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Gaming Companies Being Sued Over Columbine

michael posted about 13 years ago | from the "it's-not-the-money" dept.

Games 800

Rajeev Raghavan writes: "According to this article at the Denver Post. One of the families of the slain teachers at Columbine is suing 25 game companies for $5 billion in damages plus damages of $5000 to $10 million for individual parties in the class action law suit. Great, lets blame more people for our problems, shall we."

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800 comments

Re:I know it's not fashionable (2)

Erich (151) | about 13 years ago | (#272214)

I'd start by restricting guns, which do far more damage

Don't you understand? Saying that guns do damage is even more stupid than saying that violent video games do damage. Guns are merely a tool; the problem is that there are some people out there that think that they should kill other people for no good reason. Violence in the culture may foster this belief, though personally I think that's a load of crap. Certainly, however, it is not the fault of the guns.

Besides, guns are probably less deadly than bombs... I personally think that if we can keep the crazy students trying to kill everyone with a couple of guns we'll be a lot better than if they figure out that a few bombs can do much more damage.

Castle Wolfenstein (1)

bjb (3050) | about 13 years ago | (#272225)

Hmm.. I always thought it would be a spiffy idea to sue Muse Software for releasing Castle Wolfenstein.. always made me want to run around a German castle shooting Nazi's with a stolen luger and wearing their clothes.. hmmm...

Will take 80 seconds to open....

Schnapps! (Press U to use)

>hic!<

--

Re:I know it's not fashionable (2)

MouseR (3264) | about 13 years ago | (#272226)

>If you consistently expose people to sex and violence they grow to accept it.

Violence is bad. Please, can you explain to me how sex is bad?


He was referring to "porn", not sex. Which is different.

Arguably, not all porn is bad. But, a quick look at some newsgroups is enough to see that the over abundance of porn, most particularly the abusive and degrading one, can (and is) a factor in many sexual assaults.

It's as possible to be addicted to violence as it is to be addicted to sex as it is to be addicted to drugs (ranging from Flintstone vitamins to gasoline vapors).

Karma karma karma karma karmeleon: it comes and goes, it comes and goes.

Re:I know it's not fashionable (1)

kevin lyda (4803) | about 13 years ago | (#272234)

so i can sue conservatives if i'm the victim of a crime committed by a person in an impoverished and crime ridden area? excellent!

SO SICK OF THIS! (1)

INANE (7996) | about 13 years ago | (#272258)

I love how parents can never take responsability for anything these says, and worse of all the pointing of fingers is really getting tired.

Would be nice if parents would be PARENTS, I don' have a problem with making the purchase of games limited by age groups, as parents need at least a little help in that respect, but if this continues to the point where games are outlawed, etc, well that would be the end of what makes this country great! (see 1st Amendment)

Re:I know it's not fashionable (2)

Goonie (8651) | about 13 years ago | (#272262)

Not to mention the routine practice in *some* Muslim countries of mutilating women's genitals in such a way as to make it impossible to obtain any physical pleasure from sex. Or the practice of marrying girls off at ridiculously young ages.

Go you big red fire engine!

Alright! (1)

RasputinAXP (12807) | about 13 years ago | (#272270)

Let's put the responsibility of raising our children in the hands of the video-game marketroids! Parents! Throw down your Dr. Spock books and let Doom and Quake help your child to grow! Ignore your child and don't get involved! That's not what they want you to do! They want to be left alone!!

Where did parental responsibility go in the last decade? This is no different from "little Johnnie blew his head off because Metallica told him to do it." It's just updated for the information age.
--

Re:While we're at it ... (3)

Tim C (15259) | about 13 years ago | (#272282)

...and the shops for making them so easily available and selling the games, too!

Sue the tech support people who put the PCs together, and fix them when they break!

Hell, sue MS - it's their OS that the games run under!

What's next - suing people for not preventing people from doing things? Oh wait, that's already happened [bbc.co.uk] ...

Cheers,

Tim

mmhmm (1)

seizer (16950) | about 13 years ago | (#272285)

And perhaps they should sue all major publishing houses for allowing books describing graphic violence to fall into the hands of children.

Oh no - wait - that's called education, right?

Re:Blame? (4)

seizer (16950) | about 13 years ago | (#272286)

In this case, I imagine the lawyer is doing it pro bono (for free). It is typical in American pro bono cases, for the lawyer's percentage to be as high as 40%. Thus. 40% of 5 billion dollars - a hefty 2 billion. That should cover his costs rather nicely, with a few pennies left over.

Plus, the publicity generated ensures him cases into eternity, even if he does lose.

He knows what he's doing.

Re:I know it's not fashionable (2)

rde (17364) | about 13 years ago | (#272292)

That's how conditioning works, and that's what's happened here. There is no way that violence has no effect.
I'll - sort of - concede your point; one can become inured to violence. But I've spent years playing Manic Miner on my spectrum (and speccy emulator); so for it hasn't made me any more likely to jump over toilets. Equally, many nerd-hours spent on quake hasn't inculcated in me a desire to buy a shotgun (though I wouldn't mind a BFG).
My point: computer games aren't violent. Hands up everyone out there who's ever been hurt playing quake (RSI doesn't count)? Who, upon joining the army, was fasttracked into the special forces because they can kill the end-of-game monsters on Doom without dying once?
I like quake, for the same reason that I like Tapper. Both test my reflexes, and are fun to play. No-one dies when I play Quake, and no-one's teeth fall out after drinking soda when I play Tapper.

I'm not saying that people can't be adversely affected. But I am saying that those people were pretty close to the edge anyway, and that they could be tipped over by something as innocuous as a computer game, or as sinister as a game show. There's usually no way of knowing what the exact stimulus was, and there's never any point in blaming that stimulus.

Let's See Who Else We Can Blame (2)

Badgerman (19207) | about 13 years ago | (#272299)

See, these people are limiting their scope. Suing video game companies is easy, since, though millions of people play them, it's Politically Incorrect to admit you enjoy them. It's kind of like pornography - no one will admit to liking naked people, but the porn industry is trundling right along.

