This Sunday, March 6, the battle between the families of slain Alabama police officers and the makers and sellers of the Grand Theft Auto franchise will go prime time. The CBS news program 60 Minutes will include a segment focusing on the lawsuit sparked by the deaths of three Fayette County, Alabama, officers who were killed by a teen who said he was inspired by the gangland-style game series.
In the segment, 60 Minutes anchor Ed Bradley traveled to Fayette County, interviewing Police Chief Euel Hall and others about the June 2003 events that led to the arrest of 18-year-old Devin Moore. He was charged in the shooting of three local policemen after he was arrested for stealing a car. When caught, Moore allegedly said, "Life's like a video game. You've got to die sometime."
The lawsuit was filed by Jack Thompson on behalf of relatives of two of the victims. Thompson is a lawyer and politician who has helped lead a veritable crusade to protect society from what he says are the ills of violent games. Defendants in the case include Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games, fingered for their part in publishing the Grand Theft Auto series; Sony Corp., Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., and Sony Computer Entertainment America, for producing the PlayStation 2 Devin Moore played on; and Wal-Mart and GameStop, for selling the hardware and software.
Whether the 60 Minutes report will come out on one side or the other of the violent-games debate remains to be seen. Hall told the Alabama-based Tuscaloosa News that he hopes the publicity will help reform the game industry. Bradley also interviewed Thompson, who told the Tuscaloosa news outlet, "He's a neat guy, and he seems to be in our corner on this issue."
When asked to comment on the upcoming segment, Take-Two reps declined.