sick. His parents, friends and relatives who knew him are much more guilty than people who created the video game. Society itself is guilty of allowing such people to roam free. But then, we can't incarcerate everyone "just in case". So my point is: shit happens. Whatever his reasons, whatever the motives, whatever the games he played and the programs he watched, he is a murderer. He's been sentenced to death. The vast majority of people who play GTA do not go on a killing spree aftewards. The game is not the problem.

  • by nithinsujir (592733) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:28PM (#15027907)
    when he was playing 'obsessively'? there were no big bucks to be made then, were there?
  • by colonslashslash (762464) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:31PM (#15027934) Homepage
    About as much as Pacman creates drug addicts.

    If a person's mental state is so twisted that they would kill 3 people after being 'influenced' by a video game, then obviously there are much deeper issues at fault than a bunch of pixels and a joypad.

    Where is the logical conclusion to this constantly expanding era of absurd litigation? It's scary to think where it may lead... hell, it's scary enough to think about where we are with it already.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    /me obsessively watches Morgan Freeman's/Brad Pitt's movie, "Seven" then runs off to kill sinners.

    Can my family sue New Line Cinema for making the movie?

    /me obsessively eats Twinkies until he dies.

    Can my family now sue Hostess for making Twinkies?

    /me obsessively plays Super Mario Bros. then starts throwing turtles at patrons of the local pet store & gets thrown into jail.

    Can I now sue Nintendo for teaching me that the way to get ahead is to lob reptiles?

    /me obsessively chugs water until he drowns in
    • Re:Comparisons.... (Score:3, Informative)

      by XenoRyet (824514)
      The answer to all of those is: Yes, you can sue.

      The question is this: How far along do you get before you lose? In all seriousness, the family does have a right to attempt this type of suit. It's a little dissapointing to see it didn't get thrown out at the earliest oppertunity due to it's obvious rediculousness, but that's the way the system works. It'll actualy be intended functionality of the legal system, unless they win. If they win, then there's definitly a wrench in the works there somewhere

    • So who do you think God would hire as a lawyer? He might have to ask his roommate downstairs to send up a few juicy ones.
  • I wonder why... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <<spydermann.slashdot> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:36PM (#15028009) Homepage Journal
    the phrase "don't give them ideas" is commonly used?

    The problem isn't if the game MADE him do it, but if the game helped him do it MORE EFFICIENTLY.

    From the original CBS News [cbsnews.com] link (not TFA) :

    "The video game industry gave him a cranial menu that popped up in the blink of an eye, in that police station," says Thompson. "And that menu offered him the split-second decision to kill the officers, shoot them in the head, flee in a police car, just as the game itself trained them to do."

    Perhaps if he hadn't played the game, he would have shot them in the chest where hopefully the cops couldn't have died instantly.

    In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals. I don't know about you, but the thought gives me the creeps.
    • Hell, I learned all that shit watching episodes of 'Cops' on Fox.

      "Let's see, the guy without the shirt ran through four yards, climbed under three fences, and dodged a rottweiler. Why didn't he just do two yards, pull a gun and shoot the cops and cameraman when they came through the gate after dodging the dog? Well, -duh-."

      If this suit wins, regardless of Jack Thompson's idiocy, this country is going to be opened up to lawsuits of just crazy-insane proportions as people try and dodge liability for every god
    • That cranial menu deal sounds sweet. Very terminator-esque.
    • Re:I wonder why... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Irish_Samurai (224931)
      The problem isn't if the game MADE him do it, but if the game helped him do it MORE EFFICIENTLY.

      In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals.

      I don't really but this at all, the reason being that simulations only work for certain things. Gran Turismo didn't make this dude a better driver. [hedonistica.com] The most that this kid could have learned from a video game was the "concepts" of cover and target to target movement. These could be learned from watching TLC specials on Speci
      • I really hate to bring it up (I'm biased towards calling it bullshit), but the army [slashdot.org] believes in video game simulation [slashdot.org] as a tool for training soldiers.

        Appearently there are to support [military-t...nology.com] that idea.

        Just playing devil's advocate. Can't have it both ways, even though I think its crap.

