GTA Battle Goes to the Courts
The battle over Grand Theft Auto has now reached the courts, BetaNews has learned. A Florida attorney who has been involved in several high profile obscenity cases has turned his sights on the controversial game.
John Thompson has petitioned the Eleventh Circuit Court in Miami, Florida for a temporary injunction against Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, Wal-Mart, and GameStop to stop sales of the game to minors in Miami-Dade County.
The filing also says that Thompson plans to ask for a permanent injunction to stop the sale of the game altogether and that he may seek to have the injunction applied statewide.
Thompson has been involved in several notable cases involving obscenity and violence, including the 2 Live Crew obscenity trial in 1990 and against Ice T in 1992 over the song "Cop Killer." More recently, he has turned his attention to violence in video games, including several games by Rockstar and its subsidiary, Rockstar North.
In an interview with CBSNews.com in March, Thompson said the video game industry has no restrictions placed on what it can produce, and called the industry "selfish and childish."
"These are murder simulators. Manhunt has been called the video game equivalent of a snuff film," Thompson argued. "I am working with an Oakland, CA prosecutor in a murder trial in which the older gang members used GTA 3 to train teens to do carjackings and murders. The Army uses these games to break down the inhibition to kill of new recruits."
Also today, Thompson petitioned Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch to launch an investigation into Target and Best Buy over the sale of Grand Theft Auto, citing Wednesday's report by BetaNews that the modification could also be applied in the Xbox and PS2 versions of the game.
BetaNews was not able to obtain comment from the retailers named in the suit by press time.