back to article Thailand bans GTA after video game style murder

A Thai video game distributor has stopped selling Grand Theft Auto, after a local teenager went on a self-confessed GTA style murder and robbery rampage. The 18-year old high school student, who’s now in custody, recently robbed a taxi driver and stole his car, but ended up stabbing the 54-year old driver to death when he fought …

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Coat

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Ladda Thangsupachai, director of Thailand's Cultural Surveillance Centre, jumped on the GTA style murder as an opportunity to criticise violent video games. “This time-bomb has already exploded and the situation could get worse.”

WTF exploded? One deranged kid in Thiland. Wonder how many inocent people have been killed in Iraq then? Yet joining the army and being given a gun is aparently a lot more socially acceptable???

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Quote

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

Yeah! Tomorrow it could be a person that someone actually gives a shit about!

...That's probably what he was saying, right?

*Obligatory unfunny joke about him only being homicidal because he bought GTA IV on PS3 instead of 360.*

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He's completely safe...

...as there are no video game stores in GTA iV, never mind owners to shoot.

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Stop

"this isn’t the first occurrence of a GTA-style crime"

Well of course it isn't. There were a number of GTA games before, whose launches co-incide- to the year- with the declaration or continuation of war somewhere in the world.

People have even been stabbed by violent youths waiting to buy the game- its violent influence is so strong it even affects people outside shops!

The bomb metaphor is pretty accurate- the worst of the actual blast is over now that it's gone off, so now the biggest threats are people running about and panicking

This guy clearly had something wrong with him- like the person who got a Darwin award for leaning too close to a passing train "to see how close he could get". Seems like a similar abnormality- the abnormality of curiosity without restraint.

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Joke

You think that's bad

wait till he starts breaking open crates of rocket launchers that are lying in the street and fighting the Army!

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Stop

There's always one retard...

So when bad guys rob a bank and shoot some cops, do they take "Heat" off the DVD shelves?

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Slippery slope

"Thangsupachai said, adding that “today it is a cab driver, but tomorrow it could be a video game shop owner”."

So... someone's going to try and steal a videogame store and drive it away?

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I've been playing Racedriver: GRID

I wonder if I could get it banned if I go out in my car and do 120mph past a school and then claim the game gave me the idea?

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Anonymous Coward

Queue stabbing...

IIRC, it was pretty clear in the original reports that the stabbing near a queue for GTA on release day wasn't related to the game at all.

This kid was going to do something like this anyway, sooner or later. Anyone that disassociated from reality is a danger to themselves and others.

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Just an excuse?

I personally cannot help but wonder if people are using the video games as an excuse to do things they would do anyway, in the hope that "that evil game made me do it" will reduce their punishment.

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Stop

Only one?

I assume that was the only murder this year in Thailand then was it? No, guess not. Did they get stats on how many other murderers had also played GTA type games? Or perhaps how many people play GTA and DON'T commit murders?

Anything can be proved from a sample set of ONE.

Did he have blue eyes? Oh, everyone with blue eyes must be murderers. What size of shoe did he wear, everyone else with that shoe size must be a murdered. Did he eat cornflakes that morning? Quick, ban them.

FFS, what is the world coming to.

How about they have a look at how he was brought up, where he went to school (if he did), what his parents were like, what his friends are like etc etc. Probably slightly more relevant than what video games he plays!!

I'm off to power up my Spartan suit and go on a killing spree with a rocket lancher.

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Boffin

Was there crime before GTA?

Was it a GTA-like crime? Or is that GTA portrays a number of RealWorld™ crimes, which this is an example of?

Ok he got the idea from a game, but it could have come from a movie, TV show, hell... maybe even a book.

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Alert

It's true. Games do affect your personality.

After one marathon Tetris session I went on a rampage in a Lego store.

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Bronze badge

A good equivalent

If you chart racial violence in the USA over time and compare it to key events in the history of the KKK you will discover... nothing. No spikes when their membership grew, no dips when they went into hiding, in the end the only conclusion you can draw from the data is:

The KKK merely provided the excuse of choice to people who were already out to commit racist attacks. Even if the attackers weren't members, they would claim to be and so people believed that the KKK were some horrible influence. In truth the only thing that they actually did was to collect several million pounds in membership fees from gullible racists.

GTA is the same. Idiots go on the rampage then get caught and desperately try to think of something to say, mumble "GTA made me do it" GTA gets spread all over the newspapers and Rockstar profits. They don't cause the violence they just cynically exploit it.

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Stop

Nothing to see here, move along...