        • No, I agree with this point.

          But those aren't skill trainers, those two are a theory trainer and a recruitment tool. I agree that the theory of cover and target to target movement can be taught in a video game. You could probably teach firefight awareness too.

          What you can't teach is how to shoot that gun effectively. Handle the recoil, control your pulse, breath out and squeeze - game simulation can't do it.

          Now, VR Simulation [xent.com], that's a different story...
      • I'll have to say that if video games trained people to do things all the time, then I'd be trying to refuel my F-14 at 2500mph, and I'd be able to do it! (Top Gun. Ahh, the good old days. Just keep holding the nose down and you'll go faster and faster, you never go into the water, and somehow the huge refueling jet can not only keep up with you, but sometimes throw a prompt on the screen saying "Speed Up".)

        Just food for thought.
    • Re:I wonder why... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GigsVT (208848) *
      Real training is about "muscle memory". Pulling out a real gun and shooting someone in the head is not something you can train for with a game controller.

      Expensive flight simulators go to great lengths to emulate the feel of really flying. If it were as simple as just knowing the mechanics of it, anyone could fly a few hundred hours in X-plane on their PC with a Logitech $30 stick then go hop in a 747 and be fine.

      X-plane is FAA certified as a training simulator, but it's only FAA certified when it's used
      • Not quite. There is evidence of an innate psychological block against causing harm like that to fellow humans. Few men in the civil war actually took aim when they were firing their weapons, rather, they would just point them in the general direction, and pull the trigger. They might have actually looked away while doing it.

        This block has caused problems before, and is only "trained" out of the person by allowing them to become accustomed to firing at humanoid shaped targets. I believe that video gam
        • "This block has caused problems before, and is only "trained" out of the person by allowing them to become accustomed to firing at humanoid shaped targets. I believe that video games can provide just as much of a mental stimulation as the actual act of holding the weapon, in this regard."

          I'd like to argue against this. I've been playing violent games for ages, and as a young teenager, I saw the video of when Kennedy was shot (first time seeing a person actually shot) and I felt physically sick. Stopped play
          • I agree 100%.

            I've shot guns since I was in the single digit age range. I've played video games where you shoot pixels at other blobs of pixels of varying realism just as long.

            Yet when I see a real video of someone really getting shot or blown up, it really does affect me in a way no video game (or movie) can.
          • It's not real, and you always, ALWAYS know that it's not real (assuming no mental disorders). You just can't trick yourself into thinking it is when you're aiming with a mouse and moving with a keyboard.

            I think this should be ammended to say that a mentally healthy person can't trick theirself into thinking it is real and not fake. I'm in the same boat as you here. I have played violent video games for a very long time. Heck, I used to play Doom all the frickin' time and listen to Rammstein, just like th
        • This block has caused problems before, and is only "trained" out of the person by allowing them to become accustomed to firing at humanoid shaped targets.

          The block against killing another human has just as much to do with dehumanizing the target and convinving the soldier of a "higher cause".

          That's not the sort of training I was referring to though, I was speaking of the non-psychological part of training, that is being able to react without thinking, by performing the same action so many times in the past
    • Re:I wonder why... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Haeleth (414428)
      In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals. I don't know about you, but the thought gives me the creeps.

      Sorry, I don't buy it. I've played hours of video games. In games, I've killed thousands of people. In real life, I get all squeamish about the thought of squashing a spider. And I couldn't use a gun to save my life. The only weapons I've ever used are the plastic sort with two buttons and a little wheel on top, and a little ball thingy underneath, that
    • The problem isn't if the game MADE him do it, but if the game helped him do it MORE EFFICIENTLY.

      Well, good. The last thing this country needs is more inept, half-assed murderers.
    • Perhaps if he hadn't played the game, he would have shot them in the chest where hopefully the cops couldn't have died instantly.

      Yeah, the fuckers should suffer before they die, headshots are too mercifull.

      But back to your point:
      the phrase "don't give them ideas" [...] videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals.

      Go burn some books, those give people ideas too.
    • In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals. I don't know about you, but the thought gives me the creeps.

