In April, 2001 a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of several families of the victims of the Columbine incident.
They seek punitive damages in the amount of ... get ready for it ...
FIVE BILLION DOLLARS
The list of defendants in the suit is an impressive one. AOL Time Warner, Sony Computer Entertainment, Nintendo of America, Sega of America, id Entertainment, and GT Interactive Entertainment are some of the companies listed in the suit as sharing a measure of responsibility for what happened.
"Absent the combination of extremely violent video games and these boys' incredibly deep involvement, use of and addiction to these games and the boys' basic personalities, these murders and this massacre would not have occurred,'' allege the plaintiffs.
Okay, let's look at this from a different angle for a minute. Say the boys spent all their time watching the fun and rowdy violence found in ... ohhh, say The Dukes of Hazzard, instead of playing Doom (and, apparently, amassing a rather large arsenal underneath their parents noses). Now lets say that instead of wearing trenchcoats the boys went on their little spree wearing Daisy Dukes.
Would the families then sue the cotton industry? Levi Strauss? AOL Time Warner?
If there's $5,000,000,000 to be made ... you bet your ass. The day a lawsuit like this doesn't sound like moneygrubbing to my ears is the day a parent (or bully, or parent of a bully) gets named as a defendant.
Until then ... the killing will continue.
Eidos, a smaller named defendant in this lawsuit has had all charges dropped against them, without prejudice.
Seems the people in the suit were going after Eidos because they published Final Fantasy 7. The game had been found in the assailants Sony PlayStation, thus ... Cloud and his gang must have held some measure of responsibility for Columbine!
However, during discovery, it was "discovered" that there aren't any guns in Final Fantasy 7. Thus, Eidos should be excused from any further proceedings.
While I'm sure Eidos could have mentioned this to the plaintiffs, who can fault them for not mentioning ... The Sister Ray?
Which is nothing but a city-sized piece of artillery in the game named Final Fantasy 7. It was used (and a most noble and just use, to be sure) to fight against a robotic terror from the deep, one of a series of creatures called WEAPONs.
I wonder how much Eidos paid under the table. I wonder if they rue the day they ever heard the name John Romero.
Now the suit, in toto, has been dismissed. And rightly so, sez I. Our justice system can work when it wants to.