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Games In The Court – GTA “Life Is A Video Game”

On June 7, 2003, in Fayette, Alabama, Devin Moore (18) shot the three police officers Crump (40), Mealer (38) and Strickland (55), after he had been arrested because of a stolen car charge [1], [2].

Fayette officer Mark McClure, who arrested Moore, testified that the suspect told him ''Life is a video game. You've got to die sometime.''

[source: Officer.com]

Devin Moore was a troubled child with an abusive father [3]. Evidently, he played video games obsessively [4].

Moore's lawyers claimed that Moore had been programmed by frequently playing the game Grand Theft Auto (GTA) and that Moore was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to his abuse at home [5].

Judge James Moore (no relation) ruled against both of these claims [5]. The jury found Devin Moore guilty, and the sentence is expected on September 30, 2005 [6].

Parallel to the trail, a civil lawsuit has been filed by the victim's families with Jack Thompson as lawyer:

Separately, the victims' families have filed a civil suit against the video game manufacturer and two stores, claiming Moore killed the three after repeatedly playing "Grand Theft Auto III" and "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City."

Named in the suit are Wal-Mart Stores and Gamestop, where Moore allegedly purchased the games when he was under 17, along with Take-Two Interactive Software, the manufacturer of the games, and Sony Computer Entertainment, the maker of the PlayStation 2.

[source: Ledger-Inquirer]

Thompson links the murders to Moore's playing of GTA:

Attorney Jack Thompson, a long-time crusader against video-game violence, is bringing the suit. "What we're saying is that Devin Moore was, in effect, trained to do what he did. He was given a murder simulator," says Thompson.

"He bought it as a minor. He played it hundreds of hours, which is primarily a cop-killing game. It's our theory, which we think we can prove to a jury in Alabama, that, but for the video-game training, he would not have done what he did."


"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."

[source: CBS News]

While there have been attempts to prohibit the sale of violent or sexually explicit games to minors [7], it is not illegal to sell such games to minors [8].

The civil lawsuit will be heard by Judge James Moore, who already presided the trial [9]. A date for the civil lawsuit has not yet been set [10].


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