      Why don't you start complaining about Law & Order or CSI then? After all, those shows show a crime, then show where the criminal goofed that allowed him to be caught.

      Those shows teach far more about being an effective criminal than GTA does. You also have to try pretty hard to avoid being exposed to those shows, as most hours of the day you can find at l
    • Re:I wonder why... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:48PM (#15030796) Homepage
      I wonder why... the phrase "don't give them ideas" is commonly used?

      It's commonly used on people who already tend to express negative behaviors regardless of whether they're given ideas or not. E.g.:
      "Those greedy bastards in Congress. Next they'll be taxing us for the air we breathe!"
      "Don't give them any ideas."

      Which is in fact perfect for the situation -- this man was already violent. That the particular violent acts he performed may or may not have been influenced by a game is just a footnote. Not that it looks like they were -- other than police officers being involved, there is nothing "GTA-like" about his violent acts.


      Perhaps if he hadn't played the game, he would have shot them in the chest where hopefully the cops couldn't have died instantly.


      Nonsense. First, any idiot knows you will be more likely to kill someone if you shoot them in the head. Cops are trained to aim for the torso to be more sure of your shot. I learned this long before the first video game that bothered to distinguish "head shots" came around, and then it was only representing what everyone already knew. If this guy wanted to kill the cop, and was close enough to shoot him in the head, he was going to shoot him in the head.

      Having clearly never played the game yourself, let me also say that GTA does not particularly encourage head shots. The basic targeting system does not allow it, and using manual targeting is difficult and dangerous in most firefights. Which is just one small example of the ludicrosity of the statement:

      In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals. I don't know about you, but the thought gives me the creeps.

      There is no practical real-world skill that you can learn from GTA. Learn how to car-jack? I keep looking for the Triangle button but can't find it. Firing a gun? Holding R1 to target and X to shoot doesn't do anything to teach you how to fire in real life -- I know, I've done both. The only reason it gives you the creeps is because you've never played to know that it is absolutely nothing like real life and there is no transferable skill that you can learn. Anyone who thought they could practice to become a criminal by playing GTA would find themselves sadly mistaken.

      Here's the fact: Millions of people play games like GTA. A few perform violent acts that can in some way be described as being like the game. That's pretty shitty for a game that TRAINS you to be a criminal. In fact, that's the exact same ratio of people who end up being violent criminals in the populace at large. Could it... could it be... that games have nothing to do with causing crime, and are nothing but a scapegoat used as a weak defense by the criminal themselves, and by clueless idiots who are incapable of thinking about the true causes of crime?

      Yes.
    • You're not the only one creeped out. "Train" is the not the verb I'd use when the instructional aspect is unintended - but it saddens me to see gruesome murder (and particularly torture) depicted in extravagant detail - in mainstream entertainment media. Freedom of expression is crucial, and I aggressively defend others' rights to create fictional books, movies, music, games etc. with elements that I find to be despicable. No sure-fire way exists to protect rugrats and the pathologically impressionable from
    • "In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals. I don't know about you, but the thought gives me the creeps."

      So you have written to all the networks complaining about them teaching people to be better bank robbers? Seem s to be free training most every night now ;)

      How about HOUSE MD for training on poisoning techniques, he barely figured it out and he had the script ;) Seriously, wondering if that would be discovered IRL :O

      I wonder if anyone has gotten away with
  • caused by people who play Animal Crossing. That and hitting people on the head with a butterfly net - that stings!

    Now, personally, I blame the use of cars for violent crimes on the movies.

    Nothing like blaming someone else for your own actions, right?
  • not the relatives of the killer. I didn't even have to read the article to see that:

    Although that defense was thrown out, the multi-million dollar suit filed by relatives of the victims claim that Moore was in fact mimicking GTA
  • by allanc (25681) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:49PM (#15028173) Homepage
    Did anyone else see the title and think that the company was making a new GTA game called "Grand Theft Auto: Civil Case"? Presumably in which you'd drive a car around breaking contracts and whatnot...
  • by KimiDalamori (579444) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:50PM (#15028193)
    Let me look at this:

    1: We have evidence that Violence and Violent Video Games are correlated. Nobody has any clue if violent games makes kids violent, or if violent kids like violent games; but it's politically unpopular to accuse your constituients' kids of being thugs. (FYI, this is the kind of evidence that says smoking and cancer are correlated, but nobody really cares whether or not cancer causes smoking)

    2: It's a mid-term Election year. That means that there are several elected officials who desperately need to distract the people voting for them away from an unpopular war, and a deficit which is spiraling out of control.

