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Grand Theft Auto Civil Case Moves Forward

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the so-close dept.

129

An Alabama court has refused a request by retailers and Take-Two Entertainment lawyers to throw out a 'Grand Theft Auto-style killing spree' civil case. From the Next Generation article: "Moore, who was 18 at the time of the 2003 slayings, is convicted of killing two Fayette county officers and a dispatcher, and claimed that Grand Theft Auto inspired him to do it. That defense was barred, and Moore was sentenced to death. Although that defense was thrown out, the multi-million dollar suit filed by relatives of the victims claim that Moore was in fact mimicking GTA, which attorneys claim Moore played 'obsessively'."

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Goddamnit (1)

Slow Smurf (839532) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027780)

WHY!?

Re:Goddamnit (1)

cooley (261024) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027816)

begin sarcasm
Because we all know there was no such thing as a "killing spree" before GTA invented the concept. Nobody had apparently ever run amok before that fateful software release....
end sarcasm

Re:Goddamnit (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027825)

WHY!?

Because Take-Two, Rockstar, Sony, Wal-Mart and GameStop have a lot more money than Quentin Tarantino.

Re:Goddamnit (4, Insightful)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028021)

http://www.bash.org/?627522 [bash.org]
<comwalk> Remember, here in the U.S.A, we have reached a new age.
<comwalk> NOBODY is responsible for their own actions.
<comwalk> Remember that.
<comwalk> Holy shit! I killed somebody! Bob made me do it!
<comwalk> Bob: Joe made me do it!
<comwalk> Joe: I blame the media!
<comwalk> Media: Videogames.
<comwalk> Videogames: Personal responsibility?
<comwalk> Personal Responsibility: <AFK>

Just unbelievable. (4, Insightful)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027802)

Love the culture of blaming anything on everyone except the person who actually did it to begin with. /disgusted

Re:Just unbelievable. (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028552)

Looks to me like they did blame him. I mean they did sentence him to death.

It's just the part where they move past that and start blaming everything around him that makes me think they're overreaching. Do they honestly think that if he'd only played Solitare that he wouldn't be violent? I don't think so. He may have gotten some inspiration from the game, but ultimately the choice to do it was not dictated by Take Two or Rockstar or anybody but himself.

Re:Just unbelievable. (2, Informative)

Random Utinni (208410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028800)

To be fair, this isn't about blaming everyone except the person who did the act. If you read TFA, you'd notice that when the kid's lawyer raised it as a defense, the judge threw it out. The kid who pulled the trigger was convicted and, as this happened in Alabama, the kid was sentanced to death. Believe me, he's getting his fair share of the blame.

What this *is* about is a seperate civil case based on the same facts. The lawyers for the victims are saying to Take-Two "Hey, you helped this happen; you should share the burden too." There are plenty of people who are going to argue both sides... whether playing GTA constantly gave the kid ideas, or made him more efficient, or had nothing to do with it. All that happened is a judge said that it's possible, and that a jury has to decide it.

Read TFA next time and save yourself from being overly disgusted with the world. There are some flaws in the legal system, but it's not *that* bad.

Re:Just unbelievable. (2, Funny)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029291)

It is YOUR fault I posted this message.

Think about it, it really is.

Re:Just unbelievable. (1)

Tepshen (851674) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029577)

I think it would be great if companies defended against this sort of thing by premptively suing the families of these madmen. For example here Take two would sue the family of this nutball for allowing a mental midget to be influenced by thier game prior to his acting out years of neglect from said family and thereby tarnishing thier name in the media and thus causing financial harm.

Alabama supreme court (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027804)

legal lottery for week 13, now giving away $600 million for the lucky winner..
Do we really need more disclaimers on game boxes?
".. by opening this box, you agree that we are not to be held responsible in any way if you get influences from our game and decide to kill 3 people .."

Re:Alabama supreme court (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028854)

What if they kill 4 people though? The disclaimer didn't say anything about that!

Re:Alabama supreme court (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029941)

You laugh, but that is what basically pops up as the splash screen everytime you fire up Postal 2.

Jaysyn

Corruption Defense - Lawsuits, Profit! (5, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027806)

The next time I'm arrested for stealing, lying and circumventing the law, I'm going to blame it on CSPAN, which I watch obsessively. While I may get a slap on the wrist and time served, I do wish my victims well in their civil suit against CSPAN for it's contribution to my anti-social behavior.

Re:Corruption Defense - Lawsuits, Profit! (1, Funny)

Knetzar (698216) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027853)

I'm going to have sex at work with an intern and then sue Bill Clinton if I get fired for inappropriate behavior.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15027813)

fp

Sue the parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15027832)

Maybe the police officers families should bring a civil suit against the parents for not paying attention to what their child was doing and for not being responsible parents. This sickens me when people think that they can forgo the roles that parents are supposed to play and then sue somebody else for their kids not turning into perfect citizens.

Re:Sue the parents (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028346)

Maybe the police officers families should bring a civil suit against the parents for not paying attention to what their child was doing and for not being responsible parents.

Rockstar games has more money.

This sickens me when people think that they can forgo the roles that parents are supposed to play and then sue somebody else for their kids not turning into perfect citizens.

