The Grand Theft Auto game is again being accused of being the cause that led to murder. This time, the accusation is from Fayette, Alabama, and the accusor is the families of victims shot by the accused Devin Thompson. Thompson is accused of killing 3 police officers. The family members bringing the suit certainly have some tear-jerking stories. They say they want to punish the companies that made this murder happen by selling this kid a video game.
Don’t believe a word of it, this is about money.
The lawsuit is against Sony, Wal-Mart, Gamestop, and Take-Two Interactive Software (in other words, anyone who has money). If the plaintiffs really cared about changing the world and making it a better place, why are they in civil court trying to collect money? They should be petitioning for laws to change, or working to make stricter age-limit controls, or working to help parents be aware of video game violence.
But no, these people don’t really care about making the world a better place. They pretend to be “punishing” the wrongdoers. But the monetary damages which would come from this case will NOT be significant enough to punish Sony or WalMart. So its not about punishment. If its not about punishment, what is it about? Its about making a buck for the victims.
To the victims: Look, we live in a dangerous place. This event was a tragedy, there is no doubt about it. But a bad guy killed 3 men. These brave men were guys who put their lives on the line every day. And unfortunately, on this day, the bad guy got them. It sucks, and I’m sure your lives will never be the same. But taking it to civil court isn’t the answer. Spend your time trying to change the laws that made this possible. Spend your time raising parental awareness. Spend your time boycotting the companies that built this game until they change their policies. Why aren’t you doing that? Too much work? I bet there aren’t any lawyers volunteering to help with that for free. Naw, the lawyers definitely only care about the green.
The reality is that these kinds of frivolous lawsuits are already built into the cost of making a computer game today. The makers of the game knew all too well that some money grubber like this would be coming after them eventually. As such, they built it into the cost of the video game. They’ve made $2B in sales on the game, so I bet they have quite a bit of room to accomodate this lawsuit. So you aren’t punishing these companies. Instead, you are part of the system which is taxing every American consumer. We’re paying a higher cost for goods because the manufacturers know that they’re going to have to pay you off. They already had earmarked the money for you to take.
To the victims I probably sound callous and cold. But there is nothing we can do to help soothe your suffering. If you really believe in your cause, then help others by getting our laws changed. That would be progress. Instead, it looks like you are just cashing in your lottery ticket.
And to the lawyers in this case, I guess this is where you guys are playing your own version of “Grand Theft Auto”. Only, for some reason, “Grand Theft Legal” isn’t against the law. How whacked is that.