    3: The violence issue in particular has traction because people feel powerless to combat it; trying to protect your kids from becoming assholes is like trying to protect them from the chicken pox. It doesn't work. So, people find a scapegoat, something tangible that they can dismantle and try to keep away from their children. They convince themselves that if they can just keep violent media away from the kids, maybe kids won't know how to be violent. This isnt really their fault, people have been falling for non-causa-pro-causa arguments (with this, therefore because of this) since the dawn of time.

    4: Our elected officials are like the contractors at your work. Solving problems does not help them; in fact, Solving problems permanently in a way which makes everyone happy makes them less likely to be re-elected.(this is not a troll, think about this) However, appearing to solve problems does help them. They get the credit for being a tireless defender of the public, and the problems are still there to fix next time they need a boost.

    5: History teaches us the following: Games and other High-definition media will continue to be the scapegoat until someone builds a better scapegoat. Console games like GTA will wear targets on their backs until someone makes a VR Game where you rape/kill/steal/whatever or otherwise manages to take simulated violence to the Next Level. Until then, we personally have a choice: we can either whine, follow the mob, or run for congress.

    6: There are thousands of idiots out there, sooner or later you will probably fail to think about something and be one of them. While I don't expect you to fix any of the above problems, do try to be smart about it and start thinking critically about the next thing that pisses you off.
    • Many of the other points are good ones, but:

      1: We have evidence that Violence and Violent Video Games are correlated. Nobody has any clue if violent games makes kids violent, or if violent kids like violent games; but it's politically unpopular to accuse your constituients' kids of being thugs. (FYI, this is the kind of evidence that says smoking and cancer are correlated, but nobody really cares whether or not cancer causes smoking)

      Actually, we have large volumes of statistical scientific data which proves
      • Not to start a flame war about tobacco, but, a little clarification of the earlier point:
        We have scads of scientific data which proves that there is a relationship between smoking and cancer, but we cannot prove that smoking causes cancer on the weight of that evidence alone. A statistical relationship between the two allows us to conclude that either Smoking causes Cancer, Cancer causes Smoking, or that some unknown factor causes cancer and smoking. The Tobbacco companies harp on this point endlessly,
        • I beg to differ on the scientific conclusions in this regard. The science is quite settled on the statistical link of certain cancers to tobacco usage, especially worldwide, regardless of your belief to the contrary.

          Your point on media and violence is more scientifically founded, however.

          This does not however, mean that game violence or media violence is or is not a contributing factor to GTA-inspired behaviors, but I'd love to see the research proposals for such a study:

          let's see, I'm going to need a few
    • As an Alabama resident, I may be able to refine a little here.

      Nobody has any clue if violent games makes kids violent, or if violent kids like violent games; but it's politically unpopular to accuse your constituients' kids of being thugs

      Jack Thompson is pretty popular judging from responses he got from a morning talk radio show from Birmingham when he was in town for the criminal trial, so that may play in. This is the "Bible belt", remember (not to start an arguement)

      2: It's a mid-term Election ye
  • The thing that gets me the most is that some people just don't seem realise the gap between real and not real. Granted the murderer did know what he was doing. I myself play a lot of violent video games (mostly because that's all that's out there anymore) and i don't go killing people. Violent media and games does not cause violence, and it certainly did not make this guy kill. The style may have been determined by the game, but he had it in his mind to kill before he decided how to do it. I think he was ho
    • While I agree with most of your point, I take issue with the statement that violent video games are all that's out there. I suppose it's true that the majority of games have some form of violence in them, there are a good many in which it's more like an old Roadrunner cartoon than the gritty gore-fests which are so popular these days. If you think that violent games are all that's out there, you're really not looking hard enough.
  • OT: Death penalty (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Am I the only one who's extremely alienated by the thought of killing a kid? I mean, okay, so he's done things that, after the code of law, justify a death penalty. And I guess after turning 18 you can be judged as an adult.
    But does that have to be the case? Did the jury not have a choice in the matter? After all, you don't magically become an adult 18 years after being born.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @04:11PM (#15029097)
    We're talking about Alabama. Tell them that they're taking the same stance as Joe Lieberman and (gasp!) Hillary Clinton. Things will quiet down in no time.
  • I wonder what "obsessively?" means in this case.

