back to article Grand Theft Auto reportedly inspires teen rampage

Anti-violent videogame campaigners have long searched for hard evidence that some titles inspire real-life crimes, and now they may have an example. According to a report by Newsday.com, a group of five US teenagers that recently went on the rampage in Nassau County, New York told Vice City police that they were acting out …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Wait for it......

    Here come all the assertions that violent video games do not encourage people to resolve problems with violence and that anyone who says they do should be put through a cheese greater and then stamped on repeatedly.

  2. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Wouldn't have happened if they'd bought a PS3

    The 360 makes people want to kill and steal.

  3. Eden

    So...

    How are they sure it's the game and not all this "OMG THE GAME" idiot scare mongering that drove the kids to do it.

    What with the barrage of if you play this game you'll go psycho! out there it's just as likely that these particular retards were reacting to that in a "OK if you say so" spree as a "OMG This game is so awesome we so go out and do this shit" spree.

    Either way they are clearly retards who would of no doubt gone on this spree as soon as they saw the next hollywood gore fest or a particularly slapstick advert because EVERYONE is so easily influences *roll eyes*

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not the same

    actually there is a big difference in the game which is not true in real life...when you beat anyone up in GTA the police are on to you more or less straight away! (very annoying)... I hear this is not the case in real life.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Liberty police?

    tut tut, it would have been the Liberty police, right?

  6. Steven Raith

    One gang member was 14?

    That means the rest were older, yes?

    Which means they should be able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and right and wrong?

    Simple answer - Tase 'em, bro. Till they smoke.

    Steven R - advocating the bleaching of the gene pool one burnt body at a time.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They want to play video games

    Give 'em a pistol and a knife and bung 'em in an abandoned warehouse. Winner gets to live.

    Sheesh. I don't usually advocate the death penalty, but shitwittery like this has to have a price. At the moment they'll just go to jail, be unemployable and be on welfare the rest of their lives, or survive by crime, in and out of prison.

    Counts as wilful ignorance, which should be the only capital crime...

  9. Edward Rose

    The game blame game.

    So, they were really good up-standing citisens (I've decided to start replacing all zeds with esses when commenting on Yank stories. Also, in light of not being sure how to puntuate a letter when written in plural - thanks to my poor education - I've decided to write the letters as pronounced) before they started playing GTA?

    Have to confess, I've played GTA-VC a lot, it's never once encouraged me to be violent. I've also had to deal with certain people (esp. bullies in managment - speaking of the 'blame game') who have made me want to go out with a baseball bat. Maybe, just maybe, the game inspires my choice of tool, the act is definitely inspired elsewhere though.

  10. Liam

    ffs... funny tho that...

    mugging and robbery were around long before GTA...

    this is just twats using anything as an excuse. imho they should get the book thrown at them (as well as losing all their weapons and a chunk of cash). we all know that in GTA is nicked by the police you just restart from last save point. dont they learnt anything? :)

    the 'xyz told me to' defence is just lame and shouldnt be allowed in court!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Joyriding

    Here in Dublin the local scumbags like to ride (other people's) cars in order to fight boredom and it's even cheaper than buying a console:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU0kF9EqEjo

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all in the name...

    Steven A ttard ;-)

  13. EvilGav

    Age

    GTA is rated 18 in the UK and M for Mature in the US.

    So how come a 14 year-old is playing it ?? Since only one 18 year old is mentioned, we can probably deduce that the other 3 aren't old enough to own the game either.

    When are the police going to arrest the shop for selling games to under-age kids??

  14. min

    there go another..

    bunch of daft p***ks who were just too dumb to have even been allowed near a smart piece of software!!! i'd blame their parents for being such fools for not noticing just how stupid their offspring were. but then again, the parents are part of the vicious circle of stupidity, not a boring (OK, admittedly pretty new and very cool) old videogame.

    anyone so ridiculous as these tw4ts really deserves to be sectioned before a thorough flogging.

    rockstar deserve a medal for exposing these criminals waiting to happen.

  15. Dave Cumming
    Paris Hilton

    Ban it all

    Hang on a sec though.. not one person was hurt due to the game. Did they beat the man to the ground with the plastic box? Threaten him with paper cuts from the instruction manual? Nope.

