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The Heartbreaking Reason Why Activision Is Being Sued

Activision Blizzard is no stranger to lawsuits, but its latest legal battle is particularly gut-wrenching. The video game company, alongside social media giant Meta and gun manufacturer Daniel Defense, is currently being sued by the families of the Uvalde shooting victims. The lawsuit alleges that games like "Call of Duty" exposed Uvalde shooter Salvador Ramos and other young men to images glorifying guns and violence. Daniel Defense is named in the suit because one of its weapons was used in the tragic shooting, while Meta is being called out for allegedly further exposing young men to gun culture through unregulated social media posts. The families of the victims are seeking an undisclosed amount in monetary damages from the three companies.

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This isn't the first lawsuit to come out of the Uvalde tragedy, and it definitely won't be the last. The families of the victims have previously received a settlement from the city of Uvalde, but the lawsuit against Activision, Meta, and Daniel Defense is the most expansive case yet. Activision is pushing back against being linked to the shooting, but it's likely to be months before the lawsuit makes any real progress.

If you have been impacted by incidents of mass violence, or are experiencing emotional distress related to incidents of mass violence, you can call or text Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 for support.

Only the latest lawsuit

It's been just over two years since the city of Uvalde, Texas was impacted by a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022. 19 fourth grade children were killed in the attack, as were two of their teachers.

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A number of lawsuits related to the shooting have been filed, and some have already been resolved. Families received a $2 million settlement from the city of Uvalde in a case that took issue law enforcement's response to the shooting. City, state, and federal officers on the scene were found to have waited for over an hour before charging into the classroom.

This latest lawsuit against Activision, Meta, and Daniel Defense is taking broader aim at companies that some view as complicit in the tragedy. The legal team working with the Uvalde families previously helped to secure a $73 million settlement from Remington after one of its guns was used in 2012's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Lead attorney Josh Koskoff succinctly laid out the reasoning behind the suit (per Daily Mail), saying, "This three-headed monster knowingly exposed him to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as a tool to solve his problems and trained him to use it." From that perspective, Koskoff argues, Daniel Defense sold the gun, Meta (through Instagram), provided the marketing and a place for the shooter to show off his weapon, and Activision's games inspired the act. However, the gaming giant is not taking these serious allegations lying down.

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Activision pushes back

The lawsuit against Activision attempts to draw a clear line between "Call of Duty" and the Uvalde shooting. As reported by The New York Times, the suit points out that the Uvalde shooter was a fan of the game series, noting that his search history points to an increased interest in military weaponry that began very shortly after playing "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" for the first time. 

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Activision disagrees that the shooter's obsession came directly from his experiences playing "Call of Duty." There have undoubtedly been real crimes inspired by video games, but Activision is pushing back against the notion that violent video games are the cause of violent crimes. In a statement to CBS News addressing the lawsuit, the company expressed its sympathies for the victims and their families. However, Activision argued, "Millions of people around the world enjoy video games without turning to horrific acts." In fact, decades of research has so far failed to establish a direct link between video games and criminal activity, but Activision's statement has not dissuaded the hurt families' pursuit of justice.

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It will likely be quite some time before this lawsuit is resolved, and the team working with the Uvalde families likely has an uphill battle to link all of these companies to the shooting. For now, the debate over large-scale solutions to gun violence and the culpability of AAA publishers like Activision will continue.

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