Same tired old crap - spotty herbert blames game/video/drugs for violent behaviour, probably in the vain hope that instead of jail he'll be sent to one of those nice centres for behavioural misfits and taken to the seaside every so often 'for rehabilitation'. Natch a local bigwig wants to maximise self-publicity by denouncing game/vid/etc to take the moral high ground. A bit like how the Daily Mail does here in the UK.

It's like 'youth bludgeons/kills/maims in frenzied attack' while 'high on marijuana'. Funny thing, I've been around dope and dope users for more than 35 years (ex-roadie...) and never once have I seen anyone muster up the energy to even swat a fly on their pizza let alone remotely attempt anything so energetic as a frenzied attack. By the time you've got to the kitchen to get a knife you've usually forgotten why you went there...

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Anonymous Coward

It seems they guy

was probably a psycopath, and had it not been GTA it would have been another game, or a film, or a book, or a story, which he acted out.

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Silver badge

Yo homie, you gonna do some hard time.

"he wanted to see if it was as easy to rob a taxi in real life as it was in the video game"

So now he can write a paper.

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Alien

Why is this bad?

When aliens arrive and we gamers have to go save the planet with a crow-bar and the local Barney you'll thank us...

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>>Was there crime before GTA?

Indeed, I wonder where they got the inspiration and the title of the game?

I think it is so funny. You name a game after a crime that is pretty common, then some commits that crime in real life (as has happened before). Somehow people think it is the fault of the game and the crime can be prevented by banning the game. LOL.

Or are we expected to believe that this is the first incident of car-jacking in Thailand?

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religion next?

So we should ban religion as well if someone said that god told them to do it?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: religion next?

Um... I don't think GTA qualifies as a belief system, yet. Slightly hysterical comparison. People kill other people in the name of one god or another all the time but all that happens is Richard Dawkins adds another few cells to his ulcer.

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Anonymous Coward

Why stop at GTA?

Go conquer a country and blame it on the board game Risk.

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Stu
Alert

This doesn't add up...

The BBC are reporting the Bangkok police captain also said this ->

"He wanted money to play the game. His parents, who work as civil servants, did not have enough money to give him."

So he didn't even PLAY the game!? Thats it, Rockstar now aren't even allowed to announce or describe any new GTA titles, lest actually release and sell them in shops!

What a world we live in! I wonder if he'd have gone on his crime spree if his parents had bought him the game!?

I am constantly amazed at the lack of perspective people have, people in positions of importance, such as this police captain. I myself have been playing GTA4 on and off now for three months since its release. I can say with certainty that I do NOT have any desire to kill anybody, even taxi drivers despite their bad driving skills.

This kid, who clearly has more than the proverbial loose fastening device, would have killed somebody eventually without ever having to lay sight on any GTA title, maybe instead sparked by eyeing the dead carcass of a canine in the street.

Perspective people, its everything.

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Silver badge

The truth is..

GTA IV is a tutorial, he obviously failed his training.

My training period is almost over having completed all the GTA series, Soldier of Fortune I & II, Postal and a host of other CBT gaming titles I am almost fully prepared, I just need to find a stray dog, a can of petrol and a cigarette lighter to complete my arsenal.

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@Destroy All Monsters

"So now he can write a paper."

Does Thailand have the death penalty for murder?

Think he may find how easy real death is like?

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i wonder...

if after his death he wakes up at the hospital - without guns and a lot lighter of cash? (as in the game)

yeah - im sick of people using games etc as some form of 'they made me do it' for me, that defence means sectioned for life. if a game can tell you to do something you obviously arent safe in society... people need to take accountability for their own actions.

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Anonymous Coward

Criminal gets caught, blames $NewThing$

Isn't this always the same, someone does something bad, gets caught then seeks sympathy to lessen their crime by blaming whatever the new thing at the time is.

Video nasties (Video cassettes circa 1970s)., DVD nasties (DVDs in the 80's), Internet (90's), Video Games (90's, & 00's). IT'S NOT MY FAULT, I AM A VICTIM OF THOSE EVIL movie_makes/game_writers/website makers.... ergo you should give me a lighter sentence, even a pardon....

And the politicians dive in to push their agendas, whether it's their religious extremism, extreme radical feminism, or just plain election campaigning.

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Anonymous Coward

well

While I don't suggest that the game is responsible for the actions of one of its players -

Doesn't anybody else think there is something quite distasteful, or even perverse about writing a "game" where the ideal is to kill and steal, then place that in an environment closely matching real life ?