So, let's ask what other targets they can take on.
  1. Hollywood. That's pretty easy to do as well. If you work at it you can point to the American movie Street Fighter, which not only combine violent media with violent videogames, but killed Raul Julia. Great evidence there.
  2. Cable Companies. They dare broadcast a variety of media, so they're encouraging things. You can paint them as an insidious octopus-like menace whose cables are infintrating our lives.
  3. Anyone remotely connected with the internet - after all it's the source of all corruption. There's all sorts of public figures who were involved in the internet - what great targets they make! And best of all, some of the net technology is a group effort, so there are TONS of people to sue! Suing everyone involved in Perl (which is used in CGI and thus is a major tool for abbeting use of the internet) could be a huge windfall!
  4. Anyone with a religion different from you. After all, we know that they're responsible for a lot of problems since people of your religion are obviously perfect, just occasionally going on killing sprees. Since religion is a choice, people making the wrong choice are thus responsible for their actions. With a bit of work you can sue entire countries with a dominant religion.


Or, of course, the people could take some responsibility for their lives and deal with that time-tested statement "Shit Happens."

With my sarcasm spent, let me note how lawsuits like these combine two of the worst parts of our society - a tendancy to blame others and a lawsuit-happy attitude. These people are blaming others for their problems, so they're going to take them down without caring about the repercussions or the ethics.

Some moral stance they're making.

And let's start . . . (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 13 years ago | (#272303)

. . . with a book that features descriptions of masturbation, requirements for human sacrifice, carnage, even symbolic cannibalism, yet is widely distributed . . . .

This sort of "trash" shouldn't be allowed in any child's hands, can't you hear the cries rise from America ???

. . .until, of course, they realize that I'm talking about the Bible. [evil grin]

Let's see now. . . (5)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 13 years ago | (#272304)

  1. Parents were distant and disinterested, gave child whatever they wanted without question.
  2. Kid buys guns, ammo, nasty rock albums, violent games. And enough explosive material, albeit badly, and luckily, incompetently set up, to kill hundreds
  3. Parents never question, nor even apparentely LOOK in kid's bedroom, where reportedly massive evidence was lying in plain sight
  4. Kid goes totally postal.

Yep. Sounds like those darned video games are to blame to me. . .

Re:I say... (1)

alkali (28338) | about 13 years ago | (#272322)

I believe the parents were sued, and there was a substantial cash settlement, paid off by the parents' homeowners' policies. (Frankly, this doesn't make a great deal of sense to me either -- the shooters' parents may not have been perfect, but there's nothing that suggests they "should have known" Columbine would happen.)

I don't understand (1)

chaztobaz (29264) | about 13 years ago | (#272326)

I am in highschool and after all of these things have happened our school has become extreamly precarious about any sort of voilence. They get very upset over us having Q3 on the PC's in the labs around the school. I don't understand how adults attribute student's actions to violence in the media. For a junior it is very easy for me to see how and why things like Columbine happen. At my highschool of 1200 students I can easily see those students that have been marginalized by the system. The ones that have always had a tough time, and these tough times have been compounded by a community that only further suppresses them. The sad thing is that this community is not just the students, it is the adults in the school too. Adults are human and they show, if not as openly as students, their dislike for certain students. Imagine four years of highschool in an envirnment like that. So anyway, to blame all things like that on the gaming industry is foolish at best.

Is it just me... (1)

ArchMagus (32772) | about 13 years ago | (#272334)

Or should the US legal system be overhauled to not let the stupid sue at the drop of a hat. The US needs a loser pays clause for civil suits...that would stop the morons from blaming their moronicism on anyone with money to pay.

The search for money (2)

Rocketboy (32971) | about 13 years ago | (#272335)

Its hard to believe that they aren't including the movie and TV industry in this suit. Maybe that'll happen after the made-for-tv-movie comes out and the checks clear.

Re:point the finger (1)

lgraba (34653) | about 13 years ago | (#272338)

Excuse me, but this isn't the parents of the shooters that are suing, it is family members of one of the victims.

Re:I know it's not fashionable (3)

Zulfiya (44302) | about 13 years ago | (#272351)

For instance, in Muslim countries women aren't leered at and treated as sex objects, because society conditions them not to.

Err... yes, but in Muslim countries, women are also stoned to death for being the victims of sexual assault. Not your best example.

Re:SO SICK OF THIS! (2)

QuantumG (50515) | about 13 years ago | (#272364)

oh fucking yawn. Do the world a favour, ban everything for people under the age of 18. Lock them in their homes and dont let them out lest they learn something about how cruel and unkind the world is.

Re:I know it's not fashionable (3)

MartinG (52587) | about 13 years ago | (#272366)

You seem to be confusing games with reality.

The examples you gave are the conditioning of an individual to behave in a certain way because they see others behaving the same way.
Using your examples of muslim women and swearing etc, people behave that way because people around them behave that way.

Quite how you link playing a game with violence in it to actual violence is unclear. Muslims don't respect women more because they played a game about respecting women. Kids dont kill people because they played a game about it either.

If however, kids say others killing people in real life that would of course make them more likely to copy that behaviour.

Here's another example:

If the people a kid spends most of their time with (ie, parents) clearly demonstrate that they don't give a fuck about the kid then that conditioning will teach the child to behave in the same way to others. In extreme cases this can easliy end up with somebody getting shot. I expect when that heppend the parents would know deep down that it was their fault, but probably live in denial and try to blame others and convince the world it wasn't them via the publicity of a lawsuit against games companies.

Look at the Lawyer (5)

mwdib (56263) | about 13 years ago | (#272375)

As a Nebraskan, I wasn't terribly surprised to see the lawyer for this suit was named as "John DeCamp." Those of us in Nebraska have long experience with this man's erratic behavior, wild charges, publicity seeking and general fuzzy-headedness (just my opinion, of course). For example, do a Google search on "John DeCamp Nebraska." You'll get to read about a long series of unsubstantiated litigation claiming DeCamps' clients as victims of cultism and satanic abuse . . . and that's just for starters. Sigh.

