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The Courts Government Entertainment Games News

Kids Kill, Victim Sues Game Maker 1035

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the those-with-the-deepest-pockets-are-to-blame dept.
qbproger writes "Sadly, two kids decided to go outside and start shooting cars. They were mimicing a video game they had been playing, Grand Theft Auto. I think it's about time parents started paying attention to the rating on video games." The family of one of the victims has decided to file suit against Take Two Interactive, presumably deciding that blame should be assigned to whoever has the deepest pockets instead of to those who actually did something wrong.
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Kids Kill, Victim Sues Game Maker

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  • by Mr. Darl McBride (704524) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:36AM (#6893032)
    "Your honour, I was under the influence of Grand Theft Auto! Mnnnnn!"

    That totally sucks as an insanity defense, and I'm calling these kids on it. "It's-a Mario Kart, you honour!" as a plea? Now a that's a spicy-a meatball. (fr1st)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:06PM (#6893278)
      My kid reorganized the linen closet the other day... do you think I have a case against the makers of Tetris?
      • by blibbleblobble (526872) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:22PM (#6893423)
        Smalltown, OH. 9/18/2003. AP Reuters

        Midnight yesterday, 12-year-olds Emily Rone and Abigail Harding were arrested by police in fields outside their village, apparently building a town center close to a disused gold mine. Officers attending the scene were fired upon by watchtowers in the vicinity, and Officer Frank Peters sustained minor injuries from a crossbow bolt, apparently fired automatically. When questioned, the girls were cooperative and willing to explain the project; unfortunately no orcish interpreters could be provided by the Ohio police department. The girls have been taken into care, while police spent the rest of today dismantling orc burrows in the area.

        See page 16 for our editorial on why kids should be banned from playing violent videogames, and page 18 for a reaction from the Enraged Coalition of Elvish Mothers.

    • I'm a parent. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScottGant (642590) <`scott_gant' `at' `sbcglobal.netNOT'> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:25PM (#6893478) Homepage
      As a parent, I watch what my 10 year old son plays online (mainly looking up game FAQs) and plays on the console.

      We do NOT let him play any games with guns. He plays racing games, goofy Mario type games and the like. We also teach him that people using guns on others is a very bad thing. We are trying to instill in him that guns are weapons for the sole purpose of harming and killing other things.

      We're trying to teach him to be nice. To try to be a good person. To know right from wrong. What happened to being a nice person? Why is everyone so cynical now adays?

      Are we perfect parents? No. Will what we're trying to teach him stick? I don't know...but we're trying, we really really are. It's hard to do with the media overblowing violence and crime most of the time.

      When something like this happens, everyone points fingers and blames everyone else. But I feel there is no one thing to blame. There are many different factors at work here. Bad parents? Violent Videogames? Violent media and music? War starting presidents? Evil dictators? Religion? Environment? Bullies? School?

      There are no answers, only choices.
      • by EvilAlien (133134) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:34PM (#6893557) Journal
        The favorite game of too many (irresponsible) parents is Passing the Buck. Thanks for not being one of the wastes of flesh who blame entertainment sources for their failed children.

        One of the reason that many people are so cynical nowadays is because of the idiots who run rampant. Back in the good ol' days, a cave bear would have eaten them and we'd all be better off for it. Now we have to watch them launch lawsuits. Bring back the bears, I say.

        UP WITH BEARS, DOWN WITH BAD PARENTS!

        • Re:I'm a parent. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @02:13PM (#6894228)
          The favorite game of too many (irresponsible) parents is Passing the Buck. Thanks for not being one of the wastes of flesh who blame entertainment sources for their failed children.
          I just read the linked articles, and I didn't see any reference to the criminals' parents blaming the game. Just the victims.
        • When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman. After school we'd all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn't until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear.
      • Re:I'm a parent. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cyberlotnet (182742) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:34PM (#6893569) Homepage Journal
        You understand that violence is a part of everyday life, yet you force your child to avoid it...

        I have always found video games to be a escape... Shooing a person on the screen is sort of a release for me, Because I fully understand the diffrence between real life and the screen.

        Trying to hide them from it just will not work...

        Theres a saying "The Pastors daughter is always the worst".

        The more you hold a item away from a dog, the more they want to play with it..

        Instead let them play with it but teach them how to play right.
        • Re:I'm a parent. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:24PM (#6893931) Homepage
          There are a lot of parts of real life that one "shelters" children from: rape, violence, the fact that most of one's life is a grinding, dreary march to death during which we seek to eke out tiny moments of joy before the relentless machinery of despair wipes us out, taxes, Duke Nukem Forever, the fact that so-called heroes are usually as flawed and corrupt as everyone else, and the fact that they probably came into this world not in a joyous, wonderous, giving event, but from a horny set of parents who probably were not thinking about junior at the time and, nine months later, amidst blood and screaming.

          Sheltering is pretty much what it's all about.

          Videogames aren't the real world, and it's appropriate to treat them as pedagogical - they can teach as much as they entertain. Responsible parents will react accordingly. Sometimes, the message that they are not supposed to play with this until they've achieved a certain maturity and moral distance is as much part of the message as any that's in the game itself.