    Surely the article should be about the dangers of baseball bats, broomsticks and crowbars???!??

    Paris, because these guys were clearly on her level of intelligence.

  16. Roland
    Happy

    Can you imagine...

    the chaos if they decided to enact Donkey Kong instead?

  17. Jerome
    Alert

    WTF?

    They kicked the teeth out of a guy's head, and they were charged with _robbery_?

  18. Law
    Flame

    sigh

    When the people who want to ban games like GTA also ban alcohol (which people act like dicks more often, and has a proven link to violence) then I might consider listening to the critics - but a couple of tossers go out and beat some people and think it's funny to be gangsters doesn't make the game evil, it makes them evil!!

    Don't forget, we should also ban radio, tv, books, phones, internets, and pretty much everything in our society that people have access to that might cause them to hear, see, or cause something bad happening.

    You should also ban the British from the US too, and possibly nuke us, since most bad guys have British accents in films, which might inspire one of us to commit crimes and mass murder.

    Where's the "Out of my cold dead hands" icon, with a GTA game lifted into the air defiantly?? Ahh well - car on fire icon it is... sigh

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Just a comment....

    Video game console + copy of game: $400, give or take.

    Baseball bat, broomstick, kitchen knife: $30, maybe?

    Games don't cause crime, poverty does.

  20. Andy Worth

    Re:Can you imagine....

    "the chaos if they decided to enact Donkey Kong instead?"

    What? If they decided to stand on some building-site scaffolding, throwing barrels at anyone else who attempted to climb it? I'd actually pay to see that myself.

  21. Jay Cooper
    Paris Hilton

    Hmmmmm, I wonder if................

    Dip shits like this are thinking "Hey! Everyone is talking about how video games kill kids brains, so lets go on a crime spree and blame a video game. That way the pricks that run our country will sympathise with us and blame the games industry instead and we'll get away scott free as we were the real victims....."

    Any chance? Mmm? Mmm? Perhaps? Maybe? You know thats exactly it.

    Paris, as she even she wouldn't believe this shit.......

  22. Craig
    Happy

    Is it just violence games teach us?

    'Cos I want to know what game turned me into such a slacker, then maybe I can have something to blame!

  23. M
    Unhappy

    AAAAARGH!

    WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

  24. Dave
    Coat

    I read a book the other day...

    I read a book the other day where someone got beaten up...so I decided to go out and do the same thing!!! :O !!!

    BAN BOOKS NOW!!!

    I'll get my coat with the sarcasm sticker on it

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Someone once said

    Movies don't create psychopaths, they just make them more creative (I'm paraphrasing).

    It goes for gaming as well.

    These halfwits would have been out causing trouble no matter what. This just gives the guy who got his teeth knocked out someone to sue.

  26. Mike
    Coat

    Help! I am

    trapped in a maze of twisty little cubicles all alike, I haven't however found any platinum, gold, jewels, or anything of the sort. Greasy little trolls, those I found. Anyone have a good cheat for this game called life, I would like to know how to get all the prizes without actually ending the game ;)

    On a side note they did a CSI episode about something similar, maybe it was the well known evils of television that caused this mayhem....

    MIne's the one with the kevlar and chainmail lining and the ceramic glock in the pocket.

  27. soaklord
    Coat

    This should be taken very seriously!

    Impressionable young teenagers are learning to do some very harmful things because they are being blitzed by the media! Everyone+dog's cousin bought GTA IV upon release, therefore, these umm... 4? youths + 1 adult represent a statistically significant portion of the gaming universe.

    If you take the 5 youths in question and divide it by the 9M in sales, you get 0.00005555555555555560% of the gaming population that bought the game. That's a large enough percentage to prove that games DEFINITELY cause violent behavior. We should immediately give the game an AO rating in the U.S.