Re:I know it's not fashionable (1)

JFMulder (59706) | about 13 years ago | (#272378)

Well, I think that people sure are more "open" (pardon me the bad choice of words) to violence, since we see so much of it in movies and hear about it in music, BUT I bet that each time each and one of you see someone who got killed on TV you tell yourself "What has our society come to?" or "What a hideous thing to do." Sure we may be less frightened to see someone be killed, but we never dissociate the fact that it's bad, except if we already had some problems in the head.

"The answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is... 42"

Sue the goverment! (2)

javatips (66293) | about 13 years ago | (#272391)

Instead of suing over violent games (which in fact enable the kids to express theire violence - which is build-in the human genes - without arming anybody) they should sue the goverment that allows these kids to have access to guns!

When I looked south of border and see the americans wanting to ban sex and violence in the media and in the other hand is letting people get almost any guns they want, I'm not sure if I must laugh or cry!

It seems that the americans prefers to loose free speech as long as they keep the ability to kill the neighboors.

Kids must have killed the wrong people (1)

selectspec (74651) | about 13 years ago | (#272412)

I wish those "trenchcoat maffia" had broken into the lawfirm that is currently putting this class action suit forward and shot everyone there. This is the REAL problem with our society. Why aren't their less shootings in schools and more shootings in law firms.

crap, total crap (1)

JEDi_ERiAN (79402) | about 13 years ago | (#272418)

this is such a joke, parents should started taking some responsibility and stop blaming games for their children's behaviour. it makes me sick to see how quickly some parents would rather point their fingers at "violent games" instead of owning up to the fact that maybe the reason their kids are the way they are is because of bad parenting.

just my $.02

E.

-

Game Ratings (2)

mattmcp (81328) | about 13 years ago | (#272425)

Now, I haven't bought a game in ages, but don't most games these days have a rating on them? Or at least it says on the box "extreme violence"? Maybe that's just in Canada, or just in BC, I don't know.

In any case, if a kid is playing Quake for hours a day and parents don't know, then it's probably their fault. All they need to do is knock on the kid's bedroom door and see what's up.

Re:Let's band together (3)

mastersage (83040) | about 13 years ago | (#272427)

Ok, I don't post often, but this is too much for me.

First, there are no computer game companies responsible for the actions of anyone. If I tell you jump off a bridge and you do it, and I responsible? No! Next thing we see are going to be parents of teenagers who end up with children suing porn companies and book publishers because they publish sexual content. Monkey see, Monkey do. Monkey needs to get some common sense.

If these people win, I'm done with America. I'm moving to Canada. The legal system here is beyond control when I can sue because I'm an idiot. Don't get me completely wrong though, there are still some good law suits out there the help protect the American people, but when you are suing because you spilled coffee on yourself, or because you're reading a superman comic and you try to fly like superman. That's just too much. And people win these cases. How I ask you?

When this is over, can I sue my parents for getting a divorce when I was a young kid. Or sue my father for making me move around the country every two years? "It disrupted my life and I could have turned out better." I can just see the headlines now "Son suing father over incident that happened 20 years ago."

I think it's time for me to write a script to send the DOJ about six million emails telling them they need to work on this system a little. I don't think that what happened should have happened, but that doesn't mean this is how you deal with it.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility? (5)

drin (83479) | about 13 years ago | (#272428)

I don't by any means want to diminish the horrific nature of the acts at Columbine and other such places, but where has personal responsibility gone? It strikes me as amazing that the first thing people want to do is externalize the causes of these tragedies, to find scapegoats to blame for the actions of a misguided (and in some cases, truly ill IMHO) few.

On second thought, I guess it's not that amazing. It's just far simpler to point the finger of blame at others, rather than acknowledge that part of the problem might have been in the homes and family lives of the shooters.

(Preamble for below: I'm Canadian, and I live in the U.S. - have for some years now).

The American (it's primarily in the U.S. AFAIK and yes, I've travelled extensively off the north american continent) culture of victimization is an astounding thing. Personal responsibility takes a back seat to finger pointing and blame mongering. It's sad to see reasonable, mature adults, no matter how distraught they are, abdicating their responsibility as parents in order to blame others for the sad events that resulted largely from their home situations.

In the U.S. the media has helped entrench this culture, making it all right to blame external forces and people for everything from bad breath to ... well, to EVERYTHING. It's really a shame.

-drin

and then... (1)

dave-fu (86011) | about 13 years ago | (#272430)

let's sue the schools for ignoring the bullying within 'em.
Not to jump on a soapbox or anything, but there's not really any single culpable party here. The administration shouldn't ignore bullying (teen suicides still outpace school shootings by a 100-ish:1 ratio, give or take).
Parents should obviously pay attention to their kids rather than depend on laws and schools to raise their children for them, but who are we to say that the parents didn't do everything in their power to help their kids? Is it _maybe_ possible that their kids were bullied and just plain refused to reach out to anyone for help and instead snapped?
Let's just sue ourselves and get it over with.

Altogether now, children, repeat after me: (1)

Observer (91365) | about 13 years ago | (#272440)

<Sarcasm>

Guns don't kill people.
Computer Games kill people.

</Sarcasm>

Re:I know it's not fashionable (2)

jmv (93421) | about 13 years ago | (#272450)

If you consistently expose people to sex and violence they grow to accept it.

Violence is bad. Please, can you explain to me how sex is bad?

(BTW, I do agree that there's too much "useless" violence on TV, but before restricting that, I'd start by restricting guns, which do far more damage)

The Twinkies Made Me Do It... (1)

bill.sheehan (93856) | about 13 years ago | (#272453)

Clearly, it is compulsory education and government literacy programs which are at fault here. Books are well known for putting dangerous ideas into the heads of impressionable children. Bringing these pliable young minds together in the forced confinement of a school is just asking for trouble.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves...