          Not that I think there's anything wrong with a measured amount of play-violence, either. That's a normal part of childhood, and I don't want to think you can nerf-ify a kid's entire life. Here's [justicetalking.org] a good discussion about it - I think Gerard Jones is right-on in his perspective [atlantisrising.com], but interestingly enough he doesn't let his kid play GTA3.

          Do you have children? Would you let your kids watch porn? After all, they'll just want to watch it more...
        • Re:I'm a parent. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by twocoasttb (601290)
          Maybe your argument applies to a 16 year old, but to a 10 year old? I don't think so. Yes, there are times, especially post 9/11, that you need to help your kid understand violence and violent behavior. The thing is, violence does not have to be part of everyday life. It shouldn't be for a 10 year old. If you let them play violent games, you're making the choice for them.
      • Re:I'm a parent. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by GreaterThanZero (537712) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:53PM (#6894101)
        I work in a video store...on Fridays and Saturdays, I see at least 100 transactions per shift, usually up to about 160 transactions. That's a lot of people. And there's a lot to do per transaction, while trying to keep track with game and movie ratings. I'll admit...I feel secretly proud when I find myself checking the ratings and reading it out to parents. It's good to know that "sweet, I remembered this time and I actually caught something." "You know this is rated M for Mature, right?"

        And 90% of the time, the parent nods and says yes, they know. And then the kid, insulted that I had to point out how young they are, brags that they've already played that game before. And they often mention that they've already played GTA: Vice City.

        At least it's not as bad as when the kids come up to the counter with a game without a parent. Those kids are just plain jerks sometimes.
        "But my mom is _waiting_ right _there_ in the _car_."
        That's great, legally she has to be in store.
        "You can call my dad at home!"
        Anybody who picks up the phone and sounds male could sound like your dad to me. I can't do it.
        "*walks out swearing up a storm to their mom in the car*"

        Buncha savages in this town.

      • Obviously, you have your own ideas about what's best for your kids, and there also obviously is no One Right Answer That Everyone Must Subscribe To. However, I really don't think that having kids exposed to guns or nudity or whatnot makes them killers or rapists.

        Kids have played with tin soldiers, played cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, and games in the same vein forever. The fact that the current game involving shooting happens to be a video game simply doesn't justify it. The kid playing the rob
    • by El_Ge_Ex (218107) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:51PM (#6893698) Journal
      I hate having to say this, but before you go start posting on emotion:

      RTFA!!!!!!

      The kids aren't trying to use this as a defense. The family of the victom is trying to sue Take Two. I feel bad for the victoms and their families. If I were to guess their intentions they simply want some compensation because they know they'll never get anything from that damn red-neck family that was the _real_ cause.

      On another note: What the F*** is this about they'll have to be realeased at 19 under Tennessee law!?! That means that one of these idiots will be out in 3 years!!! Could someone _PLEASE_ find some federal charge so they can be put away longer.

      Please Darwin! Do your magic once again!

      -B
  • Legal precedent? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nick of NSTime (597712) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:38AM (#6893039)
    How many of these cases have to be thrown out before people figure out they're not going to win?
    • I wish lawyers gained and lost points for cases won and lost. If they reached something like a 4:1 loss:win ratio, they should be disbarred for a year.

      Maybe then they'd stop taking all these crap lottery cases.

      • by Mr. Darl McBride (704524) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:49AM (#6893132)
        Also, if they reach 1:4 loss:win, they should level up and win the game.
      • by Guppy06 (410832) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:02PM (#6893240)
        "If they reached something like a 4:1 loss:win ratio, they should be disbarred for a year."

        Then they'd be even more inclined not to take cases they don't think they can win. And suddenly making sure defendants get a fair trial doesn't seem so important any more. After all, nobody would want to get involved in a criminal case unless the defendant has a rock-solid alibi.
        • by nyseal (523659) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:21PM (#6893911)
          This isn't a criminal case, it's a civil one. I also agree with the poster on this. The first words that were spoken in my BUSINESS law course were "Who do you sue? Deep pockets". That's the mandate in law courses and until that changes we (as a society) will forever encounter POS laywers who will strive to blame Disney for weapons of mass destruction. Keep in mind, that's also why consumers pay much more now for products; they HAVE to defend themselves with a 10 million dollar lawyer against suits like this. Who ultimately pays? Us. That cost gets passed right along like a counterfeit 20. Whenever something goes wrong in America we consult an attorney as a matter of habit because we've been TRAINED to do so. Sometimes bad things happen to good people just because. Get over it already.
    • by cyberlotnet (182742) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:30PM (#6893518) Homepage Journal
      No kidding, I for one think parents need to stop blaming the world and instead look inside, at there own methods of raising there children.

      The things these storys dont tell you...

      How many hours a week did they spend with there child ( today, it seems children are lucky if there parents spend 1 hour a day with them )

      Did the parents know the other kid? Maybe one of the kids where known to cause problems...

      Why didnt one of these kids stop and say "You know this is a bad thing"

      They want you to believe to people just happened to have the guidence there parents have given them all there lives wiped out by a video game.. Not just one kid but 2...