It's worth pointing out that it the victims parents that are sueing, not the parents of the criminals.

the point? (4, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027843)

>victims claim that Moore was in fact mimicking GTA, which attorneys claim Moore played 'obsessively'

even if we're prepared to accept that there's a causal link in this case between observation and mimicking, surely that he played it 'obsessively' is enough to reject the argument. if you eat/drink/smoke/gamble/have sex/do anything 'obsessively' there are bound to be negative consequences.

if, on the other hand, he'd played the game for 30 minutes and, for example, the seqence of lights and sounds put him into a suggestable state of hypnosis and programmed him to be a cop-killer (not possible annyway since hypnosis can't make you do anything you're not really prepared to do), then there might be a case.

Define 'prepared' (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028048)

It seems to me that it's easy to get someone to do something to do something they haven't "prepared" to do. (Rob the bank or I'll kill your family for example, or that pizza delivery bomb guy) Much harder if they have prepared against it. If you've talked with your family members and all of them have talked it over and agreed that they would all rather die than have any one of them rob the bank for them then such a scenario becomes much harder.

Re:Define 'prepared' (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028324)

"Rob the bank or I'll kill your family for example"
Then the preparedness question is whether someone is prepared to rob a bank in order to ensure that their family is not killed not simply whether they are prepared to rob a bank.

"It seems to me that it's easy to get someone to do something to do something they haven't "prepared" to do."
Most people with families are prepared to defend them so, no, that's not an example of getting someone to do something they're not prepared to do.

Re:Define 'prepared' (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028494)

But they generally don't consider "robbing a bank" as part of their defense preparedness, so no, they are not prepared to rob a bank to defend their family. Speaking strictly in terms of "prepared defenses" most people are hardly prepared to defend their family at all.

Re:Define 'prepared' (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029547)

"But they generally don't consider "robbing a bank" as part of their defense preparedness,"
So what? You're trying to shift the argument. Having a net "prepared" to capture a burglar and being "prepared" to rob a bank in order to save one's family may both be using the word "prepared" but the meaning is quite different. I'm surprised you can't see that without my help.

As the other poster more eloquently pointed out - your initial post is invalid because you're replying to a statement on hyponosis with an example of coercion. To put it simply - your logic is wrong to begin with and it's not showing signs of improvement in your subsequent postings.

Re:Define 'prepared' (2, Insightful)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028906)

Coersion is a very different animal than hypnosis. You might murder a stranger if it meant saving the lives of your loved ones, but I sincerely doubt that you'd murder that same person if someone said "you are getting very sleepy... now bludgeon that man to death..."

Re:Define 'prepared' (1)

Harinezumi (603874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028913)

The original post was referring to not being able to get someone to do something they were not prepared to do through hypnosis. How exactly does holding someone's family hostage qualify as hypnosis?

Re:Define 'prepared' (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029240)

It is my understanding that it is likely you can convince someone under hypnosis that their family will be killed when that is not the case much easier than if they are not hypnotized.

Re:Define 'prepared' (1)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029339)

You hypnotise them and when they are asleep, you kidnap their family and leave a ransom note. When they awake in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... They will find the note and be more inclined to do what they were previously not prepared to do.

Obssesive is the key word (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028477)

Does it occur to no one that in order to be 'obssesive' about something, like a video game for instance, there have to be present psychological problems? Since when do we hold companies accountable for selling a product to a distributer who doesn't get a psychological profile before selling to their customers?

Re:Obssesive is the key word (1)

kiatoa (66945) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028879)

Don't we get to a point where something that treats reprehenisble behaviours in a glorified way is socially unacceptable? I say change the game so it can only be played as a victim. I.e. the one avoiding getting car jacked. It is the same exciting scenario and might actually teach empathy instead of desensitizing the player to the pain he/she is creating (albiet, to virtual people in a virtual world).

I kinda hope they win the law suit. There is no contribution the the human condition, no insight, no teaching, nothing constructive at all from that game. Of course, now I need to go out and get a copy - it sounds like fun :-)

Re:Obssesive is the key word (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030540)

Don't we get to a point where something that treats reprehenisble behaviours in a glorified way is socially unacceptable?

Yes, when society quits buying it, but they don't. They LOVE it. I know I LOVE that game. Now, I don't like it because I get to kill "virtual 'My Radio' LL Cool J's" - but that is fun. I like it because I can do close to anything I want without going to Jail.

See, I don't want to go to Jail. I don't want to hurt people. What I do want to do is experience activities where that could happen as a result in an environment where it is not harming anyone, nor am I committing a crime.

I also like to pretend I am in a NFL football game without getting cold cocked by some 280 pound linebacker.

This is nothing more than a transference of the "sue the handgun manufacturer" approach to video game makers. Video games do not have the legal experience, the finances, or lobbying capabilities that the gun manufacturers have. Politicians and Ambulance Chasers need a new scapegoat to divert attention away from the real issue. They can take everything they leaned from the hard battles fought against gun manufacturers and apply them to the much weaker video game industry.

Some where ICE-T is screaming "I told you bitches!"

Re:the point? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029848)

"even if we're prepared to accept that there's a causal link in this case between observation and mimicking, surely that he played it 'obsessively' is enough to reject the argument. if you eat/drink/smoke/gamble/have sex/do anything 'obsessively' there are bound to be negative consequences."

What gets me is that if somebody did play GTA so obsessively that they tried to play it for real, they'd not only know that killing will bring the cops down on your ass, but that it's also a roll of the dice whether they'll get caught or not. The game also shows you that guns kill, cars kill, golf clubs kill, and chainsaws kill. Supposing he did run out and shoot somebody, there is absolutely no way he could claim that he didn't know what he was doing.