When do they start sueing the bullies? (1)

cybrpnk (94636) | about 13 years ago | (#272455)

The emphasis on guns and violent media detracts from the root cause behind most of these incidents: bullying. I want to see a day where CNN stats shoving mikes in the faces of jocks etc and starts asking "what did YOU say to to the shooter and WHEN did you say it". It would be great television and give the victims a new lawsuit target. Most jocks are specifically trained in their aggressive and violent behavior by the school sports department, which usually has the deepest pockets in the school organization anyway. Don't forget to sue the coaches.

Re:I know it's not fashionable (2)

bero-rh (98815) | about 13 years ago | (#272468)

They do have a responsibility, and their parents are to blame partially.

However, it's not all - like it or not, this type of conditioning is part of it.

I think games like Doom, Quake and all are harmless if they're played by the right people, but they definitely can get people on the wrong track. If you grow up thinking that shooting people is fun, you're much more likely to try it in the real world.

Are the makers of those games directly responsible? I think no. But those who market them to kids share the guilt.

Parents (1)

Ogun (101578) | about 13 years ago | (#272472)

Oh for fsck's sake. This is not a problem for the industry. The base problem here is parents. If parents would engage a bit more into their childrens lives, things like this would not happen.

What I am saying is that if parents exercised some more control, and perhaps encouraged their kids to do more sporting and less TV watching, I think the likelyhood of these things would go down. But this is just an utopia, since the western civilization per se is lazy. It just a lot easier to put your kids in front of the TV than to actually engage them with something and play part of what they are doing, is it not?

And of course the always present issue of guncontrol. In sweden where I live guns are heavily controlled. You would not find a gun in the average household, and if you do it would to 98% be a huntingrifle that has to be locked in according to law.

Alsom, movies and TV is also more dangerous than videogames IMHO. It is not like DOOM has very lifelike qualities now, does it? This is ofcourse changing and I would not put my son in front of soldier of fortune exactly.

Just my SEK 0.02

I say... (2)

jyak (112533) | about 13 years ago | (#272500)

Lets sue the parents for not doing their job and letting it happen. Hell, what about the emotion stress that was caused to us for seeing it and the scare that something could happen to our children in schools.

What has money to do with this? (1)

Leto2 (113578) | about 13 years ago | (#272507)

The one thing I never understand about lawsuits is why people always have to ask for money after they've lost someone close.

Will money give them comfort? Will 5 BILLION DOLLARS allow them to get over the pain of losing a son or daughter?

To see the victims convicted and locked away, that's what I'd like to see in order to deal with the loss, but I fail to see how lots of dollars will do any good.

Not that I endorse this lawsuit, but if I was suing anyway, I'd request the close down of those game companies.

DFL0.02.

"Efficient killers" (1)

ThatWeasel (113982) | about 13 years ago | (#272508)

Enough is enough. Just sue everyone. Obviously these parents have no clue what they are talking about. "two other families sent strong messages to the violence-filled media that they say made Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold more willing and efficient killers."

(sarcasm alert)
If these two were really any good at Doom and first person shooters, they would have been able to gun down a lot more students. They would have spawn camped and type killed which they obviously didn't do since they only fragged a couple dozen of their peers.

Any good "Last Man Standing" player could have easily instagibbed close to fifty kids. Sheesh.
(/sarcasm)

Re:I know it's not fashionable (2)

andy@petdance.com (114827) | about 13 years ago | (#272510)

Right. The shooters at columbine have no responsibility for their actions, they were conditioned to shoot all their classmates and then commit suicide. Their parents are not to blame either, because no amount of "parenting" could prevent the automatic brainwashing that happens when you play Doom.

Hey, if the families wanna pin the actions of Klebold & Harris on the game companies, then it only makes sense that the people in the game companies can pin their actions on someone else, too.

Eventually, we'll all be liable to someone else for something.
--

Re:I know it's not fashionable (5)

nehril (115874) | about 13 years ago | (#272515)

Right. The shooters at columbine have no responsibility for their actions, they were conditioned to shoot all their classmates and then commit suicide. Their parents are not to blame either, because no amount of "parenting" could prevent the automatic brainwashing that happens when you play Doom.

As a matter of fact, since millions of kids play these overly violent games everyday, we can now understand why millions of kids take guns to school and shoot millions of other, non-videogame-playing children and then kill themselves every day.

These people bringing the lawsuit are on the right track, they mailed John Carmack personally to demand that he personally prohibit any person under 17 from playing his game. He is a genius coder, he must be able to figure out a way to do it. Senseless auto-killing brainwashing ought only be reserved for those over 18.

Wife of the Teacher sues, but was Teachers failure (1)

spiro_killglance (121572) | about 13 years ago | (#272532)

Look, it's was the Teachers duty (as much as the parents) to take care of the kids and see that they weren't fucked up in the head.

All the Teachers is that school had the responbility over the kids. For them to fail in that duty, and one of the get killed in the process is there fault.

For them to then come out and blame the usual suspects of Games and Movies, is the height of the "not my fault" american culture.

Re:Perhaps I should stop... (1)

spiro_killglance (121572) | about 13 years ago | (#272534)

Seriously someone please build one of these. The media reaction would be a joy to beyond. I bet millions will curse its sickness, and another million will download it, because, you know what people are hypocrites.

Blame? (1)

Yaruar (125933) | about 13 years ago | (#272542)

Well, they will find out just how much money it costs to bring a case and they will lose the lot. Precident shows non culpability of the media. Maybe they should look closer to home and try suing the families of the people who bullied the boys... Or the school for not dealing with the buildup to the whole situation...

Re:I know it's not fashionable (1)

tphockenberry (126512) | about 13 years ago | (#272543)

I respectfully disagree. "Conditioning" is too often used as a cop-out for personal irrresponsibility. There are lots of kids and adults out there playing violent games and watching violent TV and are NOT itching to take an AK-47 to their school or work. Of course, I'm probably just one of those mad, sex and violence additcs you are describing. Funny, I feel perfectly rational today.