      Have they ever been talked to about the dangers of guns?

      Have they ever been told cartoons,video games and such are not real.. I know it sounds cheesy to say but damn my dad asked me once if I understood the diffrence between real life and TV.. Come on parents get with it.

      I say they never had proper guidence to begin with, That we spent more time as a family things would not be as bad as they are now.
  • Well obviously (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Exiler (589908) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:38AM (#6893044)
    What, do you expect parents to mentor and teach their children? It's all ClearChannel, XBox, and MTV from here on out.
    • Re:Well obviously (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think it's time to start filing suit against parents who don't take their parental responsibilities seriously.
  • by fondue (244902) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:39AM (#6893048)
    Well, there's a name I didn't expect to see in a news story about frivolous lawsuits.

    Jack "2 Live Crew, Cop Killer, Dear Policeman I Am God, EverQuest Killed My Son" Thompson, Florida's leading disgrace to the legal profession.
  • by Monoman (8745) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:39AM (#6893049) Homepage
    who?
    who?
  • by jdkane (588293) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:40AM (#6893051)
    presumably deciding that blame should be assigned to whoever has the deepest pockets instead of to those who actually did something wrong.

    On the other side of the coin, the victim might not be concerned about deep pockets. Instead, the victim is most likely in deep pain and may be under the impression the stopping the game company from making such games might also stop this pain from happening again.

    Just on a personal note, I am not opposed to violent video games; I play them. I believe teenagers are more impressionable than adults, and we should be careful about their level of violence ingested.

    • by hankaholic (32239) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:52AM (#6893157)
      Screw that -- I have a greater desire now to "thin out" society than I ever did as a teen.

      It's not Take2's fault that Darwin had a point.
    • by Dark Lord Seth (584963) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:58AM (#6893210) Journal
      On the other side of the coin, the victim might not be concerned about deep pockets. Instead, the victim is most likely in deep pain and may be under the impression the stopping the game company from making such games might also stop this pain from happening again.

      Oh really?

      "The industry needs to cough up money so victims and their families can be compensated for their pain,"

      Ahh, I see. you mean FINANCIAL pain, as in "God damn, my neighbor got a bigger car then me and my wife's life insurance still won't get me a new Dodge! Hey, let's sue the makers of the game that the people who killed her played!". By Eris, all this 'financial compensation for emotional pain 'crap is making me so sick, especially in a case like this. Maybe the game creators weren't the people who are responsible, maybe the parents of the kids are, who quite obviously FAILED to properly raise their kids.

      It's just another lawsuit with the purpose of getting rich quick over someone's death. Ignore it. The only ones who will profit from this one are the lawyers.

    • by demon (1039) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:58AM (#6893215)
      I believe teenagers are more impressionable than adults, and we should be careful about their level of violence ingested.

      Yes, and whose responsibility should that be? Maybe... um... could it be... THE PARENTS' JOB? They bring the little brats^Wdarling angels into the world, yet we can't expect them to actually know what the kids are doing? Something is seriously wrong with this picture.
    • by Mr. Darl McBride (704524) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:00PM (#6893226)
      On the other side of the coin, the victim might not be concerned about deep pockets. Instead, the victim is most likely in deep pain and may be under the impression the stopping the game company from making such games might also stop this pain from happening again.

      Show me ONE case where parents have sued to stop publication, rather than suing for heaps and heaps of cash. Show me just ONE and I'll say you've got a valid point.

    • by gl4ss (559668)
      in that case i'd be more worried on how they got the GUN and how they weren't educated on that IT ACTUALLY KILLS PEOPLE much more than i was from where they got the game, the game could be substitued with 3 musketeers(book) or history book pretty easily as a scapegoat, without altering the story at all. heck, if they played more nethack they might learn that dying is a bitch and finding corpses is cool because they might have a ready ascension kit, even more importantly if they played nethack they wouldn't
    • by The Monster (227884) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:29PM (#6893504) Homepage
      Instead, the victim is most likely in deep pain and may be under the impression the stopping the game company from making such games might also stop this pain from happening again.
      This is no excuse. I just don't understand this mentality at all. When one of my brothers was killed by a drunk driver, it never occured to anyone in my family to sue the distillery or the auto manufacturer - the driver was the responsible party, period.

      I have observed this enough times to dub it Sarah Brady Syndrome:

      1. Something horrible happens to someone close to you.
      2. You decide that Something Must Be Done <tm> to prevent anyone else from suffering the same fate.
      3. After considering, and rejecting, the idea of using the existing laws that punish the person who actually caused the problem (especially if that person is the putative 'victim' himself, as in the case of cigarette smoking or McDonald's food), you settle on:
        1. Suing someone other than the perpetrator, under the theory that they aided and abetted the perpetrator by manufacturing one of the tools used, or wrote a book/movie/TV program/video game that 'inspired' the criminal act
        2. Lobbying your legislators for new criminal remedies against these enablers.
        3. Both.
      I am heartened by the fact that the latest lawsuit against McDonald's (apparently for forcing kids to eat so much of their food as to have fat asses) was rejected with prejudice by the judge, but recent history is filled with too many examples that go the other way.