    When I get into a game, I'll play it for maybe 8 hours a day every day for a week or whatever it takes to finish it.

    Haven't gone on a homocidal rampage yet.

    Seriously, what's obsessive for someone who enjoys games might not apply to other pursuits...games often encourage certain time commitments regardless of content.
  • if he was wearing green and shouting "Grove Street! Mutha Fucka!"
  • by Psmylie (169236) * on Thursday March 30, 2006 @04:40PM (#15029351) Homepage
    Back in the day, I had to make myself stop playing Tetris, because I kept obsessively stacking things on top of each other. The game made me do it.
  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @04:44PM (#15029383)
    This is an 18-year-old boy we're talking about.

    Obviously if he'd ever played Grand Theft Auto, he'd be out scoring with hookers, not killing cops. Now, if he was on trial for killing a prostitute, then maybe he'd have a case.
  • I'm sure he'd never watched any films which featured shooting guns or killing cops...No, of course not! And even if he had, we all know that movies don't influence kids, it's those video games that are really Evil (as in Frooits of the Devil)!

    Come on, I'm not that old, but I'm old enough to remember when the target of this kind of hysteria was Dungeons & Dragons. Good mothers wouldn't let their kids be exposed to that source of Evil. How can everyone else have forgotten so quickly?
    • Yeah, I remember that too... I also remember that terrible Tom Hanks movie where he plays D&D, goes nuts, and nearly(?) kills himself/everybody else. Watch moveis like that now and they seem absolutely silly, but somehow CSI thought that the GTA-inspired killer thing would make good tv. *sigh* It's dissapointing to see how long it takes for us to progress as a society.
  • by PFI_Optix (936301) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @04:55PM (#15029489) Journal
    SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING

    Excessive exposure of disturbed individuals to graphically violent games may reenforce existing violent tendencies. Coupled with a disconnect from reality, these conditions may result in the real-world application of themes observed in the game environment, including--but not limited to--assault, robbery, rape, torture, and murder. Please note the existing ESRB rating and seek professional help if you feel the desire to replicate game scenarios in real life.
  • ...are the victim's loved ones suing the family of the murderer? Or just the ones with, you know, money?
  • Lets all be completely honest, not a one of us wants to see this case be successful because we feel a danger to our right to art and entertainment.

    While I agree, there is also a part of me that thinks any developer that makes a game where the primary objectives in the game involve car-jacking, murdering and getting away from law enforcement that that developer should have at least a passing concern as to how thier creation will have an impact. We talk so freely about people pointing fingers and shurking
    • That's fine in countries where thought and expression is regarded as weapons against the general public and the state - but this country was founded without that concept. Unless I physically bash you on the head and cause real trauma - any info - of any media - of any kind - can be regarded as offensive to someone, some group or even the majority. The right to make whatever graven image, game, or text is protected. If you lose that - then shit-can the rest and give me good honest fascism which doesn't go ar
  • Although you get the gammut of noobs and whatnot with online shooters, I've noted - particularly with the euro and australian set, the overwhelming amount of polite chatter, "sorrys" and the like during fragfests. Although people in the real world are generally polite around where I live - it pales in comparrison to the almost creepy-polite people splattering my corpse into a million gibblets every other night in RTCW.

    What am I supposed to infer from this compared to the "media" (who have been losing oodles
  • I can't think of a better way to dishonor the memories of your loved ones than by trying to make money off their tragic deaths...
  • ...let Jack Thompson be their lawyer. Then, as a Take Two shareholder, he'd have a conflict of interest.

    That would be sweet.

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