Re:I know it's not fashionable (1)

e-Motion (126926) | about 13 years ago | (#272546)

While it may be true that exposure changes behavior, I think the most important point here is that parents need to assume responsibility for their children. If you don't agree with violent games, fine, then keep your kids from playing them. If you don't think your kids should watch R-rated flicks, then fine, don't take them to see them. But, for God's sake, don't sue the people who produuce them.

Check out this quote from one of the lawyers (4)

JiveDonut (135491) | about 13 years ago | (#272569)

"Generally, I'm 100 percent on the side of the First Amendment"

Except for when he's not.

Is my %date wrong? (1)

ekrout (139379) | about 13 years ago | (#272574)

Eric Krout @ alphard{42}% date Mon Apr 23 09:10:49 EDT 2001

Unless my date's wrong, it's not April 1st. So why is there an April Fool's joke?

Re:I know it's not fashionable (1)

Shocker69 (141391) | about 13 years ago | (#272577)

Sure it has an effect. It's part of life. It has been since the beginning of time. It will never change. No stupid lawsuit is just going to stop it all. Parents need to spend more time discussing the material, hell, maybe even play a game of doom or watch a horror movie together. That way the parent can have the discussions that need to happen to raise an "adjusted" child. I would have to say that anyone who reaches the age of 18, without having seen any type of sex and/or violence is going to have a hard time adjusting to what really happens in this world.

So what? (1)

Shocker69 (141391) | about 13 years ago | (#272578)

Even if they (the shooters) left a detailed note saying that the reason they did all of this was because of Doom, other violent video games, and the media in general, so what? They still have no liability as far as I'm concerned. The parents have no liability. There could be a million things running through these kids mind, a million things that could have happened to them to cause this. Unfortunately, the world will never know what was really going on inside their heads. Deal with it!@

BullSh*T!!! (3)

Shocker69 (141391) | about 13 years ago | (#272582)

From the Article:

"But money may be the smallest part of the goal," said John DeCamp, the Sanders' Nebraska-based attorney. "This is a class action that says that, ultimately, money ain't gonna do it."

Then how come they already put a price tag on it? The fact that the attorney is the one that is saying this makes it even more unbelievable.

The ignorance of this world never ceases to amaze me

This makes me so angry I want to... (1)

adpowers (153922) | about 13 years ago | (#272598)

This makes me so angry I want to go on a school shooting spree. Then we can sue that person for 'pushing me over the edge' or something and collect damages. Then we give back the money to the gaming companies and all are happy.
PS: In case you haven't already figured it out, the previous was a joke. Don't take me seriously... ever. Thank you.

Idiots (2)

10.0.0.1 (153985) | about 13 years ago | (#272599)

The problem here is that it is none of these people's damn business what game companies or any other companies do! Consumers can vote with their wallets by not allowing their kids to go places where they will see these horrible video games. This is not a place where the government or law needs to intervene.

What proof? (1)

dada21 (163177) | about 13 years ago | (#272614)

What is their burden of proof that the gaming companies had anything to do with it? I wonder what kind of previous cases have been brought to the courts that can show that games cause violence. The rock-music-entices-suicide cases all were won by the defense, right? I wonder how this is any different, short of the game actually "showing how to use a gun" (yeah right). It's actually really cool that these parents are now using their kids' deaths to earn an income. Hope we find the names of these parents so we can torment them in 10 years reminding them how they traded their children for money.

Blame the MPAA and RIAA (2)

Aloekak (172669) | about 13 years ago | (#272642)


I can better see how they might blame the MPAA and RIAA. Movies are far more graphic(it looks a lot more real), and there are an infinite amount of songs that preach violence.

But I still wouldn't blame the MPAA, RIAA, and much less, a gaming company.

I want money just as much as the next guy, but I will settle for doing it the "right" way.


Justin

My Reply (1)

mp3car (179460) | about 13 years ago | (#272658)

Linda Sanders, wife of slain teacher Dave Sanders, and two of his stepdaughters filed a multibillion-dollar, class-action lawsuit
Money will not heal your wounds
Thursday against 25 media companies, most of which manufacture or distribute video games.
I would love to see a list. Don't worry about the fact that guns are easy to obtain. Lets worry about entertainment. I love counter-strike but I have yet to orgainize a strike team to rescue hostages.
And on Friday, the family of injured student Evan Todd had their lawyer fire off a letter to the co-creator of the game "Doom" - a favorite of Harris and Klebold - asking that he stop selling adult games to kids.
People still play Doom, thats not very life like. I don't hunt down evil monsters! They should have been trying something more like Rainbow 6
He called on Carmack to prohibit the sale and distribution of all video games rated for mature audiences to children under 17 - and to do it by April 30.
Do you really think this will stop ALL kids from obtaining the software. How many kids acutally paid for doom?

Damn Dirty Pacman (1)

gwjc (181552) | about 13 years ago | (#272672)

All that gobble-gobble-gobble me! me! me!
waiting for that lucky turn when you kill the others who have been chasing you around the place, picking on you. It really is Pacman's fault; not the fault of a system that turns a blind eye to bullying and thousand of depressed kids commiting suicide because they got stuck at the bottom of the HS pecking order. Damn Pacman, if only we could turn back the clock.. No one ever shot up their classes when all we had was pong.

sic semper tyrranis

Re:I know it's not fashionable (1)

gwjc (181552) | about 13 years ago | (#272673)

Look at the movies people watched in the forties to the sixties.. non-stop gunfight westerns and gut-stabbing marine movies. Kids played gun games more when I was a kid than they did when the columbine generation were the same age. I guess the only thing that leaves is the sex.. and ya your right I enjoy it to much to believe it's harmful.
sic semper tyrranis

ludicrous (3)

rstevens (190122) | about 13 years ago | (#272681)

and for our next trick, we'll be suing george lucas for the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

I miss those days.... (1)

curtisk (191737) | about 13 years ago | (#272684)

