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The Courts Idle Games

Man Sues Rockstar Saying GTA:SA Is Based On His Life 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-life-full-of-missions dept.
dotarray writes "From the article: 'Rockstar Games are no strangers to legal action, but it doesn't come stranger than this. An American model, Michael Washington (known as "Shagg") is suing the publisher — as well as parent company Take Two Interactive — because they based Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on his life.'" It's a good thing Washington never learned the infinite ammo cheat.

*

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Man Sues Rockstar Saying GTA:SA Is Based On His Life

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  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:38AM (#34501112) Journal

    You know, judging by the nickname he chose and the general air of machismo he tries to project, I can't help but feel he's trying to compensate for something.

    At a guess, he possibly never managed to unlock the real life version of "hot coffee".

    • by jandersen (462034)

      I think the term we are looking for here is "penis envy" ...

      • by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:20PM (#34505920)
        A hint to game developers: Give your protagonist a small penis and no one will try to claim the character was based on their lives.
        • by sumdumass (711423)

          I'm not sure about that. I forget which case exactly, but a guy attempted to fight a public indecency charge in court by having his wife testify that no one could make out his genitalia from a distance as far away as the closest witness claimed to be because of it's size.

          I don't think he won the case either. After a quick search, I couldn't find the specific case I was thinking of, but claiming you have a small endowment appears to be happening more and more. [abovethelaw.com]

          You will have to follow some of the links on that

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            The small penis line is just how you make it clear that you want to be the first guy to go anal on her.
    • Implying someone is a virgin? On slashdot?

      ...

      Really???
    • He's a male model that no one has ever heard of. I'm sure he's doing this to get the publicity that can get him out of the business of selling hot coffee (or "hot coffee")
    • If there were any degree of truth to this, and I'll go on a limb and assume this person is an adult, if your life resembled a videogame like that, would you tell anyone?
    • He wouldn't be suing Rockstar.
      He'd just come visit in his stolen chevy, and murder the crap out of everyone in the office!

  • to Rockstar, sues drink maker, game developer and Motely Crue.
  • Didn't he see the frame that briefly flashes up before starting the game?

    "The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event. Any similarities to actual people, places or events is purely coincidental." /facetiousness

    • FTA

      Back in the day, ya see, Shagg met up with Rockstar developers to answer questions on "his street life including how the teen-agers in his gang rode around on bicycles." At the conclusion of the interview, he was told that if the devs chose to include him in the game, they'd let him know.

      They never called - and Shagg didn't think any more of it. Fast forward nearly six years, and Shagg's nephew told his uncle about this great video game he'd been playing. You can imagine that Uncle Shagg was more than

      • This is probably one of the most amusing articles and discussions I've read on /. in a long time
      • Actually, later in the article it says they even went so far as to credit him along with a bunch of others as "talent". Yet they didn't pay him.

        I'm guessing he recalls the meeting and fails to recall the waiver of likeness rights he signed during said meeting. That, or he signed something that flat-out said that they were doing research among multiple people, none of whom would be compensated beyond a credit, and that the result would take lifelike tidbits from multiple people to inspire one fictional chara

        • by BobMcD (601576)

          Actually, later in the article it says they even went so far as to credit him along with a bunch of others as "talent". Yet they didn't pay him.

          I'm guessing he recalls the meeting and fails to recall the waiver of likeness rights he signed during said meeting. That, or he signed something that flat-out said that they were doing research among multiple people, none of whom would be compensated beyond a credit, and that the result would take lifelike tidbits from multiple people to inspire one fictional character's traits.

          And what if there was no waiver? Those things exist for a reason, and you're well illustrating the proper use, but their counter argument seems to be along the lines of...

          The other, bigger, part suggests that Rockstar based the in-game personalities on a collection of caricatures and stereotypes – Boys ‘n the Hood-style – rather than anything, or anyone specific.

          It is possible that the design team was confident that the generalization defense would be sufficient and that they wouldn't require any actual paperwork.

          • If that's the case, they may be right or wrong. It'd be up to the court to decide, which means that the guy may have a case.

            I'd expect a lot of invocations of the Fifth Amendment, though. It's kind of difficult to prove something's based on your life if you won't answer the questions about how it resembles your life. Then again, if he can get hooked for just a couple of small crimes then doing a couple of years for $250 million might be a deal for this guy.

