GTA killer case clears hurdle

Alabama suit against gamemakers and retailers proceeds as state's top court denies appeal; Jack Thompson promises case will "destroy Rockstar."

by

The jostling for position continues in the civil suit that pits the estates of killed cops Arnold Strickland and Leslie "Ace" Mealer of Fayette County, Alabama, against the makers and sellers of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

In a criminal case that made national headlines in 2003, carjacker Devin Moore, in police custody at the time, grabbed one of the arresting officer's guns and shot and killed that officer and two others. Moore later told investigators, "Life is like a video game; everybody has to die sometime."

Moore admitted to playing Vice City, which is published by Rockstar Games, prior to the killings, and was later convicted of murder. Shortly before that conviction, a civil lawsuit was brought against Sony, Rockstar parent Take-Two Interactive, Wal-Mart, and GameStop on behalf of two of three officers' estates.

In a decision handed down last week and first reported by the Associated Press, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the defendants to dismiss the case. That decision keeps alive the $600 million lawsuit blaming the publishers and retailers for contributing to the actions of Devin Moore back on June 7, 2003.

The Supreme Court justices issued their decision without comment, letting the case proceed to trial. The court did, however, open the door for additional delays or dismissal as it agreed to hear claims that the Alabama court lacks the power to hear the case, according to the Associated Press.

Florida attorney and antigame activist Jack Thompson, who penned the original complaint with fellow attorneys Patrick Gray and Raymond Reiser, told GameSpot today he expects the ongoing litigation to both "destroy Rockstar [Games]" and "change the face of the entertainment industry."

Thompson removed himself from the case in November, 2005, after defense attorneys asked Fayette County circuit judge James Moore to remove the lawyer for violations of legal ethics.

A defiant Thompson today said, "I am counsel for all of the plaintiffs, they are still my clients, I was the one who won the First Amendment argument in the hearing on November 3, 2005, which trial record was what was appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court, and I fully expect to be in the courtroom trying the case when it is tried."

Discussion

430 comments
yarow12
yarow12

WTF? This is utter BS. Why would U sue the publishers and retailers of a video game that a "murderer" played? I don't recall gun sellers being s7ued when a serial killer shoots a little girl. And what did they do to the kid? Is he still in jail or what? o.O

leafdj
leafdj

Wow, and all I ever did was crash into things in GTA. Does this mean I'm going to go insane and jack a car? Retards these days... Might as well sue his parents, and the company that made the weapons, and his teacher and classmates......

Cloud737
Cloud737

WTF? The world is full of morons. Few are sane, moral and intelligent. No publisher, game, person could be responsible for another man`s crimes, ever. And this is really obvious. But still, the parade continues. Maybe next time someone will shoot a cop, he will blame the current gta, and then ask Thompson to defend him as the true evil and murderer was Rockstar. Also, as iamdaman said, I really wish one of those gta fan killer would kill Thompson and everyone on his bandwagon. Flunk you, Thompson!

iamdaman13
iamdaman13

I wish one of those alleged GTA fan killers would target HC and Jack Thompson.

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

Ok this is the third report of some dumba$$ quoting the columbine killers with that "life's like a video game everybodys gotta die sometime" line when #1 hardly anyone dies in sports games, cept in real life and #2 the ones you do die in you die hundreds of times. So to all you potential mass murders out there that have played GTA but haven't snapped yet may I suggest coming up with a new tag line for your police statements and the media, perhaps "Life is like a video game and i was never very good at either one" or "Wheres jack thompson and hillary clinton because i know they will foot the bill for my legal defence since it will further their careers"

hart704
hart704

I have tons of M rated games. Come and arrest me too! Come on! I'm beggin' ya, Thompson! Make me famous!

lunchboxer
lunchboxer

i remember this $h!t. i was so mad. o ya blame that on the game.

azkickin
azkickin

This is the stupidest thing I have heard of people blaming games for their own actions obviously he isn't right in the head. People that are right in the head know that it's just a game.

Hair_So_Spikey
Hair_So_Spikey

My only fear is that the judges will be like this "well it's just a game might as well be safe and ban it after all it's JUST a videogame" then what will be next? it's just a T.V. show...just a movie...just a book...if a case like this ever wins in america it will be the killing blow on something i like to call freedom also it's promoting non responsobility for violent criminals and that's just irresponsoble on Thompsons part.

bbqsauce34
bbqsauce34

and hey. people say I look like an orc.

bbqsauce34
bbqsauce34

How about EA? Shouldn't they get the finger pointed at too? This is all going too far. Maybe I should sue Peter Jackson for making Lord of the Rings. That seemed violent, and racist against Orcs. ...?

jak23
jak23

well if a drive-by occurs in some big city. would video games be involved?I think not. or if some one was raped and they blamed gta for it would they get a light sentence of 1year in jail or prison? possibly!