[SEVERE SARCASM]when I was a young man, oh say around 1st grade age; you see....since we used to play games like "Cowboys and Indians" with real-looking guns and rifles, it came so very easy to actually gun down a real indian boy in the neighborhood, so I see where these ppl are coming from... [SARCASM OFF]
Man oh man, I'm sure I couldn't comprehend the loss these families went through, but this is getting _REALLY_ tired.
But.....in all seriousness, if I ever go off the deep end....and I am able to control a REAL weapon with a KEYBOARD AND A MOUSE, lookout!!
Oh yeah, and I'll need the "Crosshair" option turned on in real life since my aim isn't all that hot without it :) LOL
-----------------------------

This is ludicrous! (1)

grape jelly (193168) | about 13 years ago | (#272686)

This is the most ludicrous thing I've heard in a long time. It's bad enough that people are blaming violent tv shows and video games for Columbines. Now these people have so adequately convinced themselves of the "cause" that they are pursuing legal action against the companies they think are responsible! This is craziness. Everybody needs to just stop, take a step back from the madness and actually listen to the kids. Jumping to these hasty conclusions (especially ones with so little collaborating research) is going to get us in the end.

A finger to point with (1)

yoink! (196362) | about 13 years ago | (#272692)

It is inevitable that someone would get blamed, but I truly think that video games are not the ones to strangle. My younger brother, who happens to be 18, has been playing video games for years. The fact is that he is often so engulfed in his games that has neither the time, nor the desire to locate a real weapon and do anything with it. (He also enjoys, camping, is quite fit, and would like to meet a nice God-fearing girl one day :-P .)

Regardless, we are always on the look out for someone to blame, and games are getting increasingly violent. Think back to not-so-old games like Contra on Nintendo, or the original Prince of Persia. These games were quite violent, but the later often involed some good puzzle solving skills. Have things really chnaged. In fact, the modern games like the just-released tribes 2, and huge franchises like the Half-Life series of mods, teach people to work together in teams, and in the end make friends.

Why don't we sue movie makers, the ones who really glorify violence, actually, no, lets sue, the cartoonists, the comic artists, the television manufacturers, and get them all to pay for the fact that I didn't have enough time to spend with my kids. How about that, because I'm not at fault, I'm never at fault, and I only hope the poor bastards who made little Johnny shoot all his friends have a few million for me to feel better.

Sick. Games are fiction. Most people do not have difficulty telling the difference between reality and fiction, and right and wrong for that matter. It's not up to the game companies, television channels, or film distributors to provide the morals for our children. It is up to us. Lets charish that responsibility.


yoink

mod him up : he's right (1)

mirko (198274) | about 13 years ago | (#272696)

I do agree with jyak.
Don't they teach them the following song: "if you trust a child,...".
So, stop blaming corporations each time it is proven that education failed.
Schools are not the parents' backup.
If a child is well educated at home in both Love and confidece, then he will grow as expected.
If his models are either violent or absent, then they won't have the required mature point of view to let them discernate what is good or bad.
--

Re:I know it's not fashionable (1)

mobiGeek (201274) | about 13 years ago | (#272701)

For instance, in Muslim countries women aren't leered at and treated as sex objects, because society conditions them not to.

I don't get your point about exposure to sexual content. Are you trying to say that in "Muslim" countries there is less sexual and/or violent crimes than in other parts of the world?

I know it's not fashionable (3)

Codeswallop (208940) | about 13 years ago | (#272722)

And people like to pretend, probably because they enjoy porn and violence, that it doesn't harm people, but anyone who can seriously believe this is quite frankly mad.

If you consistently expose people to sex and violence they grow to accept it. It's as obvious as anything. It's conditioning. For instance, in Muslim countries women aren't leered at and treated as sex objects, because society conditions them not to. In Western societies, women are objectified through their portrayal as breasts on a stick on TV.

That's how conditioning works, and that's what's happened here. There is no way that violence has no effect. Just as kids exposed to lots of swearing swear more than those in environemnts where swearing is taboo, those exposed to violence are more violent. Anyone who says otherwise is only doing so because they enjoy violence and sex so much.

Re:Let's band together (1)

chainxor (210225) | about 13 years ago | (#272724)

HA! Yeah! This is just another typical american law-suit of the type: "I'm too stupid to realize that McDonald's coffee is hot and I have burned my tounge, so I'll just sue them for my blatant ignorance.")

Re:I know it's not fashionable (1)

chainxor (210225) | about 13 years ago | (#272725)

It's not that I don't agree with you, but in this instance (and many others!) I don't think that games has anything to do with the shooting. It's more likely that it's just a question of bad enviroment in general and perhaps irresponsible parents.
Come on! If games really were the "great" sinners, then I should be a raving lunatic killing everything that comes in my path. Preferably with a big eeeviiil rocket launcher :-)

Litigation (1)

Confound (214049) | about 13 years ago | (#272733)

Why stop at suing the game companies? Sue television studios for making violent tv shows, sue the RIAA for making violent music, hell, bring in individual musicians, we know they're all at fault! Sue film studios too, we all know they make enough money!

Don't even think about blaming the parents for not paying attention to their kids. No no, that couldn't be the problem. Never! They were model parents who didn't even notice when their kids were making bombs in the backyard!

Besides, we all know that money is a panacea for all wounds. Once you get that money, baby, you'll be alright. It will be like little Timmy never died. You can stuff up that hole in your heart with cash, it's the American way.

Re:BullSh*T!!! (1)

Confound (214049) | about 13 years ago | (#272735)

o, but we all know that it's about easing the pain and sorrow ... with a new car, a long vacation, some new clothes.... WTF does someone do with 5 million anyway?

Re:Let's band together (2)

Confound (214049) | about 13 years ago | (#272736)

actually, i agree. if i had a quake shirt, i'd be wearing it. . . why don't they just come up here and sue me. once they get all thatblame spread around, everyone wil be responsible for that stupid shooting.


the ironic part is that society is partly to blame, but who am i to point a finger?