            • by BobMcD (601576)

              I'd expect a lot of invocations of the Fifth Amendment, though. It's kind of difficult to prove something's based on your life if you won't answer the questions about how it resembles your life.

              I'd bet the statute of limitations would apply to almost all of those, though.

              • Well, if he's smart enough he can admit only to instances that do, anyway. Even if a prosecutor can't make anything stick, though, he's opening himself up to investigation even with the claims he's made already.

  • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:44AM (#34501224) Journal

    If GTA: SA is based on his life, then he must be the most dangerous man alive. Not only must he have committed thousands of murders, assault and batteries, vehicular homicide, and grand larceny, he must also have infiltrated Area 51 and stole military aircraft and vehicles. The man must be a greater threat than Al Qaeda and American Idol put together.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Theoboley (1226542)
      To hell with being the most dangerous man alive, he must be stealthier than Solid Snake... I wonder if he gets out of the car and beats the hookers he just slept with to death just to get his cash back?
      • Wait.. why have I never noticed the innuendo in the name "Solid Snake" before? Surely I must have, but subsequently forgot..

        • I never noticed the innuendo in the name "Solid Snake" before

          Really?

          Not even after Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater? Seriously, I don't know if it is MGS series or just the English translations but they are full of innuendo.

          "There's nothing like the feeling of slamming a long silver bullet into a well greased chamber"

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Magada (741361)

            Not that it is ever a good idea to grease the chambers of your revolver unless it's a ball-and-cap jobbie, which Revolver Ocelot's Colt Single Action Army definitely isn't.

            You'll find that if you do that, the spent cases may not fall neatly out when you break out the cilinder, but rather stick in there (the burnt powder is blown back "up" the chambers somewhat, increasing the viscosity of whatever you've used to lube it up) and require some fiddling to get out. Needless to say, fiddling under enemy fire is

            • Yes, it is the leading case of death in the fiddler population...fiddling under enemy fire.

              • by Magada (741361)

                Surely you are referring to the rare Western combat fiddler, not to the common fiddler?

      • I wonder if he gets out of the car and beats the hookers he just slept with to death just to get his cash back?

        Don't we all?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      But... he's still less of a threat than Julian Assange!
    • Exactly what I was thinking. If SA is based on his life then he's just admitted to enough crimes to put him in jail for about. . oh. . 6 thousand years. Is that what he's going for?

    • by Chewbacon (797801)
      What did he do with that GPS that highlights gang territories? My local law enforcement office could use that.
    • and he doesn't always drink beer. But, when he does, he prefers DOS EQUIS!
    • by ogar572 (531320)
      Seems like you missed the whole point of the game and that was to beat up hookers.
    • Not only that, but every time he gets killed, he suddenly reapears at the doorway of a random hospital with enough strength to knock someone out and continue on his crime spree.
    • by crossmr (957846)

      "based on" does not mean "copied exactly".

      It means it's used as inspiration, perhaps some parts of the story come directly from his life.

      I realize you're apparently trying to be funny, but this kind of hyperbole usually just leads to people getting killed.

    • by Nikker (749551)
      You'd figure that a guy like that would just take the money with out messing around with lawyers.
  • hot coffee (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jarkov (1867240) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:44AM (#34501228)
    Sometimes I feel like all my sexual encounters have to be unlocked using a cheat code too.
    • Hopefully, that cheat code wasn't roofies.

      • Oh SNAP!!1!

        You shouldn't of come back. You'se a liability, CJ.

        My favorite is to sneak into the neighboring countryside and steal some sweet police trucks, or steal the jet and make an illegal visit to fake Vegas.

    • The cheat is to get them really drunk
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Pay For Dinner, Promise to Go Antiquing on Sunday, Start.

      • That sounds about as likely to work as anything I’ve tried, particularly if you did it backward starting with “Start”.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        No no no. The up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right happens AFTER buying her dinner.
      • by adolf (21054)

        That sounds like a lot of work.

        Once you've been married long enough, you ought to be able to just crawl into bed, softly say "roll over, honey," and commence with the act.

        It's not great fucking, but it's fucking better than my hand. And the best part is that she's self-cleaning.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Pay For Dinner, Promise to Go Antiquing on Sunday

        Are you kidding? Those are things that will make you appear to be a needy chauvinist and not get you laid.