Sidrat2004
Sidrat2004

Not that I agree with the lawsuit, after all the families should be suing the man convicted of the crime. I think Jacks main point is that the film, book and music industry isn't an interactive (yet) medium, whereas games are. I wonder when we'll see the day when a rookie baseballer makes it to the Majors by playing the Wii Nintendo baseball game?

Homermon
Homermon

You know, like O'l jack is really annoying. Video games are getting a bad rep beacause they arent accepted into todays "media". If you want to ban violent videogames you might as well ban movies, books, music, and the news. Every one of those things talk or shows violence. VIdeo games are no different. You you mix up life with a game, you shouldnt be playing games.

Mam00th
Mam00th

Any publicity is good publicity

akchase47
akchase47

i thinks its stupid just because he happened to play a game, makes it the games fault that he shot a cop, we dont see people blaming video games for making people think they can roll over everything to make large balls of miscelanous items, or people thinking that they are a medival warrior because they play alot of middle ages games, blaming anything on video games is ridiculous, people will do what people want to do, reguardless of what games they have played. Even people who say video games affected them are BS!!! If video games affected the way people acted we would be seeing alot crazier things then just people shooting other people.

gkiller
gkiller

Jesus christ, that Jack T. is sure one hell of a moron. I wonder why they should "destroy" rockstar, they sell their games to millions of people, yet there are probably less than 20 people that killed "because they played GTA". Bullsh*t emperor yea, burn in hell dumbtard.

Zorak000
Zorak000

That dude that tried to shoot Regan was inspired by a movie where a guy tries to assassinate the Pres. to impress a girl. Why did the movie industry not have to deal with that?...

KrimsonTwilight
KrimsonTwilight

Jack Thompson needs a life. OK some freakshow cites a popular game and does something horrendous. What would happen if Hannibal Lecter ate the countryside after drinking a cup of coffee from Starbucks, would they get sued?

Pharoah6
Pharoah6

America is sick. No one wants to take responsibility for their actions and low lifes like jack tompson just want to have their names next to a fallen economic and cultural power. I don't know about anyone else but video games are the way that I find enjoyment and relaxation at the end of a mundane day at work. I don't need some self righteous politician like hilary or soulless lawyer like tompson deciding what I should have on my hard drive. Gamers need to band together in the face of this threat, we can try to write these people off as lunatics if we want to but when we're playing a censored and sanitized version of American Idol home edition we may just realize that these lunatics had a throng of supporters who never play games but want something to hang on to that makes them feel morally superior to everyone else.

thejumpinChevy
thejumpinChevy

You go Oman8! I totally agree with you there...................................

atwyatt
atwyatt

If they're going to try to hold Rockstar Games as responsible for Devin Moore's actions, then they'd better be ready to also include all makers of any movies or TV shows that ever showed a police officer getting shot, or any book that ever mentioned it happening (or news articles for that matter.) To single out one video game company when there are HUNDREDS of movies out there that depict much worse is hypocritical and clearly set about by ulterior motives.

christopherneal
christopherneal

I'll keep this brief. Jack Thompson? Idiot. I'm very sorry for the slayings of the Police Officers. However they are more responsible for their own deaths than Rockstar. The suspect got hold of the officer's weapon. Huge mistake! That only happens from the combination of not securing the suspect in cuffs and NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS. The text in CAPS should be done by all whether you've seved as a Police Officer or not. ;) Yes, I'm a former cop. My parting shot is for all that read this? Take responsibility for your own actions and don't be a wanker of a coward (my wife is British) and blame someone or something else. Out.