    I mean, you know, the media might be hiding the actual number of violent crimes that are taking place because of GTA IV (after all, they wouldn't stoop so low as to report on that kind of thing over and over again!) The number could be ten times as many! That would bring the percentage up to 0.000555555555555556%. I am sure that if we compared that to the number of violent crimes perpetrated by non-video gamers, we'd see that there has to be a significant uptick in violence compared to society as a whole. Think about it, one crime spree from a population the size London within two months of the game's release. Oh the humanity!!!

    I mean look at all the violence perpetrated by other negatively influencing media that has destroyed the minds of countless youths for more than a generation now!

    What everyone forgets about the below article is that BOTH sides are condoning violence training!!!

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/13/welsh_darth_vader_sentence/

    Mine's the one with the "When am I going to actually use any of this math stuff in the real world?" on the back.

  28. Peyton
    Unhappy

    Seems to me

    They've managed to single out some degenerates *before* they were old enough to easily get their mits on real weapons. Now if only the penal system would also rehabilitate, this story might actually have a silver lining...

  29. Mark

    Re: One gang member was 14?

    And, since the game is rated 17+ (I think), whoever bought him the game caused the act by irresponsible actions.

    So don't sue the game, sue the person who BOUGHT the game.

    Parents.

  30. Dave Turner
    Flame

    Emulation my ass

    My god, can you imagine if they were playing Leisure Suit Larry or any Hentai game and decided to emulate that? The horror...

  31. Thomas Guymer
    Go

    Broomstick...?

    Anyone else thinking the guy with the broomstick was clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time as he was off to a HP party?

    lolz

  32. Tom

    I haven't seen anyone mention...

    ...That it was the kids who said they were acting out scenes from the game. I can imagine just how the scene unfolded at the police station...

    "Why did you do this, son?"

    "Erm... Err... The game made me do it!"

    "Ah hah! Well! We won't bother with assault charges. It's Rockstar's fault!"

  33. Martin Lyne
    Stop

    I don't know about you..

    .. but I'm fairly use it's Violent Game PROTESTERS that encourage me into massive, violent rages.

    And parents that buy kids games with OVER EIGHTEEN ONLY plastered on the front.

    Did Pong inspire a generation of Ping-Pongers? How many plumbers do we see nowadays trying to rescue princesses from apes, I ask you. NONE.

    If you are susceptible to imitating a computer game then either you (being over 18) should be destroyed or your parents (if you are under 18) should be informed of their error and destroyed.

    I don't know whether to laugh, cry or 'jack a car and stab someone..

  34. Dan Beshear

    We did the same thing when I was young ...

    ... back in the 1970s, except we didn't even yet have an Atari 2600 to blame for it. Then again, we were smart enough not to get caught either.

    The violence displayed is inherent to the human condition; it was there long before video games, electricity, gunpowder, or even agriculture. Blame your ancestors and move on to the next attack wave.

  35. Charles Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    @Law

    They actually DID ban alcohol once. The end result was an INCREASE in violence as people showed they were more willing to declare war on the law than to declare war on vice.

  36. Adam Clarke
    Thumb Down

    wtf??

    Of course, the BOFH will have to be the POFH the Pleasant Operator from Here, everything will have to be grey, no one is allowed to do anything in case they get annoyed. Oh and the only video game allowed is pong. I remember when that came out and everyone rushed onto the streets to hit little white squares with a big white bar! it was carnage!!

    Of course we are also forgetting that there parents/siblings/partners doesn't matter which as they are all the same with these inbreeds, are meant to be teaching right and wrong and this happens? what they too busy making moonshine?

    Biggest pile of crap I have ever heard. anyone who doesn't know games from real life needs hitting with a baseball bat till they respawn at the hospital.

  37. Tom
    Coat

    @EvilGav

    Are you shatin me? Age restrictions mean about as much as common sense these days. Both do not exist. You have a 16yr old selling 'mature' games to kids about their age. I'm sure they are going to check their ID.. hell I put an X or sometimes just sign another name on my credit card just for the heck of it.. I never ever have had anyone check anything. Give me a break.