      We not only have the Brady Bill, but countless other laws named for a victim, and almost without exception, they're bad laws - unnecessary and counterproductive, because they punish people other than the actual perpetrators, which teaches the next round of dumb kids that it isn't their fault when they shoot up their high school, killing scores of people and giving Michael Moore a chance to make another preachy movie (and Katz an excuse to compile a book).

      I expect someone to go paint a tunnel on the side of a concrete wall, run their car into it at 60 mph and their family sue Warner Brothers for making Road Runner cartoons give them the idea.

  • of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cygnus (17101) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:40AM (#6893052) Homepage
    it's not the fault of the parents that left guns around where little kids could get their hands on them. or for not teaching them to not shoot at cars. no way, that's too easy of an explination.
    • I really have to lean away from "who the hell put a violent game in these kids' hands!?" and more toward "who the hell put guns in these kids' hands?"

      It would have been okay for these little fuckers to be packing heat if they were weened on Bubble Bobble instead?!

    • Re:of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dark Lord Seth (584963) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:02PM (#6893243) Journal

      No it isn't, but the parents cant be financially milked, unlike the gaming industry. Think in terms of money. The people who filed the suit couldn't give a rats ass who is right and who is wrong, as long as they can earn money from it. If someone dies, no amount of money can bring them back, yet a certain amount of money can make them 'forget' it happened. I call that both disgusting and immoral because they use someone's death for financial gains.

    • why so specific? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KalvinB (205500) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:09PM (#6893304) Homepage
      "or for not teaching them to not shoot at cars"

      How about just not to point guns at people? If the kids are so dense you have to tell them not to shoot at cars then they're probably too dense to know they shouldn't shoot at trucks or semies or mini-vans or SUVs, etc either without you specifically telling them each type of vehicle.

      They should just throw the kids in jail for a very long time and be done with it.

      They're obviously incapable of functioning in society. And the parents are obviously incapable of raising the kids otherwise.

      And the parents who are suing the video game makers would be better off spending their time getting the court systems to stop feeling sorry for kids they'd like us all to believe "made a mistake."

      A mistake is breaking a lamp. It is not a "mistake" to take innocent lives in such a malicious manner. They've crossed the sympathy line about 3 miles ago with this one.

      The parents should simply be content with those kids locked away indefinitly.

      Ben
  • by Datasage (214357) <Datasage@nospAm.theworldisgrey.com> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:40AM (#6893058) Homepage Journal
    This is another example of people not being responsible for thier own actions.

    The game did it.

    What happened?
  • by JeffTL (667728) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:41AM (#6893067)
    I think not! It's clearly a "crime simulator." I don't consider Microsoft Flight Simulator a game -- it's clearly a simulation, as its rules amount to replicating the reality of air travel. Grand Theft Auto clearly is attempting to replicate the reality of crime sprees, so why not just call it a crime sim?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:42AM (#6893071)
    I created my own player in Madden 2003 in which I placed myself on the New England Patriots.

    Well when I showed up for training camp earlier this year they kept telling me to get the hell off the field. They wouldn't believe me that I really was on the team.

    I'm seriously considering suing the makers of Madden for making me believe I really was on the team because they, of course, are at fault in this situation.
  • One mo' time... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Faust7 (314817) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:44AM (#6893086) Homepage
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

    Any kids that went out and did stuff like that had problems before they ever got ahold of GTA.
  • by AmigaAvenger (210519) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:44AM (#6893092) Journal
    How about instead of blaming the game makers, let's blame the PARENTS for

    1: being irresonsible and leaving unlocked weapons around.
    2: not teaching the kids gun safety
    3: not knowing what the kids were up to


    You never know, it might actually work! The next step would be, imagine this, that parents would actually be responsible for their childs actions!!

  • unbelievable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zed2K (313037) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:45AM (#6893097)
    From the article:

    "The industry needs to cough up money so victims and their families can be compensated for their pain," Thompson said. "The shareholders need to know what their games are doing to kids and their families. They need to stop pushing adult rated products to kids. These products are deadly."

    Amazing that some lawyer believes this...oh wait, no its not. If they win they'll make history for themselves as well as get a really good chunk of change.

    Why can't I get on jury selection for stuff like this so when they ask me a question I can tell them what morons they are???

    Kids are seeing that they can claim video games made them do it these days and they don't get labeled as murderers or as crazy. Its just another ploy to not accept responsibility.

    Granted these kids admitted responsibility but they also blamed GTA. If they didn't they probably would have been in more trouble. Lesson for the kiddies out there. If you are going to commit a violent crime make sure you have a good scapegoat. These days movies and video games seem to work pretty well.
  • obvious... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigbigbison (104532) * on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:46AM (#6893106) Homepage
    It is so obvious that Jack Thompson jumped all over this. As I mentioned [slashdot.org]when this happened, whenever there is any juvenile violence that is remotely associtated with vidoegames, Jack Thomson is there to blame videogames and remove any possibility of personal responsibility.