3xperienced
3xperienced

He said he will "destroy rockstar and change the entertainment system" - err.. no he won't. RockStar are too big to just drop, and no kids going to be interested in some coppers who died because of Vice City. If anything, it'll make them want to play it even more. RockStar won't go down - and neither will violent video games.

anubis8515
anubis8515

i guess that means we can sue beer companies.... when some gets hurt while driveing drunk... by there logic it is the same thing.....and why can't we just sue the gun companies for makeing guns.....and the army for teaching people how to use guns.....thats how stupid this case sounds to me

MadonnaProject
MadonnaProject

Good, i have actually seen 14 year old kids talking about gta and claiming "man only if real life could be like that, we could steal anyones car, get any chick, it would be awesome".... ....i think its a sad thing most people have the desire to not believe media inspires thought. And thought induces vision and vision gives way to inclination and resolve. I watched thundercats, tansformers, and ninja turtles growing up, and i still sometimes act upon ideals of nobility and honour and bravery or whatsoever in those cartoons. I know it sounds silly, but all these reviewers and game sites putting down this guy are real scumbags. Theyre only worried about their games, not what they might do t someone.... Now i am with everyone when it comes to ADMITTING that a cartoon show or a videogame doesnt make someone kill another person, but what it does is expose the said person to the idea, whichever the theme of the show maybe. Because of which i would like rockstar to be obliterated off of the face of the earth.

MadonnaProject
MadonnaProject

Good, i have actually seen 14 year old kids talking about gta and claiming "man only if real life could be like that, we could steal anyones car, get any chick, it would be awesome".... ....i think its a sad thing most people have the desire to not believe media inspires thought. And thought induces vision and vision gives way to inclination and resolve. I watched thundercats, tansformers, and ninja turtles growing up, and i still sometimes act upon ideals of nobility and honour and bravery or whatsoever in those cartoons. I know it sounds silly, but all these reviewers and game sites putting down this guy are real scumbags. Theyre only worried about their games, not what they might do t someone.... Now i am with everyone when it comes to ADMITTING that a cartoon show or a videogame doesnt make someone kill another person, but what it does is expose the said person to the idea, whichever the theme of the show maybe. Because of which i would like rockstar to be obliterated off of the face of the earth.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

the man is insane... he was removed from court, no one is taking these claims seriously

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

"I have to say, as a Canadian I find it disturbing that the US has a legal system that actually promotes the thought that people are not accountable for their actions. Blaming a video game for a couple of murders is just ludicrous?!?!?!?! I can't believe that this is actually happening." I'm right there with you. Many countries with little or no government imposed censorship have far lower crime rates. I think it was best stated in Star Wars when Leah said "The more you tighten your grip the more systems will slip through your fingers." It's pretty true. But I'm also reminded of political satire Naked Gun 2 where the protagonist was approached by the city Mayer who complained that the city is "overrun with baboons." Of course she was being literal, there was a zooo escape that Drebban had caused. But his response was "Isn't that the voter's fault?" Also true words. RIght now our government is overrun by totalitarians. Each with thier own agenda. It's our fault for not doing something about it when we had the chance. For the vide game industry our biggest enemies have been Clinton and Liberman, and yet they have managed to be re-elected tima and time again. If I lived in the applicable states I would be voting against these baboons. Every gamer who wants his right to play unrestructed has the moral obligation to take this concern to the polls and vote these tyrants out. Those who are not of voting age need to gather the educational materials they can and start working on everyone they know who is of voting age to get them to vote Clinton and Liberman out. If we do not at least do our part, then we do not have the right to complain. Hillary's defeat in the seanet would also prevent her from becomming president and threatening our Civil Liberties further. (We also need to get rid of the Busies but that is another matter.) At any rate the American gamer needs to get out there and vote, and if they aren't willing to do that then they should be prepared to sleep in the bed they made themselves. Remember: Those who refuse to participate in politics are doomed to be ruled by thier inferiors.

TMGiovanella
TMGiovanella

Rockstar should be destroyed. GTA games are just clones of all of the others with a slightly different story and new look. Simple and plain. On top of that, they are bringing the name of video games down. As for those who say, its not R*'s fault. Well your wrong because even tho they denied it, they in fact did put the Hot Coffee mod in the game at launch. This is what started this mess and brought it to the attention of most ppl.

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

And Jack Thompson is also in legaue with the Illuminatti... beware...

hooliganyouth
hooliganyouth

I'm going to sue Squeenix for making unattractive women think that they can cosplay as Lulu or Rikku.