Hey relatives (2, Informative)

77Punker (673758) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027844)

If he was mimicking the game, it's time to remove him from the game. Sometimes helping somebody with a problem is as simple as "let's go fishing" or something similar. If they noticed terrible behavior from him before hand and they actually cared about him and not making money off his mistakes, they would have sought to help him beforehand instead of whining after the fact.

Re:Hey relatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15028086)

"...relatives of the victims..."

Ahem.

Re:Hey relatives (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028209)

So my comment doesn't make sense because I didn't even read the summary properly. That means I'll get modded up, right?

Why sue anybody else? (3, Insightful)

Neurotoxic666 (679255) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027864)

The murderer is the sole persone responsible. If people start to sue the game maker, then they could sue Sony too (Playstation) and/or Microsoft (Windows) for making this game playable. What TV brand was he playing GTA on? Maybe they could sue Samsung, or Hitachi too? And Wal-Mart. Definately Wal-Mart. I mean, they sell the game. And every single magazine and website who a) gave good critics to the game and b) has advertised the game. ...

You know, this has to stop somewhere. The guy was sick. His parents, friends and relatives who knew him are much more guilty than people who created the video game. Society itself is guilty of allowing such people to roam free. But then, we can't incarcerate everyone "just in case". So my point is: shit happens. Whatever his reasons, whatever the motives, whatever the games he played and the programs he watched, he is a murderer. He's been sentenced to death. The vast majority of people who play GTA do not go on a killing spree aftewards. The game is not the problem.

Re:Why sue anybody else? (1)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027962)

Actually, Sony and Wal-Mart are named as defendants in the case. So is the killer, in what pretty much amounts to an afterthought.

Re:Why sue anybody else? (1)

CountZero117 (921222) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027994)

Agreed. You said pretty much everything i was going to say.

Re:Why sue anybody else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15028721)

well spoken, you are obviously clued.
go to law school and then run for office ok?

Re:Why sue anybody else? (2, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028764)

The guy was sick

Whatever happened to being just plain evil?

Re:Why sue anybody else? (2, Funny)

Neurotoxic666 (679255) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029630)

Whatever happened to being just plain evil?

Ah. It's called terrorism now ;)

And where were these relatives (3, Funny)

nithinsujir (592733) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027907)

when he was playing 'obsessively'? there were no big bucks to be made then, were there?

Re:And where were these relatives (1)

BongoBen (776302) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030603)

The submission reads:

the multi-million dollar suit filed by relatives of the victims

I'm sure the relatives of the victims had nothing to do with this wacko, no?

Grand Theft Auto Creates Killers (4, Insightful)

colonslashslash (762464) | more than 7 years ago | (#15027934)

About as much as Pacman creates drug addicts.

If a person's mental state is so twisted that they would kill 3 people after being 'influenced' by a video game, then obviously there are much deeper issues at fault than a bunch of pixels and a joypad.

Where is the logical conclusion to this constantly expanding era of absurd litigation? It's scary to think where it may lead... hell, it's scary enough to think about where we are with it already.

Re:Grand Theft Auto Creates Killers (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028651)

About as much as Pacman creates drug addicts.

Dude, can you spare a quarter? Got to get my fix ...

Re:Grand Theft Auto Creates Killers (1)

Corbu Mulak (931063) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030113)

Wakka Wakka Wakka!

Re:Grand Theft Auto Creates Killers (2, Insightful)

Aranth Brainfire (905606) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029206)

I seem to remember a murderer who claimed that a dog told him to do it... from wikipedia, on David Berkowitz: 'According to Berkowitz, Sam Carr was a "high demon" who sent his "evil" Labrador Retriever to command Berkowitz to kill.'

I think we should ban the sale and ownership of dogs, if they can encourage a person to go on a murder spree. Nevermind any crimes inspired by a twisted interpretation of a religion...

Re:Grand Theft Auto Creates Killers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15029996)

Yeah, if video games influenced behavior then pacman would have a whole generation running around in the dark poppin pills listening to repeatitive electronic music and being chased by multicolored ghosts. waitamin ...

Comparisons.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15027980)

/me obsessively watches Morgan Freeman's/Brad Pitt's movie, "Seven" then runs off to kill sinners.

Can my family sue New Line Cinema for making the movie?

/me obsessively eats Twinkies until he dies.

Can my family now sue Hostess for making Twinkies?

/me obsessively plays Super Mario Bros. then starts throwing turtles at patrons of the local pet store & gets thrown into jail.

Can I now sue Nintendo for teaching me that the way to get ahead is to lob reptiles?

/me obsessively chugs water until he drowns in it.

Can my family now sue God for creating H20? (don't start that debate plz :P)

Re:Comparisons.... (2, Informative)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028197)

The answer to all of those is: Yes, you can sue.

The question is this: How far along do you get before you lose? In all seriousness, the family does have a right to attempt this type of suit. It's a little dissapointing to see it didn't get thrown out at the earliest oppertunity due to it's obvious rediculousness, but that's the way the system works. It'll actualy be intended functionality of the legal system, unless they win. If they win, then there's definitly a wrench in the works there somewhere.

Re:Comparisons.... (1)

Perseid (660451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029421)

So who do you think God would hire as a lawyer? He might have to ask his roommate downstairs to send up a few juicy ones.

