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ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

Interplay Named in Shooting Suit

Courts: Families of three high school students killed in Kentucky say violent video games contributed to attack.

April 13, 1999| Associated Press

The families of three students killed in a high school shooting in Kentucky sued several entertainment companies for $130 million Monday, charging that violent computer games, Internet porn and a Leonardo DiCaprio movie contributed to the attack.

Among the 25 defendants are Irvine-based game publisher Interplay Entertainment Corp., Time Warner Inc., Polygram Film Entertainment Distribution Inc., Palm Pictures, Island Pictures and New Line Cinema, all of which were involved in "The Basketball Diaries."

Interplay officials said they had not seen the lawsuit and don't comment on pending litigation.

Jack Thompson, an attorney for the families, said: "We intend to hurt Hollywood. We intend to hurt the video game industry. We intend to hurt the sex porn sites."

Michael Carneal, a 14-year-old freshman at Heath High School in Paducah, opened fire in 1997 with a stolen pistol on a group of students in the lobby as their prayer group was breaking up.

Carneal pleaded guilty to murder and other charges and got life in prison. He also pleaded mental illness.

The lawsuit alleges that Carneal was influenced by "The Basketball Diaries." In the 1995 movie, DiCaprio's drug-addled character, during a dream sequence, guns down a teacher and some classmates at his school.

Carneal also enjoyed playing popular ultraviolent computer games such as "Doom," "Quake" and Interplay's "Redneck Rampage," which honed his shooting skills, the lawsuit said.

And the teenager also frequently logged onto the Internet and looked at sexually violent material made available through at least two sex sites, according to the lawsuit.

Two Internet sex sites were also named, Meow Media Inc. and Network Authentication Systems Inc. Other defendants include video-game unit manufacturers Nintendo, Sega and Sony and software company id software Inc.

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