Thailand Cracks Down on Grand Theft Auto IV Following Cabbie Murder

Thailand Cracks Down on Grand Theft Auto IV Following Cabbie Murder

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Thailand is urging retailers to pull Grand Theft Auto IV off shelves following the murder of a taxi driver by a teenager who claimed he was trying to recreate a scene from the game.

The 18-year-old high school student, described by police as an "obsessive player of Grand Theft Auto," attempted to rob a 54-year-old taxi driver over the weekend, stabbing him to death when the driver resisted. Police said the teenager exhibited no signs of mental issues during questioning, and confessed that he committed the crime because of the game. "He said he wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game," said Veeravit Pipattanasak, chief police investigator.

Thailand's Ministry of Culture has been seeking more stringent restrictions on the same types of videogames as well as limitations on when "youngsters" can play games in public arcades. "This time-bomb has already exploded and the situation could get worse," said Ladda Thangsupachai, director of the Cultural Surveillance Center, a branch of the Culture Ministry. "Today it is a cab driver, but tomorrow it could be a videogame shop owner."

Sakchai Chotikachinda, of videogame distributor New Era Interactive Media, said the company was already taking steps to remove the game from retail outlets. "We are sending out requests today to outlets and shops to pull the games off their shelves and we will replace them with other games," Sakchai said. "We are also urging videogame arcades to pull the games from service."

It may sound crazy, but it strikes me as perhaps possible that the government of Thailand could be manipulating the circumstances of a robbery gone wrong to fit its own agenda toward videogames. Claiming "GTA made me do it" might give the government adequate pretext to crack down on a politically problematic game, but my confidence in the veracity of confessions extracted within the walls of a Thai prison is not, I must admit, 100 percent. Of course, the reverse could also be true; the killer could be setting up a GTA defense in hopes of mitigating his sentence after he's found guilty, which he will be. Either way, it's a safe bet that Grand Theft Auto is less causal than convenient.

The suspect, described by his parents as "polite and diligent," faces the death penalty if found guilty - another good reason to spread the blame around.

Source: Reuters

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"Today it is a cab driver, but tomorrow it could be a videogame shop owner."

Or it could even be you. Dun-dun-dunnnnn...

Sigh. Once again someone dusts off the ol' "devil made me do it" defense and, because it's wearing a pretty new dress, folks go for it.

Stop the world. I wanna get out.

-- Steve

Malygris:

Police said the teenager exhibited no signs of mental issues during questioning,

Maybe not, but it's pretty obvious he has them. A person with no mental issues wouldn't murder a Taxi driver out of curiosity.

It's a shame politicians manipulate awful things like this to further their own agendas. At least here in the West we have more upstanding, honest types in power who would never do something like that right? right?

....

That's just grand.

Just because you show no signs of mental illness doesn't mean they don't exist. Everyone has problems.

I'm leaning towards agreeing with the Government manipulation. People pull this crap all the time, thinking if they lie and scapegoat something it will ease their own guilt. This is followed by the Jack Thompsons who preach the evils of said scapegoat.

It's the same as it was when Rock'n'Roll hit it big.

It's funny. If the kid had said "God told me to do it!" it'd be no big deal, he'd just be passed off as crazy. But because the game put the thought there, well, that's a whole different issue.

Once again someone dusts off the ol' "devil made me do it" defense and, because it's wearing a pretty new dress, folks go for it.

-- Steve

Thats an excuse you can expect just as much as this one, and the sad thing is when someone does something this stupid and blames it on a game, it gives people the excuse to pull the game from shelfs and ruin it for every one in the country it was commited in, in short

Don't copy things from games and then proceed to blam it on them, blam your self for being such a moron

Still, who gives a shit about Thailand? AMIRITE?

Joking...Joking.
Not much to say here other than "BULLSHIT"

It could be either the government manipulation theory, an attempt to reduce responsibility by the idiot criminal, or just hysterical overreaction by the authorities. It could even be just a couple of individuals with Jack Thompson exploiting a situation. If it's the second or third possibility, I hope enough people see through it to make it a non-issue. If it's the first, you can expect games to be severely restricted or banned in Thailand by this time next year.

I'm reading between the lines here: The perpetrator says they did it to see if it was easy as it was in the game ... so when it proved to be not easy when the elderly cab driver resisted, why didn't the teen just give up and run away? It wouldn't be the first time a teen has tried on the thug life just to see if they could get away with it. I call "Psychopath", especially since to interviewers that the teen is coming across as calm and collected, no apparent mental problems - what I am reading from that is the teen isn't showing any remorse for his actions and trying to pass the buck for escalating the violence.

I'm not a psychologist but this story just screams psychopath to me, someone who if they had found it to be easy or not gotten caught has would have gone on to a life of career criminal. People like that were around well before GTA ever showed up to entertain the masses.

WOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!! So, do they actually imply that we can do whatever we fucking want and still being able to get away by saying: "Um, errr, the evil game made me do it! It controlled my mind with it's diabolical powers!!!"
[sarcasm]I might as well try that! It seems pretty easy :D [/sarcasm]

Oh well, I found this http://theslackerz.com/index.php?Page=42 I wanted to share it. If I break any rules let me know.

I can't recall a scene where you murder a taxi driver.

And who murders the taxi drivers? Taxis are the most useful addition to the game.

Ban movies too, and TV.

