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From the Dept. of “Video Games are Becoming More Like Movies Every Day:”
A model named Michael “Shagg” Washington is suing Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software for a cool $250 million for allegedly basing the lead character in the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on his troubled youth.
According to the complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Washington is a model and back-up singer with rap group Cypress Hill, and met with game developers for two hours to answer questions on “his street life including how the teen-agers in his gang rode around on bicycles.”
He says that he was told by the game developers that if they chose to use him in the game, he would be notified. He wasn’t.
Instead, he was shocked to see that the lead character of “CJ” looked like him. He now claims his life story was stolen in a new lawsuit that claims 25% of profits from the billion dollar game. According to some websites, he is listed on the game’s credits.
These days, video game reviewers talk about characters and plot, but game publishers rarely run disclaimers as they do in the film world that “Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.” Perhaps they should.
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