A group of video game makers and sellers responsible for the popular "Grand Theft Auto" series faced a major blow March 29 when the Alabama Supreme Court rejected an appeal to throw out a $600 million lawsuit that blames the game for three murders.
In 2003 an Alabama teenager who owned the Grand Theft Auto series killed two police officers and a dispatcher. Following his arrest, the teen allegedly told police: "Life is a video game; everybody has to die sometime."
The victims' families filed suit in 2005 against Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., a subsidiary of Rockstar Games Inc., as well as Sony, which manufactures the game systems on which the games run, and two local retailers, including a Wal-Mart where the teen purchased the games.
The companies previously asked the court to dismiss the suit, claiming they had a right to sell the games under the First Amendment. The March 29 decision upheld a recent trial court ruling that rejected the First Amendment defense, yet agreed to hear arguments over whether Alabama courts had the power to hear the case.