    This is the guy who said that the DC snipers were gamers and got nearly every mainstream media outlet to beleive it. This is also the guy who sent a 13 year old (possibly his son, I don't remember exactly) into Best Buy to guy M rated games. He has very good PR and is very good at getting media coverage beacuse he gives the media the kind of hysteria laden sound bites they love. This guy has an agenda and he needs to be watched out for.
    • by danila (69889) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:09PM (#6893839) Homepage
      This guy has an agenda and he needs to be watched out for.

      Public offer: If you happen to know an impressionable game junky, I am willing to reimburse the cost of Hitman and Hitman 2 games, on the condition that you buy these games for the above mentioned junky and provide him/her with the home address of Jack Thompson. This offer becomes valid immediately.
  • From the article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Faust7 (314817) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:46AM (#6893107) Homepage
    Are Parents the Gatekeepers?

    How is this even a question? Yes.

    Please allow me to quote Gabe from Penny Arcade:

    "Like some kind of pornographic archeologist your 10 year old boy is probably rummaging through a stack of poorly hidden playboys from the 1970's at his best friends house right now. You cannot watch your kids all the time and you cannot ensure they will never see a boob or a gun before they are ready. What you can do is make sure that what they see and do in your house is appropriate and rely on some good old fashioned parenting skills to make sure that a quick glimpse of some blood in a videogame doesn't send them into a violent rage that ends with a school full of dead kids."
  • by WebMasterJoe (253077) <joeNO@SPAMjoestoner.com> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:48AM (#6893124) Homepage Journal
    Until some kid walks into the hotel, runs over to the glowing, spinning tape, runs back out, heads right, outruns a car to hijack it, presses "X", hits "R1" as he fishtails around a corner on his way to the Ammu-nation, walks into the glowing disc, presses "X" again a few times to buy weapons, then auto-targets with "R1," I'm not going to believe that he learned how to do that because of Grand Theft Auto.

    The game may present an idea, but there are far more steps involved in actually carrying this sort of thing out than those presented in a video game. What, did the kid run towards a spinning, levitating star after he shot at cars?
  • Some figures... (Score:4, Informative)

    by DuranDuran (252246) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:51AM (#6893148)
    From Carter, C. J., "U.S. Leads Richest Nations In Gun Deaths", Associated Press, Friday, April 17, 1998:

    (selected figures for) gun-related deaths per 100,000 people in 1994:

    United States 14.24;
    Northern Ireland 6.63;
    Canada 4.31;
    Israel 2.91;
    Australia 2.65;
    England and Wales 0.41;
    Japan 0.05
    • by iapetus (24050) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:00PM (#6893231) Homepage
      United States 14.24;
      England and Wales 0.41;
      Japan 0.05

      And the sales figures for GTA: Vice City

      United States: 5,221,935
      England and Wales: 800,000 (extrapolating from full UK figures)
      Japan: 0

      Which just goes to prove that Take 2/Rockstar have a lot to answer for, the murdering scum.
    • Re:Some figures... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GigsVT (208848) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:05PM (#6893268) Journal
      WTF is a "gun death"? How can a gun die? It's not even alive!

      What's next? Pool Deaths? Ocean Deaths? Knife Deaths? Food Deaths?

      Control the language, and you control the thoughts. Don't buy into their newspeak.
      • Re:Some figures... (Score:3, Informative)

        by gl4ss (559668)
        i'd suppose it's a killing done with a gun, much like a stabbing to death is the same thing with a knife. if you don't see guns around too much you're not very probable to use them for random shit such as this(which is why having gazillions of guns around isn't good).

        i do understand that that if someone were to kill somebody with a gun he could do it just as well with an axe(or get that gun somehow) if he didn't have immediate access to a loaded gun. it does however cut some random shit like this.

        and you
    • What does this have to do with the article?

      I may as well post this: Guns And Crime [gunsandcrime.org]. You'll see by the stats posted there that our robbery and other forms of crime are lower than England's and other countries, even though we have *gasp* guns. While we have a higher percentage of murder, our murder rates are declining while theirs are rising, narrowing the gap.

      May as well bother reading the rest of the site, if you can handle actual pro-gun agenda established with hard facts without cowering and closing
    • Re:Some figures... (Score:4, Informative)

      by pongo000 (97357) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:56PM (#6893740)
      Ah, here we go with the ritual random slinging of carefully selected statistics to prove some point or the other. I offer this, and invite you to make your own conclusions:

      From Barclay, Tavares & Siddique, "International Comparisons of Criminal Justics Statistics, 1999" (link [crimereduction.gov.uk])

      Probability of Victimization, Overall

      Australia 30%
      England & Wales 26%
      Canada 24%
      United States 21%
      Japan 15%
  • by Machina70 (700076) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:53AM (#6893167)
    Just pay attention to your kids.

    Psychotics aren't born in a day.

  • by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:00PM (#6893223) Homepage Journal

    I'm reminded of a line out of a Batman comic that I have in which a paramedic tells Batman not to feel bad after a maniac shoots several people because he (Batman) couldn't have known. Batman's response is something to the effect of:

    "I don't. I didn't shoot anyone."

