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Grand Theft Auto In New Legal Threat

Rockstar’s controversial Grand Theft Auto is once again the centerpiece of a forthcoming legal attack, with notorious Florida-based lawyer Jack Thompson alleging t...

David Jenkins

October 11, 2004

1 Min Read

Rockstar’s controversial Grand Theft Auto is once again the centerpiece of a forthcoming legal attack, with notorious Florida-based lawyer Jack Thompson alleging that a Massachusetts teenager used one of the games to plan a high school massacre. Police discovered that sixteen-year-old Tobin Kerns was planning to kill students and teachers at his school on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre and then to kill responding fire-fighters and police. Thompson alleges that Grand Theft Auto is one of Kerns' favorite games and that “The technique of killing civilians and then first-responders when they get there is the primary scenario to win in all the Grand Theft Auto games”. Thompson has made a number of attacks on videogames in recent months. He alleged that a British youth was influenced by the game Manhunt, when in reality it was the victim, not the assailant, who owned a copy of the game. Thompson also claimed that the Washington, DC Sniper, John Allen Muhammad, trained himself using Halo - ignoring the fact that Muhammad is an ex-US Army veteran trained with the rifle. Thompson has yet to win any case involving allegations against videogames or game publishers.

About the Author(s)

David Jenkins

Blogger

David Jenkins ([email protected]) is a freelance writer and journalist working in the UK. As well as being a regular news contributor to Gamasutra.com, he also writes for newsstand magazines Cube, Games TM and Edge, in addition to working for companies including BBC Worldwide, Disney, Amazon and Telewest.

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