Activision Sued by Uvalde School Shooting Survivors

The lawsuit alleges that the company “the most prolific and effective marketer of assault weapons in the United States.”

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 05/28/2024 11:24 Comment on this     ShareThis

Microsoft and Activision are being sued. The lawsuit comes from the families and survivors of the 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting that took place in Uvalde, Texas. Two suits were filed, one in California and the other in Texas, this past Friday, May 24, which was the two-year anniversary of the tragedy. Instagram, which is owned by Meta, was included in the suit, alongside arms manufacturer Daniel Defense. The survivors of the shooting allege that all parties named in the suit were responsible for “grooming” the killer.

In the case of Activision, the complainants allege that the Call of Duty series “[markets] assault weapons” via in-game product placement of various firearms. Activision said the following in response to the lawsuits:

“The Uvalde shooting was horrendous and heartbreaking in every way, and we express our deepest sympathies to the families and communities who remain impacted by this senseless act of violence. Millions of people around the world enjoy video games without turning to horrific acts.”

The Electronic Software Association (ESA), a trade body that represents the larger video game industry and runs the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), also released a statement in response to the impending legal proceedings:

“We are saddened and outraged by senseless acts of violence. At the same time, we discourage baseless accusations linking these tragedies to video gameplay, which detract from efforts to focus on the root issues in question and safeguard against future tragedies. Many other countries have similar rates of video gameplay to the United States, yet do not see similar rates of gun violence.”

The topic of video games instilling violent thoughts and behaviors in players is not a new one. The ESRB was founded exactly because of these debates, specifically the 1993 hearings led by Senators Joe Lieberman and Herb Kohl which called into question the violent content being depicted in games like Mortal Kombat. Although the ESRB exists to provide content warnings to discerning consumers, especially parents, there have been questions over the years about how games are marketed, particularly when Mature-rated content is featured on merchandise targeted at children.

We shall continue to update on this story as we learn more.

Source: The New York Times

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