    I think that applies here fairly well. Noone at Take Two shot anyone (at least not in relation to this case), and it wasn't their job to watch and raise every fucking 90 IQ kid out there who plays their game when the parents don't screen their kids' purchases. A more apt lawsuit might be filed against the parents for criminal negligence and the fact that they let their mentally ill, retarded children anywhere near guns...

    Actually, my apologies to all the mentally retarded people out there, I shouldn't have grouped you with people as ridiculously stupid as those kids...

  • by Mitreya (579078) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ayertim>> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:01PM (#6893235)
    Family members of those killed in video game-related shooting sprees say it is time to take Grand Theft Auto off the market, before more lives are lost.

    No, it is time to have exams for parenting eligibility. Seriously. There was a recent case that also blamed games for some shootout.

    Never do the articles even MENTION how the f**k those kids got the guns! A 14 year old child with an access to loaded shotgun is clearly a problem but not a one caused by video games.

    What are the parents going to blame if the violent games are banned? Oh, right, movies [go.com].

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:03PM (#6893248) Homepage Journal
    By "they" I'm talking about the lawyers of course, because someone has to be talking these parents into this. Or, more to the point, failing to talk them out of it. In my mind you should be able to sue a lawyer who talks you into a case like this on the grounds that the cases never succeed and they are blatantly unconstitutional, and that the lawyers are taking advantage of the parents' grief and rage to lead them into a lawsuit.

    Of course, it wouldn't work without an unhealthy dose of denial on the part of the parents. You really have to have your head in the sand (or someplace else dark and possibly more moist, and certainly stinkier) to not realize that it's your parenting to blame here, not the game. When I was just a wee lad I had an NES and I played zelda, metroid, etc, but I never ended up picking up a sword or some kind of plasma cannon (well, that last part was only because they weren't readily available, but on a related note, parents who leave guns out are part of this problem too) and going out to kill people, damage property with it, et cetera. On the other hand, I did do a little graffiti 'tagging', and some petty acts of vandalism, in spite of not having any games which even had vandalism in them. A simpler time, indeed.

    The fact is that if the kids couldn't have gotten their hands on guns in the first place none of this would have happened. This is not about gun control, except in the sense of controlling your own guns. Personally I think that when someone's kids grab their guns and run around shooting things with them, that person should have their right to own firearms revoked permanently on the grounds that they are not responsible enough to own them.

    Further, while this is not covered by this article or anything, we should never ever be trying children as adults. They do not have the rights, why give them the responsibilities? Punish the parents and take their children away from them. (If the kids killed someone, I think you really ought to just go ahead and sterilize both parents, too, but I'm kind of doubting too many people will be behind me on that one.) Sure, a foster home or the state probably won't do a great job raising the kids, but obviously the parents themselves aren't accomplishing much.

  • by hankaholic (32239) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:04PM (#6893257)
    I think Eminem said it best. This isn't exactly in relation to video games, but it still applies:

    They say music can alter moods and talk to you,
    Well can it load a gun up for you, and cock it too?
    Well if it can, then the next time you assault a dude,
    just tell the judge it was my fault and I'll get sued.
    Think about playing GTA. What happens the first time you try to play the game?

    Chances are you end up with the boys in blue on your butt and you're being beaten to a bloody pulp. Nothing misleading there.

    They should select a group of jurors with no experience playing the GTA games and have them each try playing the game -- the trial will last about 90 minutes before being thrown out.
  • by Bert Altenburg (699926) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:05PM (#6893272) Homepage
    Hi,

    I happened to have seen Bowling for Columbine yesterday. In it the solution, provided by a very funny black entertainer. Make bullets $5000 a piece.

    Bert
    Who appreciates a lot of what Michael Moore makes.
  • by dr bacardi (48590) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:10PM (#6893316) Homepage
    from an article [zwire.com] in the Citizen Tribune.

    [Judge] Strand said the school records of Joshua were "atrocious" last year, and the parents did not try to help educators and "that alone shows me probation is not something I would consider." He said parents need to know they can keep their children out of situations such as the one faced by the defendants.

    Seems pretty obvious where the blame falls to me. Parents that are not willing to help their children in school, or pay even the slightest amount of attention to their other activites invite this kind of shit.

    Just to add to the lack of attention, the guns were gone for almost a week:
    Joshua Buckner sneaked the two guns out of a bedroom closet and hid them in the woods about a week before the June 25 crime
    (from KnoxNews [knoxnews.com])

    Kids not doing shit in school, playing M rated video games (at home, in the parents house), and guns missing for a week... yeah, blame TakeTwo.
  • bad press and laws (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bobartig (61456) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:13PM (#6893342) Homepage
    As the owner of a LAN center, it pains me to read more and more articles about "video game induced crime" or what have you. Thankfully, we've never had to deal with angry parents complaining about violence in the games we carry (i.e. counterstrike, UT2k3, battlefield, etc.), but its an every day concern for us. We've concentrated on licensing titles that have a lot of strategy, teamwork, and strong multiplay options. We considered carrying GTA, but it didn't fit the criterion.