What's intrinsically "fun" about killing and stealing ? I can understand fighting aliens in space or on another planet, but killing taxi drivers and stealing cars ?

I question the game companies sense of morality. And no, "if it sells it must be ok" isn't a defence. That doesn't work for heroin, or hand guns (in the UK anyway). Hell, why don't they show snuff movies on BBC ? After all, people die in real life too.

I have played violent fantasy games, like Unreal Tournament, but you don't knife people, and when you kill someone, they respawn and none of it reflects real life (even Giant Bathroom). But, you do identify very closely with your character in order to play the game well. Is it too much of a stretch to imagine that ignorant children identify too closely with their in-game characters and act out in real life ?

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Anonymous Coward

Loser

Dang, I'm a long way off from graduating to stealing a taxi, I'm still trying to find a 20 storey parking lot with a ramp that goes off the roof!

Stupid is as stupid does.

This kind of rubbish has been going on for years, long before video games.

When I was growing up (about a million years ago), it was and attempt to ban superman or spiderman outfits for kids.

A rather dim 10 year old threw himself off a building whilst wearing a caped crusader style outfit and managed to kill himself (he failed to miss the ground)

Anyway, next time you decide to rob a bank and get caught, just yell "The nasty video game made me do it, where's my shrink?" and you'll get chucked into the crazy ward, where you'll meet a large american indian who'll throw a water fountain through a window so you can escape.

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Coat

RE.Why stop at GTA?

"Go conquer a country and blame it on the board game Risk."

Go conquer a country and blame it on dodgy intelligence!!!

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@ Alan

i see your point mate. the thing is that in GTA you arent supposed to just kill and rob - if you do the police come after you and kill you...

the point with GTA is about ripping off other gangsters. in fact in this recent version you have the option to not kill off a couple of people... if you dont kill them you can actually use them later for special missions. so it actually makes sense not to just kill randomly. the main character even refuses drugs in the game - even a joint ffs!

the whole point of this game is escapism - you can do things here you cant do in real life. its only the odd mental nutjob who ends up doing anything dodgy and to be honest should we all pay for that?

also this game isnt for kids... just like you wouldnt want your little one to se sicko films like hostel - basically a film about people torturing and maiming for fun... yet this seems perfectly acceptable?

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Boffin

Re: What's next, religion?

Heavens no; what would Rowan Williams do instead?

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jai
Silver badge

Re: religion next?

oh i dunno - i'm so obsessed with GTA that i border on the fanatical line. i'm already getting excited about the Chinatown Wars and will be buying a DS for the sole purpose of playing that game.

if there was a Church of GTA, i'd be their most ferverent worshiper.

but even so, i'm not likely to go out and try and steal a cab - in the cab, there's FAR too many cops wandering the streets that you're bound the get at least 1 star

that's the difference between the game and reality - there's more cops and they're quicker to bust you in the game - if they want to stop these kids from acting out these kinds of crimes, put their money where their mouths are and get more coppers on the streets!!!

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Dead Vulture

@alan

I think the key difference which you may have overlooked, is that computer games are "not real" whereas "real life" is.

this means that killing someone in real life stops that person from living, even hurting them a bit, such as removing their legs maybe, might change their day to day lives.

by contrast if you harm a character in a computer game, or even destroy the known universe in a computer game, it makes no difference to anyone, in the real world.

i don't think there is anything intrinsically "fun" about killing and stealing, but i do think computer games are fun, they are different you see?

people unable to distinguish reality from not-reality should probably not be allowed near anything that's not real, eg, tv, radio, books, dreams, anyone imagining something...

the poor dead bird, as greenpeace don't want to save it for some reason.

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Black Helicopters

Useless to ban a game...

... When it can be downloaded off the 'net.

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Anonymous Coward

The Perfect Conversation

Cop: "Do you have anything to say in your defense?"

prat: "Yeh - I ... um ... yeh, I dun it koz I seen it in Grand Theft Auto"

Cop: "I see, and what happens in Grand Theft Auto when you do that sort of thing?"

prat: "well, the pigz cum an' shoot U ded"

Cop: "Excellent".

BLAM!!!!! Problem sorted.

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Alert

quick!

get crucifying, people - maybe they'll ban the bible!

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hmmmm

has anyone actually SEEN any thai films?

massively violent and bloodthirsty - makes GTA look like the bloody telly tubbies!

check out ONG BAK - probably the best martial arts film you will ever see, starring the amazing tony jar

also - GTA vs religion - well, since i can prove GTA exists and the only proof for religion is a load of mental loons i would suggest GTA >= religion on most counts. plus GTA story hasnt been rewritten loads of times to make the church look better and women look worse... <prepares for flames on that one lol>

"get crucifying, people - maybe they'll ban the bible!" - man i wish! :)

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Anonymous Coward

@Liam RE i wonder...