I wonder why... (3, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028009)

the phrase "don't give them ideas" is commonly used?

The problem isn't if the game MADE him do it, but if the game helped him do it MORE EFFICIENTLY.

From the original CBS News [cbsnews.com] link (not TFA) :

"The video game industry gave him a cranial menu that popped up in the blink of an eye, in that police station," says Thompson. "And that menu offered him the split-second decision to kill the officers, shoot them in the head, flee in a police car, just as the game itself trained them to do."

Perhaps if he hadn't played the game, he would have shot them in the chest where hopefully the cops couldn't have died instantly.

In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals. I don't know about you, but the thought gives me the creeps.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028113)

Hell, I learned all that shit watching episodes of 'Cops' on Fox.

"Let's see, the guy without the shirt ran through four yards, climbed under three fences, and dodged a rottweiler. Why didn't he just do two yards, pull a gun and shoot the cops and cameraman when they came through the gate after dodging the dog? Well, -duh-."

If this suit wins, regardless of Jack Thompson's idiocy, this country is going to be opened up to lawsuits of just crazy-insane proportions as people try and dodge liability for every goddamn thing under the sun. Someone gets off on murder charges? Civil suit: They learned how to avoid it on CSI. Someone tries to kill his wife by hiring a third party? Uh-oh! Who do they sue next, Law and Order for having a plot like that, or CourtTV for airing things from the Robert Blake trial?

This is retarded bullshit and absolutely nothing else.

Re:I wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15028519)

First off, no one is "dodging liability" here, the guy who pulled the trigger was declared guilty and was sentenced to death. The families of the victims are pissed that their loved ones were murdered. They are seeking some liablitiy from the gaming industry.

Re:I wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15028118)

you copied a Jack Thompson quote. There is nothing I can say that will invalidate your opinion any more than that. congratulations, you owned yourself.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028320)

you copied a Jack Thompson quote.

Well, the difference here is that I want to find the truth, not push a political agenda. As idiot as Jack Thompson might be, perhaps he's got a point.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

Perseid (660451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029477)

First off, if you can even consider a Jack Thompson quote, you haven't read enough Jack Thomspon quotes yet. But even still, I don't beleive he has a point. Things you watch and things you do can put ideas in your head. Sometimes bad ideas. If we wanted beleived ol' JT and banned everything that could have a negative influence, we'd have to ban every video game, every movie, every TV show(and certainly every commercial) and the bible.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

dargon (105684) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030254)

You're right, Jack Thompson does have a point, three of them, demon horns on his skull and a nice pointy tail.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028186)

That cranial menu deal sounds sweet. Very terminator-esque.

Re:I wonder why... (2, Informative)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028281)

The problem isn't if the game MADE him do it, but if the game helped him do it MORE EFFICIENTLY.

In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals.

I don't really but this at all, the reason being that simulations only work for certain things. Gran Turismo didn't make this dude a better driver. [hedonistica.com] The most that this kid could have learned from a video game was the "concepts" of cover and target to target movement. These could be learned from watching TLC specials on Special Forces Training.

Hell, basic biology class teaches you that shooting someone in the head is better than shooting someone in the chest. Also, the targeting system on GTA kinda sucks. To say it makes you a better criminal through training is somewhat of a stretch. I played the hell out of Silent Scope, so much that my second gun was a long range rifle that I bought to practice with. I'll tell you what, I can't hit a damn thing from over 100 yards away in real life.

The idea that video games train people to do things better is kind of misleading. If we could learn how to pilot state of the art fighter planes by playing "Air Striker" or whatever, then the military is wasting a bunch of cash. Military application of video simulation is WAY beyond what a TV and console offer. They are truly immersive experiences which include real held weapons and free range of physical movement.

Two analog sticks, 10 buttons, and a 32 inch screen doesn't cut it.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

billdar (595311) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030838)

I really hate to bring it up (I'm biased towards calling it bullshit), but the army [slashdot.org] believes in video game simulation [slashdot.org] as a tool for training soldiers.

Appearently there are to support [military-t...nology.com] that idea.

Just playing devil's advocate. Can't have it both ways, even though I think its crap.

Re:I wonder why... (3, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028373)

Real training is about "muscle memory". Pulling out a real gun and shooting someone in the head is not something you can train for with a game controller.

Expensive flight simulators go to great lengths to emulate the feel of really flying. If it were as simple as just knowing the mechanics of it, anyone could fly a few hundred hours in X-plane on their PC with a Logitech $30 stick then go hop in a 747 and be fine.

X-plane is FAA certified as a training simulator, but it's only FAA certified when it's used in a full-motion simulator, one that costs $150,000.

Shooting a paper silhouette target with a real gun is much more effective training than any video game can ever be, and yet I don't hear anyone calling for those to be banned, or even calling them "scary".

Re:I wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15028788)

..in that case, let me be the first to tell you "They're scary!"

Really, I find them very discomforting, and I wouldn't know how to act when confronted with someone who frequents such places (in reallife at least).

OTOH, I don't find video games scary, though I still wouldn't encourage someone I assess as a highly impressionable person (such as a young kid, but not only those..) play overly violent games.

