Let's step back and analyze this for a second, shall we:
1) Rockstar Games, a division of Take2 software, creates Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a sequel to their (apparently) highly successful Grand Theft Auto game. Note: I've never played these games, but from what I understand it involves a lot of gunfire, explosions, car chases, drugs, fistfights, cop-killings, and other unsavory elements. A couple of programmers bury illicit sex scenes within the (presumably) millions of lines of code conatined within said game
3) Granny buys her 14-year-old grandson said video game. Apparently, she thinks a game involving extreme violence and perpetual defiance of authority is just the thing he needs!
4) Apparently realizing her mistake when she gets home, she demands that the game be taken away from said grandson. Apparently, she doesn't realize at the store that a game that takes its title from a major felony probably isn't appropriate for a young teenager barely past puberty.
5) Upon hearing about the ilicit sex scenes hidden in the game, said granny sues the maker of said game, claiming "false, misleading, and deceptive practices."
Now, as near as I can understand it, the grandson did not play the game at any time. He didn't see the violence, drugs, and sex contained within GTA: SA. Granny didn't want junior to have it. Fine. Get your receipt, take it back to the store, and exchange it for something more kid-friendly. No harm, no foul.
But NOOOO! Granny wants money and publicity. So she jumps into the legal system with both feet. She wants her piece of the pie.
Rockstar games, meanwhile, basks in the spotlight. You can't buy this kind of publicity!
There are a number of people at fault in this whole affair:
* The people who wrote the illicit code. These people should lose their jobs, and never be allowed near a computer again.
* Granny, for not having the sense to LOOK AT THE BOX that the game came in. Seriously. What part of "may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older" did you NOT understand?!
* Her lawyer, for talking her into filing a suit that will increase tenfold sales of Rockstar Games, more than enough to make up for any paltry award they may have to pay in court, if any.
* The ESRB, for not making their ratings system more clear. Seriously. Try this:
"DO NOT SELL OR GIVE THIS GAME TO ANYONE UNDER 17 YEARS OF AGE!!!" Hard to get any clearer that that!
NOT at fault, however, is the company Rockstar games. They produced a product that filled what they perceived to be a market demand (and, judging by sales figures, they were right!) It's what businesses do every day. Perhaps their only mistake was not accounting for the fact that there are thousands of geeks out there who go through game program codes line-by-line, looking for just this sort of thing.
Personally, I can't help but wonder if this whole deal isn't a publicity stunt...
You know, once upon a time, I watched the movie Suburban Commando. I'm still not sure why. I mean, this movie was HORRIBLE!
Of course, that can pretty much describe any movie starring Hulk Hogan. But I remember one funny scene: The hero (Hogan) has just trashed a muscle car belonging to some redneck neighbors of the family he's living with. Then, when one of the rednecks asks "Do you know what we're gonna do to you?", the hero responds with a litany of physical abuses. "No," says the neighbor, "this is the '90's--We're gonna sue you!"
Pretty scary, isn't it, that a movie made back in 1991 is still right-on almost fifteen years later?