In the wake of a recent deadly Tennessee shooting in which two teens shot and killed a man, the family of the deceased has filed a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive, publisher of Grand Theft Auto, according to ABC News. Both teens have plead guilty to reckless homicide, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment.
The game was implicated as an inspiration for the teens, ages 14 and 16. According to the news dispatch, the plaintiff's attorney, Jack Thompson, stated, "The industry needs to cough up money so victims and their families can be compensated for their pain... 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."
The Entertainment Software Association reportedly responded in a statement that said, "Parents are present at--and involved in--the purchase or rental of games 83 percent of the time, according to a September 2000 Federal Trade Commission report." The statement did not mention that Grand Theft Auto games are rated "M" for Mature and are intended only for audiences aged 17 and older.
In an unrelated lawsuit, graffiti artist Christopher Ellis alleges that Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive used his graffiti artwork, titled "Daze," without permission in Grand Theft Auto III.