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Uvalde School Shooting Victims Families Attorney Names Call Of Duty In Lawsuit

Uvalde School Shooting Victims Families Attorney Names Call Of Duty In Lawsuit

May 24, 2024, marked the second anniversary of the Uvalde school shooting which led to the fatal shooting of 19 students and two teachers. Families of the victims have filed two wrongful death lawsuits. One targeted gun manufacturers while the second targeted technology companies—and Microsoft, Call of Duty, and Meta were roped in.

Uvalde School Shooting Victims Families Attorney Names Call Of Duty In Lawsuit

Call of Duty “creates a vividly realistic and addicting theater of violence in which teenage boys learn to kill with frightening skill and ease”, said the lawsuit.

The attorney representing the families is none other than Josh Koskoff who said, “There is a direct line between the conduct of these companies and the Uvalde shooting”. It is believed that the bulk of the litigation is aimed at Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind the Call of Duty franchise, and Daniel Defense, a weapon manufacturer whose products were used in the Uvalde school shooting.

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The lawsuit accused Meta and Activision of joining forces with weapon manufacturers to ‘reach’ young, impressionable people. Koskoff made a damning claim in a statement regarding the lawsuit.

“The truth is that the gun industry and Daniel Defense didn’t act alone,” said Koskoff. “They couldn’t have reached this kid but for Instagram. They couldn’t expose him to the dopamine loop of virtually killing a person. That’s what Call of Duty does.”

“(Meta and Activision Blizzard) knowingly exposed the Shooter to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as the solution to his problems, and trained him to use it.”

This is not the first time that Call of Duty has been fingered in a tragic school shooting. In a similar shooting in Sandy Hook in 2012, the shooter was accused of being obsessed with violent video games, especially Call of Duty.

Activision Blizzard responded swiftly to the lawsuit with a statement that stressed the company was sympathetic to the “horrendous and heartbreaking” events of the Uvalde school shooting in 2022 but added that “millions of people around the world enjoy video games without turning to horrific acts”.

Parents of Uvalde school shooting victims accuse Meta and Call of Duty of peddling violence

Uvalde School Shooting Victims Families Attorney Names Call Of Duty In Lawsuit

In the lawsuit instituted by the families of the victims in California, they alleged that the realistic and addictive nature of Call of Duty made the shooter seek out the guns he used in the video game as soon as he turned 18.

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The suit also claimed the Uvalde school shooter consumed pro-gun marketing on Instagram that reinforced the violent imagery he was accustomed to in video games.

“Simultaneously, on Instagram, the shooter was being courted through explicit, aggressive marketing,” said the families in the lawsuit.

Several studies have failed to directly link violent video games with mass shootings. In fact, a video game industry trade group pushed back at the culture of blaming video games for violence saying there was no research to justify the accusation.

“We are saddened and outraged by senseless acts of violence,” said the Entertainment Software Association. “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.”

Uvalde School Shooting Victims Families Attorney Names Call Of Duty In Lawsuit

The families of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting have also slammed a $500 million lawsuit on the Texas state police officers who arrived at the scene but spent more than an hour before confronting the shooter.

A successful outcome of the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard will have a ripple effect in the video game industry, especially since the lawsuit claimed that violent games are “knowingly promoting dangerous weapons to millions of vulnerable young people”.

A win for the families will likely mean more lawsuits will head the way of Fortnite, Battlefield, Rainbow Six, Grand Theft Auto, and hundreds of other similar video games.