    Welcome to Rome folks. Where is my bomb shelter when people start playing out Quake?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    bwahahahaha! and ranting

    just a thought had any one here really remebers being at age of 14 or younger?

    does any one even rember how they thought at that time?

    my bet is nope dont remeber a thing.

    personally i find it very unbelivable that excuse used is plausable at all

    these little buggers knew what they were doing since on avarage any kid over age 8 can tellyou its wrong what they did. the excuse ohh we were imitating and playing out scenes from the game just does not cut it at age of 14 since by then majority does have some indoctrination either by parents, religious or educational system against such stuff.

    the excuse is just too lame if any one wants to really blame any one it should be the kids themselves. they DO know that it was wrong they thought their actions out before hand and already had excuse ready after they were done so what is this blame game on creators, retailers and teachers as well as parents?

    if anything these juviniles should be tried as adults and beaten with a cane or strap put in stocks for every one to jeer and toss rotten fruit/veggies at and to top it all off made to work off the damadge in community service for several years(preferably in garbage dumps and sewer treatment capacities)

    what really gets to me is the money grabbing scum aka parasitic beings that every one loves to kill on sight aka lawyers. the lawyers will muddy up the issue so much that the little bastards not only will walk free but get paid for it to boot. all in all the issue will not be resolved but draged out for month/years so the lawyers get paid more and left alone to be picked up again few years later next time something like this will happen.

    this is a bit of my rant so bite me.

  39. Lukin Brewer
    Pirate

    In the olden days...

    we had to motivate ourselves to violence.

    There was a story in the local papers around the end of the 80s: two brothers thought it would be fun to run up behind someone and whack them in the head with a baseball bat. They did. The victim died without regaining consciousness.

    I am still unable to figure out how they managed to come up with that idea without playing Double Dragon.

    But I'm sure many kids have been inspired to injury and violence by video games: mostly odd bruises caused by overenthusiastic re-enactment of their favourite games.

    @ liam: as far as I am aware (IANAL) the 'xyz told me to' defence is not valid and will only serve to get xyz in trouble unless the defendant is mentally incompetent in some way. Even if the defendant can prove that xyz forced them against their will, this will only count as a mitigating factor, not exonerate them.

  40. Steven Hunter
    Stop

    To Quote the Simpsons

    Just substitute "video games" for "cartoons".

    Roger Meyers: I did a little research and I discovered a startling thing... There was violence in the past, long before cartoons were invented.

    Kent Brockman: I see. Fascinating.

    Roger Meyers: Yeah, and know something, Karl? The Crusades, for instance. Tremendous violence, many people killed, the darned thing went on for thirty years.

    Kent Brockman: And this was before cartoons were invented?

    Roger Meyers: That's right, Kent.

    -- "Itchy and Scratchy and Marge'' [7F09]

  41. kodevii
    Stop

    NO

    Mark • Friday 27th June 2008 15:02 GMT

    Wouldn't have happened if they'd bought a PS3

    ** No because they would be to much of a bunch of girl's **

    Just crap media hype, If they are just sad little boys and try to be cool because of the hype around GTA.

  42. Chris C

    re: Wait for it @AC

    "Here come all the assertions that violent video games do not encourage people to resolve problems with violence..."

    Actually, I doubt you'll find anyone making such comments. What the intelligent among us *DO* say, however, is that video games do not *CAUSE* violent or aggressive behavior. If you cannot tell the difference between "encourage" and "cause", then please go back to school.

    Literally anything can "encourage" people to commit acts of violence -- playing a video game, going to school, working at the post office, church, etc. "Cause" is a different matter entirely. If a person is violent to begin with, than anything can (and often will) set them off. If a person is mentally deficient, or is unable to tell the difference between right and wrong, you cannot blame a video game (or anything else) for their actions.

  43. James Butler
    Jobs Horns

    Oops

    1)

    This article:

    "..whilst a van driver was smashed with a bat..."

    The original article:

    "...a driver whose van was smashed with a bat..."

    2)

    According to Nassau County Police, there were 6 teens, not 5, the original 3 who beat/mugged the one injured dude and then three others who joined them for a Clockwork Orange-style stroll down the boulevard, sans moloko.

    Also:

    Nassau County is a hotbed of bored teenagers who periodically do stupid sh*t just to p*ss off their overly-wealthy parents. There are fairly regular "pack mentality" outrages that occur there, not any different from this latest event in their senselessness. These punks are just looking to get some attention from Daddy.