Apart from the fact that you keep your guns after dying and re-emerging from hospital, you are lighter of cash.

its only when you get arrested you get your guns taken off you.

if only my phone would make a helicopter gunship appear after dialling FLY-555-0100

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hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

ahhhh - to be honest if i get nicked or go to hospital i always reload... didnt realise you kept your guns lol

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qDr
Unhappy

Now this sucks.

When someone is trying to blame god, tv, pc-xbox-ps3 game, books etc for felonies he made - we usually say - argh, that whining bastard is trying prove he is mad and should be put into asylum and not ot the prison where he belongs, argh. But hey, all those tv shows, movies, games, esspecialy the latest ones - ADVERTISE violence. They, fucking telling us - it's ok, violence is a must. We see how main characters are constantly beating the shit out of bad guys - shooting 'em, torturing 'em. They make you believe - that violence is unavoidable. In our dark times, when young people seized reading books, when new generations ARE babysitted by TV, when your reality is being shaped by mass media and the internet you lack inspiration and reason. And through all those shit-beating action movies and hardcore goresome action games you you gain this perverted reason and inspiration. So, to cut a long thread dump short - peoples minds are FULL OF SHIT and it doesn't really matter what will detonate 'em.

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@adnim

"I just need to find a stray dog, a can of petrol and a cigarette lighter to complete my arsenal."

Have you already got a cat to stick on the end of your M16 then (to use as a silencer)? I must say, setting fire to the elephants was always fun.

So, can we get soap operas (Eastenders, Coronation St etc.) banned on the basis that watching them gives people ideas about beating their wife, murdering people, stealing, cheating and so much more?

@qDr - No they don't, otherwise I'd have killed someone already. The only people it advertises anything to are those with a vague grip on reality in the first place. Those of us who still have the intelligence to be able to tell the difference between games and the real world just enjoy being distracted from real life, which in a lot of cases is shit.

Compulsory mental testing is the only way to safely determine who should buy these games. It's not about age, as some 10 year olds can quite easily separate games/TV and reality while plenty of 30 year olds cannot. Just like people who send death threats addressed to Eastenders characters because of something written in the script for their character. But until they psychoanalyse you while you queue in Game stores, there's always going to be this issue.

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@ Andy Worth

"So, can we get soap operas (Eastenders, Coronation St etc.) banned on the basis that watching them gives people ideas about beating their wife, murdering people, stealing, cheating and so much more?" - ive been saying eastenders (others too mut i find EE the worst) is a reason for societies downfall for ages. in fact how about "o, can we get soap operas (Eastenders, Coronation St etc.) banned."

we see people trying to live the lives of these southern idiots. im sure many more people seem to think soaps are how you are supposed to live... as they 'mimic' society (well society where everyone works on the street they live on, no matter how intelligent they are, you spend all your time in the pub, you cheat on everyone and at xmas someone dies)

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Alert

What else can we blame on games.

Hope George Bush doesnt play defcon

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Coat

Hmm

Presumably Bush & Co. could laugh off that whole pesky WMD mess because they'd played too much Desert Strike?

@Alan - you make an interesting point, because I must admit, I do get a perverse amount of pleasure in sitting on the roof of a building with a sniper rifle and picking of random people and trying to evade the cops for as long as poss. I like to indulge the fantasy BUT the distinction is that it's a fantasy and I know it, and when I go outside with the real people, I leave the sniper rifle at home*. Although do I have to sometimes remind myself that I can't drive on the wrongside of the road and randomly crash in to people and just scarper.

I'm perfectly well adjusted in real life and to me, the game is just some fun. I'm with all the people who thinks it bloody ridiculous to ban games 'cos one nutjob couldn't handle the fun (because you don't see all the millions of people who managed to buy GTA4 and NOT go on a rampage in the news) but I would be interested to see a proper psychological assessment of the effect of these games on people 'cos I think some people won't be able to maintain their grasp on the boundary with reality. But then I also think those sorts of people aren't going to blame it on the game, because they probably wouldn't realise.

But for anyone considering it, please, before finding out whether stealing cars or ramraiding lines of harry krishnas is really as easy, please find out whether jumping off a building or getting run over by a rubbish truck really results in waking up in hospital apparently injury-less.

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