Sony and Wal-Mart Sued Over Video Game

Oct 22, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Lawyers have filed a suit for $246 million against Sony and Wal-Mart for the shootings of two motorists by teenagers in Tennessee who said they got the idea from the video game
“Grand Theft Auto III.’

The boys who pleaded guilty in juvenile court to reckless homicide, endangerment and assault told investigators they decided to shoot at tractor-trailer rigs, just as it was
done in the video game, because they were bored.

One victim, Aaron Hamel, 45, lost his life and another Kimberly Bede, 19, was seriously wounded when their cars were hit by bullets while driving on Interstate 40 in the Smoky
Mountains region of Tennessee.

The lawyers filing the suit contend Grand Theft Auto III “inspires and trains players to shoot at vehicles and persons.’

Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association, called the suit “misguided and counterproductive.’

“There is no credible evidence that violent games lead to violent behavior,’ he said. “While video games may provide a simple excuse for the teenagers involved in this incident,
responsibility for violent acts belongs to those who commit them.’

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on the lawsuit filed against Sony and Wal-Mart over the Grand Theft Auto III shootings?

We’re not sure that we agree with Douglas Lowenstein about there being no link between video games and behavior. We do agree with him, however, that responsibility
for the crime belongs with the two boys and, perhaps, their parents or guardians.
Anderson – Moderator

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