        Every time I've gotten a woman in bed was either due to a) being funny, bold and uninhibited (I'm naturally a very outgoing person), b) being genuinely interested in what they have to say and having good stories to share that are relevant to the discussion, c) both of us being drunk or d) a combination of a, b and/or c.

        Never had to pay for dinner, even on actual dinner dates or with long-term girlfriend

    • I didn't realize credit card numbers are considered cheat codes now. I will remember that.
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      The cheat is simple: use the 3 green pieces of paper with pictures of Ben Franklin on them, duh!
    • Sometimes I feel like all my sexual encounters have to be unlocked using a cheat code too.

      Don't go to Sweden, in that case.

  • QBert (Score:5, Funny)

    by Peter Trepan (572016) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:49AM (#34501306)
    Since I spend a lot of time jumping on step pyramids and being chased by snakes, I was going to bring the same lawsuit against the makers of QBert.
  • Aren't you basically confessing dozens/hundreds of murders just by saying that?
    • And drive-by's, theft, theft of automobiles, conspiracy, illegal weapon possession, random mass pedestrian hit-and-runs......
      • Or, if his life is like how I play GTA3, he has an infinite assortment of guns, ammo, flamethrowers, armor, health, tanks and race cars to simply blow stuff up for hours on end....
  • 'He based his life on our video game?'

    Seriously? Since when were unauthorized biographies actionable?

  • pretty difficult to dig up an image - best I could find: http://media.rockstarwatch.net/news/9806741532.png [rockstarwatch.net] not much resemblance... also the article points out you can adjust the character's appearance (i've never played it personally).
    • about the only thing you can do, is put different clothes on Carl Johnson (our protagonist from GTA:SA), have him eat tons, and become fat, or pump iron to become muscular. there's no way to make him look like "Shagg"
      • Yeah the only thing constant about CJ is his face (and even haircut and facial hair can be changed), and he doesn't look that much like this guy.

  • by Andy Smith (55346) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:55AM (#34501412) Homepage

    I should sue the maker of Leisure Suit Larry.

  • I've been trying to do the cheat code for bi-plane IRL for years. ):

  • Suing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kevmatic (1133523) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:07PM (#34501614)

    If GTA was really based off of this man's life, he wouldn't be suing Rockstar in the court of law. Rockstar's HQ would be full of bullet holes.

    • .... and this guy wouldn't need to sue Rockstar because he would own various illegal businesses and have a slew of properties and vehicles. He would simply go blow up Rockstar's HQ out of principal.
    • by guspasho (941623)

      And he would escape from the cops and national guard, who would inexplicably forget that they were after him and go home.

  • Or just never died?
  • ...and get nets. When this guy walks by *wap* to the sanitarium.
  • Bizarre taste in nicknames. Perhaps he is thinking of Sherlock Holmes' well known habit:

    "And now, my dear Watson, it's time for a shag ..."

  • Sokoban must be based on my sorry life.

    Only I seem to live in a buggy level with one more crate than there are spots.

    You guessed it, I should sue.
  • Cause if the games is based on his life, last time I played GTA:SA he was a homicidal maniac, shoot random people and running down women and children, cause thats kinda all you can do with it once you beat the game. Should be easy to prove too if I submit my memory card in as evidence where it clearly states that he's killed however many thousand pedestrians and gangsters.

    Surprised he's suing too, cause last I checked when I was done with the game he was a billionaire due to big bets at at the OTB and th

  • My life has been about me saying stuff and people modding me down.

  • show up to court in his Harrier jet or dune buggy?
  • No-Talent-Hack needs more money for weed. More at 11
  • MC Hawking, infamous gangster scientist nerdcore hip hop star, has already laid claim to the "GTA was written about me" idea. And did it ten years ago in "GTA3" on "A Brief History of Rhyme: MC Hawking's Greatest Hits"

  • Little late for that now isn't it?
  • I played (and greatly enjoyed) GTA:SA. Among many of the amusing anticdotes in the game, were the many MANY references to popular culture. You had all of your rap music references, many movie references, rednecks, Area 51, junkies, the mafia, the CIA, the military, and countless others. And the main character has to embark on a great adventure that winds through a complex story that ties all of these elements together in the most rediculously unrealistic way possible, and mow down a few hookers while he'

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