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Uvalde school shooting victims sue Activision, claiming it’s the “most prolific marketer of weapons in the US”

The families of those killed in the Uvalde school shooting in 2022 have filed lawsuits against Call of Duty publisher Activision, accusing the company of “grooming” the 18-year-old who shot and killed 19 children, two teachers, and injured 17 others.

As reported by The New York Times (£) (thanks, PC Gamer), the dual lawsuits – one filed in California, the other in Texas – claim that the killer bought a Daniel Defense M4 V7 on his 18th birthday after seeing the gun in Call of Duty games.

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It’s the lawsuits’ position that by using real-life weapons, Activision is “the most prolific and effective marketer of assault weapons in the United States”.

They also take issue with Meta’s Instagram and the arms manufacturer, Daniel Defense, too, saying that were it not for technology and video games, the socially isolated teenager living in rural Texas would not have been able to contact the gun maker.

Activision says that whilst it shares its “deepest sympathies” to all those impacted by the mass shooting, “millions of people around the world enjoy video games without turning to horrific acts”.

The Entertainment Software Association – the video game trade body that representations video game companies in the US and established the ESRB ratings association in the early 1990s – calls the lawsuits “baseless”.

“We are saddened and outraged by senseless acts of violence,” the ESA said in a statement to press. “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.”

We’ve reached out to Activision for further comment and will update you if/when we receive a formal response.

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