    I would, lastly, like to point out that at least these teens did not violate the "Safe Teen Driving Month" pledge they probably signed a few weeks earlier, so they've got that going for them.

    http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/legis/LD/06/NewsRelease/2008/05-21-08.html

    Evil Jobs because ... well, why not?

  44. Drew Cullen (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

    Re: Oops

    Van driver / bat boy corrected.

  45. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Coat

    As 14-year olds...

    ...are provably able to drive Giant Robots cunningly hidden in Japanese underground defense installations, they certainly are old enough to be able to resist the lure of violence-glorifying video games.

    For sure.

  46. zyxyzx
    Stop

    MOO

    I can't help but think of the sheer carnage that resulted when I tried to enact scenes from Master of Orion in real life!

    Millions dead, and all so that I could steal their Black Hole Generator research.

    And don't get me started on Civilisation!

    How come these stories alway seem to take place in the hick-parts of the U.S.? Could it be that being from the boondocks encourages a violent approach to problem solving, and having a convenient medium to blame provides you with an excuse. Just a thought.

  47. Kevin P.
    Thumb Up

    General stupidity

    Retarded violence like this is caused by a combination of factors.

    Neglegant parents, little or no prospects, and the final straw, a glossy, empowering, outspoken and supremely self-confident 'game' that glorifies and rewards violence in a way that appeals to the inherent strengths of poverty-stricken, street-wise young men.

    If you have no positive influence from parents and society, then you will grab onto every little idea that comes to you, whether it be from films, books, games or whatever.

    The ultimate irony is, of course, that those with good parents and prospects will never understand those without, and vice versa.

    Leading to a fundamental rift between 4 different parties: -

    1. Those with lives worth living who fail to understand the reasons behind hese depraved acts who will advocate solutions such as "Ban video games" or "Kill everyone under 21"

    2. Those who at least try to see the bigger picture and advocate restraint, research and family values, in an ever more dog-eat-baby world.

    3. The victims of the violence, who don't matter; because they are clearly biased.

    and 4. Those committing the violent acts, who will never read what I've written because they are too busy torturing babies and trying to build catapults, dirty bombs and other more advanced types of nuclear warhead.

    I would predict...

    That will lead to stupid flame wars on the internet about two-bit bull**** 'ideas' like "Do video games cause violent behaviour? LOL".

    ...Oh.

    Cheerio.

  48. Andy Enderby
    Thumb Down

    or maybe...

    just maybe, they were advised they needed a scapegoat by someone, such as the parents (whom I blame) or their brief.

    The media blaming such behaviour on games is simply lazy journalism, but what James writes here is more along the lines of, "I went on a rampage and it's not my fault, it was that game" from the perp themselves, or those attempting to deal with 'em.

    It's an interesting defence, for all of two seconds, cut the buggers hands off.

    Deaths too good for 'em

  49. Kevin Kitts
    Dead Vulture

    Hmm...

    I wonder if any kids emulated Highlander and then blamed the movie? I vote for the warehouse idea, myself - but modified...6 impressionable idiots enter, none leave. Call it the "Lower-Class Twit of the Year Sketch".

    And why the hell would anyone want to emulate GTV IV? That game sucked compared to San Andreas...no tanks, no planes, no flamethrowers, no miniguns, no chainsaws, no bicycles, choppers without missile launchers...YUCK! And Nico never had to go beating up pedestrians in GTA IV...none of them were drug dealers (like there were in San Andreas), so there was no profit in it. And since the idiots in question weren't helping some random stranger (and having to beat someone up in the process), their case doesn't have a leg to stand on. It isn't even a mitigating factor. You have to choose to beat up pedestrians in GTA IV, so if they claim that GTA IV made them do it, they're wrong - they chose to use GTA IV to premeditate the real-life crime.

    Book 'em, Dano...

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @ Dave Turner

    "My god, can you imagine if they were playing Leisure Suit Larry or any Hentai game and decided to emulate that?"

    I think so Dave... but how will they get it out of the aquarium without anyone noticing?

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