Re:I wonder why... (2, Insightful)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029174)

I bet you've run into hundreds of people who regularly go shooting at ranges, you just didn't know it. Nothing wrong with it. Target practice is a very tough skill to master, and it is enjoyable, even if the ultimate goal is to be better prepared in a life-or-death situation against a live human being, gaining the skill and becoming better through practice is very rewarding in and of itself.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029385)

I find them very discomforting, and I wouldn't know how to act when confronted with someone who frequents such places (in reallife at least).

Us people that enjoy target shooting are all around you. You probably never even realize it. I been a member of a gun club before, and while sometimes there's one or two people that are the stereotype you are probably thinking of, those people usually get kicked out of gun clubs for being whackos.

The real shooting club community really doesn't tolerate the type you are most likely imagining.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030398)

The real shooting club community really doesn't tolerate the type you are most likely imagining.

I would have to concur with this statement. At the range I shoot at I made the mistake of saying "well, I like to shoot because I'm practicing for when the cops come to get me."

I didn't think before I spoke and what was meant as a joke, a really really tasteless and classless joke, was taken quite negatively by the crowd there. I was asked to leave pretty soon after that. I returned and apologized for my behavior the next day. They let me shoot there again, but it was a LONG time before the off duty police officers who frequented the place would even acknowledge my presence.

I got what I deserved for my shitty behavior, I can't imagine was a real nutjob would go through.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028843)

Not quite. There is evidence of an innate psychological block against causing harm like that to fellow humans. Few men in the civil war actually took aim when they were firing their weapons, rather, they would just point them in the general direction, and pull the trigger. They might have actually looked away while doing it.

This block has caused problems before, and is only "trained" out of the person by allowing them to become accustomed to firing at humanoid shaped targets. I believe that video games can provide just as much of a mental stimulation as the actual act of holding the weapon, in this regard. The block against firing at another human is gnawed away, and eventually, no longer exists.

Does this excuse him? No. He is fully responsible for all of his actions, and blaming a video game for suggesting or inspiring him seems too cogent for a truly crazy man. I have no idea why he would want to go ahead and do such a thing in the first place; it all had to come from him.

I do want to see this guy fry. I'm not quite a firm believer in the undeniable "right to live" that everyone has. I figure, if you are going to deny someone else's right to live, then you forfeit your own right. There really is no place in this world for someone of his nature, nor do I want to end up supporting his existence in some prison somewhere.

As for GTA... is this game a culprit? It is, only as much as any other shooter game where you fire upon human-looking entities. God knows there are plenty of those around, and have been throughout the history of video games. Games don't cause you to lose your self control, only you have that power.

Re:I wonder why... (2, Insightful)

Aranth Brainfire (905606) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029258)

"This block has caused problems before, and is only "trained" out of the person by allowing them to become accustomed to firing at humanoid shaped targets. I believe that video games can provide just as much of a mental stimulation as the actual act of holding the weapon, in this regard."

I'd like to argue against this. I've been playing violent games for ages, and as a young teenager, I saw the video of when Kennedy was shot (first time seeing a person actually shot) and I felt physically sick. Stopped playing Counterstrike: Source for a few days, then eventually shook it off and came back.

It's not real, and you always, ALWAYS know that it's not real (assuming no mental disorders). You just can't trick yourself into thinking it is when you're aiming with a mouse and moving with a keyboard.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029465)

I agree 100%.

I've shot guns since I was in the single digit age range. I've played video games where you shoot pixels at other blobs of pixels of varying realism just as long.

Yet when I see a real video of someone really getting shot or blown up, it really does affect me in a way no video game (or movie) can.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029525)

This block has caused problems before, and is only "trained" out of the person by allowing them to become accustomed to firing at humanoid shaped targets.

The block against killing another human has just as much to do with dehumanizing the target and convinving the soldier of a "higher cause".

That's not the sort of training I was referring to though, I was speaking of the non-psychological part of training, that is being able to react without thinking, by performing the same action so many times in the past it's completely automatic.

Re:I wonder why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15028395)

Hah, by this logic, the armed forces are responsible for making Lee Harvey Oswald and Charles Whitman more effective killers. Wait, maybe they are.

This round of finger pointing may start with video games, but those responsible for spreading the blame should realize that the problem is systemic in American society. The finger they are aiming at video game makers ultimately points back to all of us, and they are nothing more than opportunistic money grubbing leaches until they use the attention they are getting to address the larger issue.

(Sorry about going AC; I'm too lazy too lookup/reset my p/w)

Re:I wonder why... (2, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028569)

In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals. I don't know about you, but the thought gives me the creeps.

Sorry, I don't buy it. I've played hours of video games. In games, I've killed thousands of people. In real life, I get all squeamish about the thought of squashing a spider. And I couldn't use a gun to save my life. The only weapons I've ever used are the plastic sort with two buttons and a little wheel on top, and a little ball thingy underneath, that you roll around on your desk to aim. In real life, I could make a good guess as to which bit's the trigger and where the bullets come out, but I wouldn't even know where to look to find that "safety catch" thing I've heard of.

If you want to stop gun crime, make shooting ranges illegal. THOSE are the things that train people to hit targets with guns. Video games just train you to line up pixels on a monitor, which isn't actually all that useful if you want to commit a real-life crime, you know?

(And no, as it happens I don't believe shooting ranges should be banned.)

Re:I wonder why... (1)

Jonboy X (319895) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028596)

The problem isn't if the game MADE him do it, but if the game helped him do it MORE EFFICIENTLY.