Re:I know it's not fashionable (2)

Confound (214049) | about 13 years ago | (#272737)

no no! Those over 22! My little jimmy is 20 and he wants to play that violent game! No no! I say. ..

While we're at it ... (1)

Strike (220532) | about 13 years ago | (#272750)

... why not just sue every computer manufacturer for making these games playable?

This is just the beginnig (1)

spongebob (227503) | about 13 years ago | (#272769)

This is only a suprise to me becuase of the timing. Since money controls the country and the world, we use it punish and reward people. There will come a time when people won't do anything at all unless they get a reward. Does that sound anything like the fat rat experiments to anyone? We cannot blame our problems on others and expect money to magically mend the broken lives. Those kids were driven to violence by their parent's lack of interest in their lives and the general chemically induced lack of despair that all teenagers go through. Incidents like Columbine will not go away even if video games do.

He wrote Carmack??? (1)

sheetsda (230887) | about 13 years ago | (#272776)

On Friday, Thompson made public a letter he has sent to John Carmack, one of the original "Doom" creators and founder of Texas-based id Software, on behalf of the Todd family.

He called on Carmack to prohibit the sale and distribution of all video games rated for mature audiences to children under 17 - and to do it by April 30

Since when does Carmack have anything to do with how the engines he writes get distributed? Does he stand in every store that sells Quake3 and say "Lets see some ID before you buy that."? Furthermore, this whole thing is silly. How many of those of us on slashdot played Doom before we were 17? I know I did. Probably started around age 13, and I played Wolfenstein before that. And how many of us are vicious killers? Few, if any. The point is, you have severely disturbed before you get ahold of these games for them to turn you into a killer. Finger pointing gets you no where. I think it shows severely bad taste for these families to sue two years after this happened. It appears they're just seeking to profit off the loss of a loved one.</rant>

"// this is the most hacked, evil, bastardized thing I've ever seen. kjb"

Yes it IS Fashionable. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 13 years ago | (#272815)

What better thing that to remove all self responsibility and parental-responsibility than to blame someone else.

Are you going to try to convince me that because guns exist that they gun manufacturers are to blame for their mis-use? It falls right in line with the logic you attempted.

You have a slightly PC'd version of what goes on in Muslim countries. In "GOOD" Muslim countries that may be the case, but we have seen some extremes.

Sorry, I don't buy the conditioning theorey. If anything Television causes more harm than video games, and its been around longer constantly portraying guns, drugs, and ever other "soon to be sued industry" in some form.

This is about money, these game manufacturers have some, their a bunch of hippies, the drive fast cards, and they have homes for selling pixalated explosions and purple alien blood.

Can't have that, their irresponsible! ;)

Stating the obvious (1)

dexter1 (244765) | about 13 years ago | (#272818)

Sorry for this, I just can't help myself...

Why is it that ./ers seem so opposed to suing vidoe game manufactures, yet are all for blaming the guns? Maybe neither is to blame, maybe both are to blame, but the principles that tell me that it is wrong to sue the manufacter of a device because an individual misuses the device--either uses it for an incorrect purpose (guns) or takes it WAY too seriously and is therefore mentally affected (video games)-- by it seem to apply in both cases. Let's face it, gun manufacters will always have a reason to manufacture guns--if solely for the police and military. So long as there are guns made, Americans will be able to get ahold of them (I am using things like the drug war, prostitution, and prohibition as examples of how banning something does not do a whole lot to remove it from society). Are we always going to accept people blaming guns and gun manufacters everytime a child kills? When are we going to ask ourselves why the child kills instead of how is he able to? Until we take a hard look at why a child kills, video games, guns, books, the iternet, and freedom in general is in danger (note that I do not consider taking away guns as taking away my freedom, I just think it is serving as a "quick fix" for politicians who do not want to handle the more difficult issue. I also do not believe it will be effective in stopping the killings.)

Let's band together (2)

Kalak (260968) | about 13 years ago | (#272866)

All of us who game should go to work wtith a giant Quake symbol on to warn our co-workers that at any second we might become afraid of standing next to a barrell.

Re:Litigation (1)

Alarion (263883) | about 13 years ago | (#272875)

"Besides, we all know that money is a panacea for all wounds. Once you get that money, baby, you'll be alright. It will be like little Timmy never died. You can stuff up that hole in your heart with cash, it's the American way."

As sad as it is, that is so true :(

We here in America are so quick to sue over anything, thinking it will fix our hurt. Seriously, you could step on my brand new Nike's that I paid $70 for and I could then sue you for something stupid like making me walk around in dirty shoes, thus humiliating me and causing me extreme mental anguish. I could get like 1.2 mil from you.

You could run over my dog, even though I was the one who let him run around outside without a leash, and my yard not being fenced. But I could convince the jury/judge that that dog was like a child to me, and that a couple hundred thousand would fill the hole in my heart and allow me to forgive you.

Pffffft. And we wonder why those in other countries make fun of the USA.

point the finger (2)

deran9ed (300694) | about 13 years ago | (#272885)

Just what parents who don't raise their kids right do. Point the fingers elsewhere to cast blame, yet they'll deny that they are likely to be the cause of the problem.

Maybe I should sue record companies for making me think violent thoughts. Shit I could just go out shoot a few people, then my family could have a class action lawsuit against record companies, television companies, movie companies, newspapers, gun companies, bullet companies, clothing companies for creating the camoflauge I used.

I think i'll register www.lets-capitalize-on-a-tragedy-and-sue-for-mega- profits.com

Encryption Saves the Day [antioffline.com]

Re:I know it's not fashionable (2)

cavemanf16 (303184) | about 13 years ago | (#272892)

Studies have shown no correlation between violent computer games and violent social behavior. I feel for the parents that lost their son or daughter in the shooting, I do, but don't go blaming everyone else for your loss. It was the fault of the children doing the shooting, and their parents alone. And no amount of money will replace your son or daughter. 'Sticking' it to the game companies won't help either. You'll at best, put a couple of them out of business, which then makes it easier for a couple more to spring up in their place.