I remember in the kids storybook Chicken Little, the fox murders all the animals before they get to the mayor. Caption Hook also tries repeatedly to murder Peter Pan. So ban kids books too.

yea cause Thailand was free of crime be4 gta 4 and......oh wait

I'm suprised to see that videogame shop owners are regarded higher then taxi drivers. Last time i checked they were arround the same level as drug dealers and arms merchants.

Just the facts Ma'am

"obsessive player of

exhibited no signs of mental issues

was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game

Don't think you can actually rob a taxi driver in game.

"We are also urging videogame arcades to pull the games from service."

There's a GTA arcade game?

described by his parents as "polite and diligent,"

Like Hannibal?

And who isn't described with glowing praise by their parents on-screen, and then called a shite off-screen?

In the 80's it was the music industry causing this. Since the 90's it's been movies and games. Since 0000, it's never been the parents. This shit gets more and more ridiculous by the day. The sick bitch had every intention of having that as his excuse if he got busted. It wasn't BECAUSE of the videogame.

Let me put it this way: when I kill guys in games, I'm the weirdo that spends the next 10 seconds desecrating their corpse with a melee weapon or gun fire. I must have put 1,000,000 total rounds into dead Halo foes through my career. I try to kill every unit I face in any game, rarely skipping or going around them. I love violent games and yet, I still feel terrible when I spank my puppy for doing something bad. I apologize to my wife about 2.5 seconds after I'm wrong. I've never once seriously considered killing someone. How is it, while violent games constitute roughly 98% of my gaming history that I've not been in a fight since the fourth grade? How is it the most violent thing I've done is snap golf clubs over my knee or smash a tennis racket? If you've played golf, you know the temptation to snap a SW over your knee after you've bladed it 3x in a row.

See, you can't blame GAMES for anything. You can blame mental illness and you can blame individual and parents. Let's start there. Just because a sick little bitch like this derives this particular fantasy from a game doesn't mean the industry is at fault. It just means he happened to use this as his fantasy. If he had strangled this guy with a rattlesnake, could we blame Discovery channel? What if he beat him with a fishing pole? Blame the bait and tackle store? Tiger woods caused him to kill a guy with a golf club because he watched the 2008 US Open? Sure. Why not?

Why oh fucking why do parents ALWAYS get a pass on this stuff? Did you not notice little dickhead raping kittens when he was younger? I just don't get how all of a sudden this asshole decides to kill because GTA4 made him do it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go murder a hooker and conquer the mob.

Its all bullshit these people know full well what they are doing but arent ready to take the wrap for what they did. they can either blame videogames, music, film or television. but the truth is, if something that is accessible to everyone else influences that person to commit MURDER they should be blamed not the media that supposedly "Made them do it". like come on i saw the new rambo but i dont have an urge to man a 50 cal machine gun in the tropics. these douche bags shouldnt fuck up a good thing for everyone because they needed an excuse.

Why don't they do something about the child-sex trade while they're at it?

And does anyone really believe they were magically able to push this through in not even 24 hours without it being some sort of set up?

When does a government do anyting within a day? I bet the ink wasn't even dry.

Anyone who can be influenced by a game has something mentally wrong with them. I have all the GTA games and I play atleast 1 of them a day and I have never thought about murdering anyone for real (lots of times I've thought about it or spoke about it as a joke but who doesn't). Games don't corrupt unless your mentally unstable.

In about a day this'll be forgotten like every other game and murder. It's like they repeatedly try the same thing over and over and hope it'll one day work.

HalfShadow:
And does anyone really believe they were magically able to push this through in not even 24 hours without it being some sort of set up?

When does a government do anyting within a day? I bet the ink wasn't even dry.

That sounds like a government top secret anti-"violent" games section. That will fail again like every other failed anti-violent games campaign.

Actually in GTA IV it's not that easy to get away with killing somebody, oh sure you can run, but people are definitely going to see, how does the kid not notice this.
People need to stop blaming their problems on games and live up to the fact that it's their fault and that they should take responsibility for their actions instead of saying the game did it.
Excuse me but last time I checked games can't sprout arms and legs, then rob cabbies.

Violent games do not cause violence in normal, sane people anymore than rap lyrics or action movies. The only difference between them is that video games have a new level of interactivity, which most people still don't see as a natural advancement.

"Oh, what happened to the days of Pac-Man and Pong?" You're right. Classics are what the people want. We should bring back black and white movies and make all our kids listen to Bach. It's natural advancement.
"Video games are the most violent and graphic thing we've ever seen in history." So were movies in the 20s. Oh yeah, and if you think you're kid is going to be exposed to terrorism first-hand if you even let them touch Counter-strike, take a look at the news one day.

As for this case, the man must have deep psychological problems to even attempt something like this. If he didn't show any signs of mental illness, there is all the more reason to notice him having no remorse for his killing. If someone is sick enough to blur the lines between fantasy and reality, the snapping point could be caused by anything. Watching a movie multiple times, or listening to a song about killing someone. People shouldn't blame the game for what happened. Blame the parents for not getting him therapy and letting him play the game in the first place if they knew he had mental problems.

And as usual, the government is taking advantage of this. I wouldn't expect anything less. After all, oil companies saw Katrina coming and took advantage of that. They raised the gas prices and haven't stopped. Ignorant people will always blame the wrong thing, and the higher-ups will always take advantage of the common man to promote their own policies.

 

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