    Our LAN customers are mainly between 15-18 yrs old, but some are significantly younger, like 10-12 yrs. The parents we've had in our store have mostly either recognized the games, and been o.k. with it, or specifically told their children not to play certain ones. I think the parents we've run into recognize that raising their kids *is* their responsibility, and they have to keep track of what they do in their free time.

    Just a couple miles away in the neighboring town, there's an ordinance stating that patrons under 16 years of age need parental consent to play anything at a gaming center. I don't know if anyone actually follows these ordinances, but its the kind of laws that ppl could pass that makes running a LAN center (what I consider to be the "modern" arcade) a royal PITA.
  • Blech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:31PM (#6893535) Homepage
    Let me see if I understand the situation. These kids "got bored" and decided to go shoot up trucks on the highway. Now, are we supposed to believe that the kids were too stupid to come up with the idea on their own? Or that they were too stupid to recognize that just because violence on a screen can be entertaining, it doesn't necessarily mean that the same violence is entertaining in real life?

    Personally, I hate the entire GTA series. I think the glorification of violence is a bad idea, and that the game makers show a lack of social conscience. But I respect their right to make the games. Further, I believe that if we were to hold game makers responsible for the effects of their games on the people who buy them, it would have a profund chilling effect on free speech. That is unacceptable.

    You know it and I know it: these kids were severely disturbed long before they ever got their hands on GTA. Hundreds of millions of people play video games, why aren't at least a few million of us out there emulating them? Because the vast, vast majority of us have too firm a grip on reality. We also share an ability to empathize with others and accept that their feelings are important. These kids, somewhere along the line, lost that ability.

    Even if we accept that there is a small subset of humanity who--for whatever psycho/neuro/sociological reason--can be affected by video games in this way, that is not sufficient reason to stop creating the games. It doesn't make sense any more than it makes sense to stop making peanut butter just because a few of us are violently allergic to peanuts. The focus should be on finding these broken people and trying to fix them, because making the world safe for them is impossible.
  • by Dog and Pony (521538) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:40PM (#6893612)
    Simply because in most countries, most people don't have guns at home - or at all. It is not illegal, but it is very uncommon. And guess what? Lots of less people per capita gets shot.

    "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns" - or what is that saying? Well, that is fine by me. Then you can bust anybody running around with a gun and get the problem out of the way. Seriously, how many lifes have the right to bear arms saved? How many has it cost? This system is what keeps deaths down in oh so many countries.

    In my country, you are allowed to have guns. You have to pass some rigorous tests for it, and get a real license - just like to you have to pass tests to drive a car. To get any gun not suitable for hunting, you have to be a member of a shooting club, and you have to have been a member for quite some time. Also, nowadays, this permit is reevaluated every few years.

    Responsible, test passing people are way more likely to keep their guns safely, and disassembled like they should do. You almost never hear about any incidents over here. Almost, of course, because nothing is idiot proof. But almost never. Wouldn't that be nice?

    I'm gonna get soooo jumped for this, I guess, but I honestly, seriously do not get it. What the hell do you need those guns for? And if you really like to fire a weapon, how come a shooting club isn't good enough? And if you are a serious, law abiding, responsible gun user, how the hell can stricter rules on who gets to own a gun be a bad thing? You should applaud it, and if you are all of the above, you should pass any test easily.

    Guns don't kill people, people kill people. True. But why give them such an easy way to do it?

    Why is this stupid piece of lethal metal so fucking important to you people?
  • Legal BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Izago909 (637084) <tauisgod@BOYSENgmail.com minus berry> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:43PM (#6893638)
    The lead kid was 16 years old. Think about that, he would have been a sophomore or junior in high school. If he still can't tell the difference between right and wrong or video game and reality, society has much bigger problems than simulated violence. Even his freind at 14 years should have known better. I'll admitt GTA3 is a captivating game, but it can't just make someone shut down their thought processes. It's obvious those processes weren't there to begin with.

    If I were one of his victims, I would sue his parents for leaving an unsecured gun around a mentally disabled child.
  • by tjstork (137384) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:33PM (#6893978) Homepage Journal

    Could I blame that on Mattel's B-17 Bomber?

    Or Microprose 50 Mission Crush?

    zombie like -- must restore B-17 and Bomb Berlin.
  • by greywalker (689874) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:50PM (#6894083)
    We all know games are what makes people kill. It's a proven historical fact. After all, it is well documented that Stalin used to play chess. We certainly cannot allow such murder-simulators to taint our children. I for one believe congress should ban any and all games on the market. I believe they should start with checkers and move their way up.
  • Damn.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by softspokenrevolution (644206) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @02:08PM (#6894207) Journal
    Why can't parents ever acknowledge that their kids were incredibly stupid and that they really shouldn't have had any sort of acess to firearms. Let's look at this...

    "I didn't want to hurt anyone," Joshua wrote.

    Now, I'm not saying that these kids are kind of slow, but one would expect when you live in Tenesee where your parents let you wander over to the highway with some rifles, your parents would have taught you at the very least that when you shoot people with guns, they get hurt. I'm very certain that when these kids parents took them out Coon hunting or whatever brain dead sport people keep these useless pieces of trash around for (those would be guns) they explained very clearly that the buisness end of the gun should not be turned on other people and that when it was loaded and sighted, pulling the trigger would cause massive trauma to whatever was in front of the business end of the gun.