Well, good. The last thing this country needs is more inept, half-assed murderers.

Videogames bad; movies, books ok? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028883)

Perhaps if he hadn't played the game, he would have shot them in the chest where hopefully the cops couldn't have died instantly.

Yeah, the fuckers should suffer before they die, headshots are too mercifull.

But back to your point:
the phrase "don't give them ideas" [...] videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals.

Go burn some books, those give people ideas too.

Re:I wonder why... (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028987)

In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals. I don't know about you, but the thought gives me the creeps.

Why don't you start complaining about Law & Order or CSI then? After all, those shows show a crime, then show where the criminal goofed that allowed him to be caught.

Those shows teach far more about being an effective criminal than GTA does. You also have to try pretty hard to avoid being exposed to those shows, as most hours of the day you can find at least one of them showing on TV.

Re:I wonder why... (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030796)

I wonder why... the phrase "don't give them ideas" is commonly used?

It's commonly used on people who already tend to express negative behaviors regardless of whether they're given ideas or not. E.g.:
"Those greedy bastards in Congress. Next they'll be taxing us for the air we breathe!"
"Don't give them any ideas."

Which is in fact perfect for the situation -- this man was already violent. That the particular violent acts he performed may or may not have been influenced by a game is just a footnote. Not that it looks like they were -- other than police officers being involved, there is nothing "GTA-like" about his violent acts.


Perhaps if he hadn't played the game, he would have shot them in the chest where hopefully the cops couldn't have died instantly.


Nonsense. First, any idiot knows you will be more likely to kill someone if you shoot them in the head. Cops are trained to aim for the torso to be more sure of your shot. I learned this long before the first video game that bothered to distinguish "head shots" came around, and then it was only representing what everyone already knew. If this guy wanted to kill the cop, and was close enough to shoot him in the head, he was going to shoot him in the head.

Having clearly never played the game yourself, let me also say that GTA does not particularly encourage head shots. The basic targeting system does not allow it, and using manual targeting is difficult and dangerous in most firefights. Which is just one small example of the ludicrosity of the statement:

In other words, videogames TRAIN the players to become better and more effective criminals. I don't know about you, but the thought gives me the creeps.

There is no practical real-world skill that you can learn from GTA. Learn how to car-jack? I keep looking for the Triangle button but can't find it. Firing a gun? Holding R1 to target and X to shoot doesn't do anything to teach you how to fire in real life -- I know, I've done both. The only reason it gives you the creeps is because you've never played to know that it is absolutely nothing like real life and there is no transferable skill that you can learn. Anyone who thought they could practice to become a criminal by playing GTA would find themselves sadly mistaken.

Here's the fact: Millions of people play games like GTA. A few perform violent acts that can in some way be described as being like the game. That's pretty shitty for a game that TRAINS you to be a criminal. In fact, that's the exact same ratio of people who end up being violent criminals in the populace at large. Could it... could it be... that games have nothing to do with causing crime, and are nothing but a scapegoat used as a weak defense by the criminal themselves, and by clueless idiots who are incapable of thinking about the true causes of crime?

Yes.

So that explains the rash of fruit thefts (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028115)

caused by people who play Animal Crossing. That and hitting people on the head with a butterfly net - that stings!

Now, personally, I blame the use of cars for violent crimes on the movies.

Nothing like blaming someone else for your own actions, right?

Relatives of the *VICTIMS* are suing (1)

subsoniq (652203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028153)

not the relatives of the killer. I didn't even have to read the article to see that:

Although that defense was thrown out, the multi-million dollar suit filed by relatives of the victims claim that Moore was in fact mimicking GTA

Grand Theft Auto: Civil Case (2, Funny)

allanc (25681) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028173)

Did anyone else see the title and think that the company was making a new GTA game called "Grand Theft Auto: Civil Case"? Presumably in which you'd drive a car around breaking contracts and whatnot...

Re:Grand Theft Auto: Civil Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15028396)

I thought it was going to be set in the racially segregated deep south where you would play as one Toby "Kunta" Kinte, who helps create and protect the underground railroad while doing escort missions for MLK on the side.

Or maybe not....

GTA, violence, and the need to be Re-elected (2, Insightful)

KimiDalamori (579444) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028193)

Let me look at this:

1: We have evidence that Violence and Violent Video Games are correlated. Nobody has any clue if violent games makes kids violent, or if violent kids like violent games; but it's politically unpopular to accuse your constituients' kids of being thugs. (FYI, this is the kind of evidence that says smoking and cancer are correlated, but nobody really cares whether or not cancer causes smoking)

2: It's a mid-term Election year. That means that there are several elected officials who desperately need to distract the people voting for them away from an unpopular war, and a deficit which is spiraling out of control.

3: The violence issue in particular has traction because people feel powerless to combat it; trying to protect your kids from becoming assholes is like trying to protect them from the chicken pox. It doesn't work. So, people find a scapegoat, something tangible that they can dismantle and try to keep away from their children. They convince themselves that if they can just keep violent media away from the kids, maybe kids won't know how to be violent. This isnt really their fault, people have been falling for non-causa-pro-causa arguments (with this, therefore because of this) since the dawn of time.

4: Our elected officials are like the contractors at your work. Solving problems does not help them; in fact, Solving problems permanently in a way which makes everyone happy makes them less likely to be re-elected.(this is not a troll, think about this) However, appearing to solve problems does help them. They get the credit for being a tireless defender of the public, and the problems are still there to fix next time they need a boost.