And as for your argument about treating women right, I doubt the Muslim countries are doing it out of respect. From everything I've read that wasn't Muslim propoganda, women are viewed as lesser than men, and are not allowed to vote because of thier 'inferior' place in society.

Blame flying in every direction but the right one (2)

Drabk (317216) | about 13 years ago | (#272926)

Next they'll be sueing the trenchcoat manufacturers too, instead of the parents of the wackos like they should be.

Shattered memories and greed. (1)

Lethyos (408045) | about 13 years ago | (#272941)

In the face of tragedy, lots of blame is passed around. Often times, people forget their blame and let the matter rest. However, in some cases, people refuse to let go of their blame and try to find some way to profit from it.

This pathetic act shows that the families of the slain teachers are more interested in profiting from the deaths rather than healing. Why? They're reopening old wounds. They're relentlessly milking the situation. They're searching for a scapegoat.

How can these people claim that they're moral in the face of the 'evil game companies' when they're teaching so many young minds involved in the situation that finding ways to profit from tragedy are top priority?

To the families doing the suing:
You fools. Don't you realize that two very, very frustrated and angry young children murdered your loved ones? You should not place blame on innocents for the past deeds of the guilty and now dead. Neither computer games nor goth music are responsible for this. The issue is far more complex. With this ridiculously selfish act, you're showing where some of the real problems in American society truly lie.

Let's NOT sue *anybody*. (1)

Lethyos (408045) | about 13 years ago | (#272942)

I am in total agreement.

Yes, movie makers produce much more realistic violence, but they do not make killers. Do you think Spielberg should be sued for the realistic violence in Schindler's List? Saving Private Ryan? I think not.

Everyone who participates in entertainment containing violent content knows that it's an illusion. They know it's not real. However, if they choose to act upon this, there were problems there to begin with. Either they have a mental disability in comprehending or they have deep seated emotional problems. One way or the other, the entertainment wasn't the catalyst.

When will people understand this?

They're encouraged like most wouldn't believe. (1)

Lethyos (408045) | about 13 years ago | (#272943)

At my university, which shall remain anonymous considering the content here, basketball players are treated like gods over the student population. They're trained to be agressive. They've developed these superior attitudes over the rest of the student body. Some of them are responsible for rapes but have been let go with a slap on the wrist by the school (and brag about it). They vandalize university property without punishment. They make violent threats against people they don't like without consequence. They completely neglect their academic work. Their team even sucks, but their 'team' has a history of playing good basketball.

What do they get for this kind of behavior? More and more encouragement from the school. A free ride. Constant recognition for being basketball players. Just two days ago, an alumnis association bought ALL of them DVD players as gifts. The list goes on.

We can see this in almost every school, to varying degrees of intensity. What's the outcome? Violent, immature, stupid people going around doing whatever they want to whoever and whatever they choose entirely without consequence - especially when it comes to taunting. This causes Columbines.

Re:Game Ratings (1)

s10god (409764) | about 13 years ago | (#272944)

What and interupt their TV watching... ya know there is a great story about the latest school shooting on. Leon "Is adult entertainment killing children, or is killing children entertaining adults." -Maralyn Manson

Re:SO SICK OF THIS! (2)

GreyPoopon (411036) | about 13 years ago | (#272946)

I definitely agree that PARENTS are the major factor here. As a parent, I've seen (and played) video games that I would NEVER let my child near. That's my job as a parent -- to keep bad things away from my child, until he leaves the house and is responsible for his own decisions. That's the best any parent can do.

However, I do also agree that the purchase of video games and similar media should be restricted by age group. The problem isn't so much that I need help as a parent, but is instead related to the failure of other parents. If my son goes to a school where even 10% of the parents have no interest in what their kids do (and believe me, the numbers are much worse than that), then my kid has a one in ten chance of bumping into somebody that may cause him harm.

Other than that, I take full responsibility for the actions of my child.

--

Pathetic (1)

Magnum1202 (444308) | about 13 years ago | (#272979)

Why can't these people see that it's not the friggin' games? I play Half-Life, TFC, and Rogue Spear regularly, but I don't want to take any people out at my school. (I admit, I'm a junior in HS) However, these kids enjoyed Doom 2. This is a game that has an energy weapon that can kill basically everyone in a 75-foot radius. Rogue Spear has more realistic weapons than that. These parents just need to accept that the kids were mentally unstable.

Come on people raise your kids yourself (1)

cuyler (444961) | about 13 years ago | (#272987)

This type of thing disgusts me. I'm 19 years old now and have been playing violent video games ever since I was 10 years old. My parents actually sat down and looked at the games I was playing when I was young. If they didn't like it I couldn't play it. The only game I think they didn't allow me to play was Leisure Suit Larry. They didn't really like Wolfenstien and later Doom but they raise me to be smart enough to know the difference between the real life and video games.

If parents are raising kids that are so influenced by games and fantasy then it's time to step back a maybe ask the question of how these kids are being raised. There will always be bad things in the media whether is be the six o'clock news or the latest video game you can't just make the stuff go away by sueing anyone who put it in a video game that you have end up buying.

Dale Todd, Evan's father, said he hooked up with Thompson through research he did on violent video games. He even obtained a copy of "Doom" and played it himself. He was appalled.

That's great Dale, I'm glad to hear you have an opinion. You are right, kids don't need to be playing violent games. I like violent video games myself. I don't really think it's fair to be taking away video games I like to play just because some kids have bigger problems that a lot of people don't want to admit (maybe the answer is a little close to home) to so they end up pointing the blame to the media.

I can tell you to jump of a bridge but it's your fault if you do it. If children aren't old enough and haven't been taught about the real world then maybe people shouldn't be raising their kids on video games and television. And if they don't have the time to raise their kids properly then maybe they shouldn't be having kids.

I agree entirely. (1)

A Chicken (445812) | about 13 years ago | (#272993)

In fact I am launching my own suit against that bastard that wrote Chuckie Egg. My class action is for 10 bags of corn and a fox proof run.
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