    I'm sorry, but video games companies should start suing these kids and their parents for slander, because the other 500 million of us that played Grand Theft Auto have never shot anyone, and just becuase some retard, with a minimal understanding of causal relationships decides that blasting away with a gun is a good idea, doesn't mean that a game is involved. These people have been disconnected from reality for a good long while and it's time that we lock them away in quiet houses for crazy people where they belong.

    To summarize, when you give a moron a gun, bad things happen. It is sincerely time to take people into account for their actions ("Hey kids you killed someone, wounded another, and cuased a deal of property damage, I'm thinking about letting you off on probation") it frustrates me to no end that this is the kind of society that we live in.
    ---
    The second ammendment allows for the right of a well regulated militia to bear arms in defense of our nation.
    ---
    You know what I just thought of, the core of the problem is that most people who own firearms (unless they're really messed up in the head) own guns for sport hunting. I think that the real root of this problem is that these people have introduced the idea of a gun as a source of entertainment far before video games.
  • War (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danny256 (560954) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @02:30PM (#6894325)
    50 years ago most boys aged 15-25 were fighting in a war with real guns and killing real people. How many of them came back and started shooting at people?
    • Real war (Score:3, Flamebait)

      by mabu (178417)
      50+ years ago we had real wars. Where we actually defended our homeland against real enemies; where Congress actually declared real war as properly mandated in the Consitution.

      Times have changed.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @04:56PM (#6895077) Homepage
    What is the misfire that children are experiencing that we, as children, didn't experience.

    Never during my youth did I ever attempt to faithfully mimic any of my forms of entertainment in a dangerous way. I have never known a friend, a friend of a friend or even a dumbass kid who ever pulled stupid emulation tricks that ridiculously ended in some "willful" violent act.

    This does not include accidents that were painfully stupid, of course... I remember hearing about a kid screwing around with a shotgun... eeeew.... not a pretty scar.... even then I thought to myself "what a dumbass!"

    WHY did I have such a stark sense of reality that kids today seem to be missing? After all, that is the REAL problem here. It's not games we/they play. It's not the crap we/they watch on TV. A majority of kids actually do understand the difference between reality and fantasy or else we'd have a plague of mutant kids shooting up schools, writing Microsoft worms and virii, teenagers getting pregnant, dogs and cats sleeping together, mass hysteria!

    Now I have sons and I let them play Mortal Kombat when everyone else says "No! They'll become evil mutant killer kids! It'll warp their impressionable little minds!" Sure enough, they began to emulate the games they played. The difference between my kids and the "odd" kids who don't understand reality? My sons somehow KNEW they should "pull their punches." They somehow KNEW that you can't and shouldn't attempt to rip a person's head off by the spine dripping blood all over my freshly cleaned carpet.

    Clearly it's not the games. It's the influence the parents have over their children. Somehow people got some WEIRD ideas about raising kids. Here's a few of them: (in no specific order of significance)

    1. Parents own their kids and no one can or will take them away! It's a socialist crime against nature to even try.

    Here's a reality: NO! You don't! They are your responsibility. They are not your thing. They are not your hobby. They are not for your convenience and they aren't "cheap household labor." They are little versions of you and they embody all of your dreams and hopes. They can avoid making all the mistakes in life you made and you can have a vicarious second chance not to screw your life up as you did before. Most importantly, your self-elected job is to teach these little PEOPLE. So teach them!

    2. No rational person goes about causing distruction. The only reason it could happen is a sheer lack of respect for other people, property and ultimately themselves.

    This goes back to TEACHING YOUR DAMNED KIDS!!! I was taught. My kids are taught. Most of the kids my brothers have are taught. The only "trouble" I have seen from any of them were the STEP-KIDS of one of my brothers... he clearly has problems with reality and problems with respecting other people and property. Strangely, he has a "very good mother." She's one of those over-reactive, sheltering soccer-moms who is "ultra careful" and censoring.

    Teach your kids to respect and understand reality. Don't do what my mother did -- preventing me from using a fork to eat with for fear I might hurt myself. Give your kids a frikken KNIFE and teach them how to use it properly and maybe even show them that when used improperly, injury can occur. That's how to teach respect for your environment and how to deal with and live within the realm of reality. Teach them to shoot guns properly; How to clean and maintain them; to be good at hitting the target and to understand that they are dangerous and deadly in the wrong hands and that there are serious consequences to misusing these tools.

    TEACH THE KIDS!!! You're not "too busy."

    And for those who aren't taught... for those who raise defective kids... HOLD THEM 100% responsible. It's a frikken tragedy that their failure as a parent would actually have repercussions on themselves... but this is kind of like conventional corporate mentality... they can do bad things because they kn
  • by Mac Degger (576336) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:08AM (#6897492) Journal
    "We have imbeciles for kids, who can't distinguish reality from fiction. We have also failed utterly as parents to instill a sense of right and wrong in them, and have been so absent we didn't see this coming. We blame video games."

    Nuisance suit, anyone?

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