5: History teaches us the following: Games and other High-definition media will continue to be the scapegoat until someone builds a better scapegoat. Console games like GTA will wear targets on their backs until someone makes a VR Game where you rape/kill/steal/whatever or otherwise manages to take simulated violence to the Next Level. Until then, we personally have a choice: we can either whine, follow the mob, or run for congress.

6: There are thousands of idiots out there, sooner or later you will probably fail to think about something and be one of them. While I don't expect you to fix any of the above problems, do try to be smart about it and start thinking critically about the next thing that pisses you off.

Re:GTA, violence, and the need to be Re-elected (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028699)

Many of the other points are good ones, but:

1: We have evidence that Violence and Violent Video Games are correlated. Nobody has any clue if violent games makes kids violent, or if violent kids like violent games; but it's politically unpopular to accuse your constituients' kids of being thugs. (FYI, this is the kind of evidence that says smoking and cancer are correlated, but nobody really cares whether or not cancer causes smoking)

Actually, we have large volumes of statistical scientific data which proves that smoking is a leading cause of certain forms of cancer - mouth, lung, and throat in particular. Now, if you were say a firefighter, the intake of cancerous materials from exposure to toxics in inhaled smoke and vaporized chemicals might be a higher factor, but for your average joe, it is the leading indicator. In short, unless you are someone who normally ingests large amounts of smoke and other cancer-causing agents, smoking is what will get you. Now, if you are a gas huffer from age 5 - well, that's a higher risk factor.

Re:GTA, violence, and the need to be Re-elected (1)

KimiDalamori (579444) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030371)

Not to start a flame war about tobacco, but, a little clarification of the earlier point:
We have scads of scientific data which proves that there is a relationship between smoking and cancer, but we cannot prove that smoking causes cancer on the weight of that evidence alone. A statistical relationship between the two allows us to conclude that either Smoking causes Cancer, Cancer causes Smoking, or that some unknown factor causes cancer and smoking. The Tobbacco companies harp on this point endlessly, and they are technically correct. Although the assertion that cancer causes smoking is absurd, we can't rule out the common-cause possibility.

The same logic applies to violence and violent media. People assume that violent media causes violence, but there's no direct evidence to support that; all we can say is that there seems to be a correlation.

Re:GTA, violence, and the science of it all (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030455)

I beg to differ on the scientific conclusions in this regard. The science is quite settled on the statistical link of certain cancers to tobacco usage, especially worldwide, regardless of your belief to the contrary.

Your point on media and violence is more scientifically founded, however.

This does not however, mean that game violence or media violence is or is not a contributing factor to GTA-inspired behaviors, but I'd love to see the research proposals for such a study:

let's see, I'm going to need a few helicopters, a lot of fast cars, guns, lots of guns, lots of ammo, a few grenade launchers, and Get Out Of Jail Free cards for the research city.

Now I just need to find someone to finance the grant ... do you think the tobacco institute might do it?

Re:GTA, violence, and the need to be Re-elected (1)

GeekyMike (575177) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030253)

As an Alabama resident, I may be able to refine a little here.

Nobody has any clue if violent games makes kids violent, or if violent kids like violent games; but it's politically unpopular to accuse your constituients' kids of being thugs

Jack Thompson is pretty popular judging from responses he got from a morning talk radio show from Birmingham when he was in town for the criminal trial, so that may play in. This is the "Bible belt", remember (not to start an arguement)

2: It's a mid-term Election year.

It is also a state election year, with the judge who threw Thompson out last time (Moore) running for governor. Raging debates about eminent domain (sp?), Yearly property tax re-evaluation, and a governor (Riley) who is likely the most corrupt, decietful republican there is (including Gee Dub). And the state D.A. (King) who will not do his job and give an opinion on the legality of actions from the state gov't. The entire state gov't is owned by Paul Hubbard, who is the head of the educators union (and I think is state suerintendant). This circus act draws issues from the governor's race and also has the potential to strengthen the educator agenda as well.

I personally think it is odd they are suing Walmart AND Gamespot. And I also apologise for my style of typing, as I am under the weather and at work.

wah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15028429)

Oh boo hoo, if you play games as crappy and boring as the GTA series you deserve the death penalty.

Whenever I get arrested by the police.. (0, Offtopic)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028682)

Steve Ballmer made me do it!

Violence..... Riiiiiiiiight (1)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15028757)

The thing that gets me the most is that some people just don't seem realise the gap between real and not real. Granted the murderer did know what he was doing. I myself play a lot of violent video games (mostly because that's all that's out there anymore) and i don't go killing people. Violent media and games does not cause violence, and it certainly did not make this guy kill. The style may have been determined by the game, but he had it in his mind to kill before he decided how to do it. I think he was honestly trying to please innocent and blame it on the game. Today's America is all about passing the buck until nobody is clear who has it anymore. People don't do actions because the violence in the games makes them do it. Nightmare on Elm St is still WAY more violent than most games, and kids watch it on TBS or TNT late at night. Violence has become a part of our media cultre and that's just the way it is. This guy deserves the death penalty, because HE pulled the trigger, HE made the shot, HE killed the police officers. The game didn't do it, the game makers didn't do it, HE did. The only one responsible for your actions is YOU.