ShadowGryphon
ShadowGryphon

"Toadonpa I'm sick and tired of these frivolous lawsuits." Sorry...... in this case the suit is NOT frivilous. 3 Officers DIED, WERE MURDERED, because a kid let himself be influenced by a game that should never have seen the light of day to begin with. I am a gamer, have been for a very long time, and even I was offended by the G.T.A. series. The very idea of this game was ill concieved and idiotic. But what you all are forgetting is the fact that this boy ADMITTED that GTA was what influenced him to commit these murders and the preceding criminal acts. I don't agree with Ol' Jack "off" Thompson, but I do feel that there needs to be some restraint shown by game devs when they create a game...... not everything is a good idea for a game, nor should everything be ok for inclusion. And distributors should completely review a game before they ship it to market, if that had been done, I guarantee GTA would never have hit shelves with anything less than an AO rating and the whole "Hot coffee" debacle would never have become an incident.

sonic5678
sonic5678

the whole point of games is not to do it in real life. all i can say is double-you-tee-eff.

coolcat888
coolcat888

Ah, great to be Canadian. You Americans can say Canadians are dumb, but then look at your government. There are enough problems in the world, but no, we have to take ONE video game off the shelves. I can sleep tonight knowing that our government cares about more important things than a violent video game. Hey, Jack Thomson, you're an idiot you know that? You won't "DESTROY" R*, HAHA, have fun.

cadburysgalaxy
cadburysgalaxy

Riiiiiiiight..... so to follow Thompson's logic here... Rockstar are to be blamed for killing people, right? Yeah that makes sense.... I'm sure that was their intention all along.... just one thing though son, who will be left to buy their games when all their customers are dead then, eh?!?! Yeah, it makes perfect business sense to kill your customers......... same logic as blaming Marilyn Manson/Judas Priest/etc/etc for suicides/murders/anything bad whatsoever/etc... not much left to do or money to be made once you've killed your audience off, eh? I don't really think that Thompson is an idiot though. Rather, I think that he's a greedy slimy horrid money grabbing attention-seeking media-hogging sleazeball lawyer jerk preying on the Christian Bible-Belt US public... you know... the sort of people who actually believe evangelists... the sort of people who allegedly voted for and are pro BUSH... so he's onto a no-brainer of a moneyspinner down there getting people to actually believe in his rubbish... enough said?! You can read the Wikipedia article on this evil slimeball here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson_(attorney) His picture still makes me laugh though.... looks like he's wearing a wig :-D PS: uh oh wait... was this an April Fools fake news story?! Very well done! :-D

cadburysgalaxy
cadburysgalaxy

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

cadburysgalaxy
cadburysgalaxy

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kaziechameleon
kaziechameleon

i watched scarface and went and killed some people i guess it is that directors fault, i can't possibly be responsible for my actions. god nothing makes me madder than watching people blame games like GTA but leave films like the godfather, and scarface alone, it is blatant profiling, or something. tompson really wants to be in the spot light, and i personally think he should thank take two and rockstar for all the air time they've given him. without a controversial game like gta he would barely have any ammo. i personally think it is just some angry people who want more people to blame for what happened to them. i understand they are distressed and that they are betweena rock and a hard place. but abusing the legal system like this to pursue more money and further closure is plane madness, and part of why i truely dislike our legal system, when someone sues mcdonalds for selling to hot of coffee, that is when you know that we are becoming a truely F'd up nation.

elemonkey
elemonkey

I believe that if a video game publisher is going to be sued and held responsible for the actions of others, then the manufacturer of the guns and weapons themselves should be held responsible as well. It was their product that ULTIMATELY killed the officers anyways, not the video game. So if Rockstar is going to be sued for the deaths (which are NOT their fault) then the maker of the gun that shot them should be sued too. It's only fair in my opinion.

chris_rollerz
chris_rollerz

Its just desperate people trying to get a bit of quick cash. And even if they get their cash, what difference is it going to make? Nada. There are already millions of copies out there. And while these people try to kill off GTA, shall we inform them that GTA isn't the only violent game around, and what about TV, are they gonna start on violent TV shows once they've rinced the video game companies?

smurfa1
smurfa1

Thompson is the dumbest person ever walking in a pair of shoes.

twstd666
twstd666

I hope Cheyney and Thomson go hunting together

alpha_company
alpha_company

600 million?? Wow, any company would close down with that amount of money to pay....

vamroc
vamroc

Yeah man Son of Sam played GTA that 's what caused him to kill all those people.waiit he's never played GTA. Oh Jack the Ripper he must have played Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater. Whats that TV wasn't invented yet well I guess that would make playing a VIDEO GAME impossible. What about Ted Bundy mabye someone beat his high score in Pac-Man and just lost it no wait just a mass murderiing F**ktard. Dohmer and Gasey one was put to death before Rockstar was formed and the other was in prison when GTA 3 hit the streets. Surely Micheal J... you know what that's to easy.

achillesword
achillesword

hey I know a guy that played too much Mario Bros. now he keeps trying to jump up and hit things with his head. Games are evil, man