Re:Violence..... Riiiiiiiiight (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029075)

While I agree with most of your point, I take issue with the statement that violent video games are all that's out there. I suppose it's true that the majority of games have some form of violence in them, there are a good many in which it's more like an old Roadrunner cartoon than the gritty gore-fests which are so popular these days. If you think that violent games are all that's out there, you're really not looking hard enough.

OT: Death penalty (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15028944)

Am I the only one who's extremely alienated by the thought of killing a kid? I mean, okay, so he's done things that, after the code of law, justify a death penalty. And I guess after turning 18 you can be judged as an adult.
But does that have to be the case? Did the jury not have a choice in the matter? After all, you don't magically become an adult 18 years after being born.

Easy solution (2, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029097)

We're talking about Alabama. Tell them that they're taking the same stance as Joe Lieberman and (gasp!) Hillary Clinton. Things will quiet down in no time.

"obsessively?" (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029114)

I wonder what "obsessively?" means in this case.

When I get into a game, I'll play it for maybe 8 hours a day every day for a week or whatever it takes to finish it.

Haven't gone on a homocidal rampage yet.

Seriously, what's obsessive for someone who enjoys games might not apply to other pursuits...games often encourage certain time commitments regardless of content.

I wonder (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029323)

if he was wearing green and shouting "Grove Street! Mutha Fucka!"

Completely understandable (2, Funny)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029351)

Back in the day, I had to make myself stop playing Tetris, because I kept obsessively stacking things on top of each other. The game made me do it.

Obviously *NOT* influenced by GTA (2)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029383)

This is an 18-year-old boy we're talking about.

Obviously if he'd ever played Grand Theft Auto, he'd be out scoring with hookers, not killing cops. Now, if he was on trial for killing a prostitute, then maybe he'd have a case.

Games...but not movies! (1)

Pearson (953531) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029437)

I'm sure he'd never watched any films which featured shooting guns or killing cops...No, of course not! And even if he had, we all know that movies don't influence kids, it's those video games that are really Evil (as in Frooits of the Devil)!

Come on, I'm not that old, but I'm old enough to remember when the target of this kind of hysteria was Dungeons & Dragons. Good mothers wouldn't let their kids be exposed to that source of Evil. How can everyone else have forgotten so quickly?

Re:Games...but not movies! (1)

kabir (35200) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030534)

Yeah, I remember that too... I also remember that terrible Tom Hanks movie where he plays D&D, goes nuts, and nearly(?) kills himself/everybody else. Watch moveis like that now and they seem absolutely silly, but somehow CSI thought that the GTA-inspired killer thing would make good tv. *sigh* It's dissapointing to see how long it takes for us to progress as a society.

Coming sonn to a game box near you... (2, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029489)

SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING

Excessive exposure of disturbed individuals to graphically violent games may reenforce existing violent tendencies. Coupled with a disconnect from reality, these conditions may result in the real-world application of themes observed in the game environment, including--but not limited to--assault, robbery, rape, torture, and murder. Please note the existing ESRB rating and seek professional help if you feel the desire to replicate game scenarios in real life.

I have to wonder... (1)

Perseid (660451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15029514)

...are the victim's loved ones suing the family of the murderer? Or just the ones with, you know, money?

so Rockstar is completely NOT Culpable? (2, Interesting)

Vesuvias (584893) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030072)

Lets all be completely honest, not a one of us wants to see this case be successful because we feel a danger to our right to art and entertainment.

While I agree, there is also a part of me that thinks any developer that makes a game where the primary objectives in the game involve car-jacking, murdering and getting away from law enforcement that that developer should have at least a passing concern as to how thier creation will have an impact. We talk so freely about people pointing fingers and shurking responsibility. Are we really saying that Rockstar should have ZERO consideration for the overall impact of what they create? That they get to completely wash thier hands of any culpabilty when they make something original. Why does Rockstar get a pass on the responsibility hit list?

I am certianly not saying this litigation is right. But at the same time maybe just maybe making vidoe games that glorify the killing of cops may not be "right" either.

Ves

Re:so Rockstar is completely NOT Culpable? (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030751)

That's fine in countries where thought and expression is regarded as weapons against the general public and the state - but this country was founded without that concept. Unless I physically bash you on the head and cause real trauma - any info - of any media - of any kind - can be regarded as offensive to someone, some group or even the majority. The right to make whatever graven image, game, or text is protected. If you lose that - then shit-can the rest and give me good honest fascism which doesn't go around "pretending" it's agenda while providing services.

Unless you're ready for some Singapore-style slings and hangmen and some snappy uniforms helping you to see what you need to see, say what is state approved, and keep the public's best interest at hand in exchange for better education & jobs - I don't fucking want to hear abou it - and that goes double for your kids.

"In cold blood" isn't a video game - someone might tell the Senate.

here's something odd (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15030646)

Although you get the gammut of noobs and whatnot with online shooters, I've noted - particularly with the euro and australian set, the overwhelming amount of polite chatter, "sorrys" and the like during fragfests. Although people in the real world are generally polite around where I live - it pales in comparrison to the almost creepy-polite people splattering my corpse into a million gibblets every other night in RTCW.

What am I supposed to infer from this compared to the "media" (who have been losing oodles of revenue to slobs like me who are tired of watching their violent programing and are going elsewhere) who perpetually throw data counter to first-hand data everyday? The start of a slander and libel class-action suit might be just what the DA ordered.

Thanks for reading.
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