Grand Theft Auto IV Inspires Worldwide Violence, Stupidity

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Grand Theft Auto IV Inspires Worldwide Violence, Stupidity

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The announcement of Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC appears to have launched a new round of GTA Madness: Idiot kids at home and abroad are blaming the game for cabbie murders and car bombings.

Following the August 4 murder of a cab driver in Thailand in which the assailant claimed he was trying to recreate a scene from Grand Theft Auto IV, Thai authorities first "urged" retailers to pull the game off their shelves before taking the entirely unsurprising step of banning it outright. "The police are empowered to immediately arrest shopkeepers if they find any GTA games on sale," said police spokesman Ruangsak Jaritake. "GTA is banned mainly because of its obscene content - under the criminal law article 287 that prohibits reproduction, distribution or possession of such material." He added that retailers could face three years in prison and fines up to $180 if caught selling the games, while online sellers face stiffer penalties, including five years in the slammer and $3000 in fines.

Closer to home, three teenagers have been arrested in connection with a series of car bombings in Georgia (the state, not the country, which is being bombed by someone else entirely) and now face 57 felony counts resulting from six vehicle fires started over July 24 and 25, including arson, criminal damage to property and possession of explosive devices. After their arrest, the trio allegedly told police they learned "how to do it" by playing "Grand Theft Auto," according to a WSBTV report. The claims are similar to those made in June by another group of teenage geniuses who claimed that a night of muggings and vandalism in Nassau County, New York, was also caused by Grand Theft Auto. In that instance, police said, "It was determined that they were emulating the character in that Grand Theft Auto game, going on a crime spree."

Jack Thompson, meanwhile, has managed to ratchet up the insanity even further by inserting himself into the mess via an email to Take-Two executives Strauss Zelnick and Ben Feder, in which he claims that his predictions of "copycat killings" by teenagers inspired by Grand Theft Auto IV has come true. "In addition to multiple written warnings, I told you of this coming mayhem in a face-to-face meeting with you, Mr. Zelnick, on Central Park West on May 15, 2007," Thompson wrote. "I am working with authorities now... as well as other remedies against Take-Two for its reckless worldwide distribution of its murder simulation training products. This is just the latest killing incident prompted by your murder simulators. I aim to make it the last." It is unknown whether Thompson cc'ed the letter to Zelnick's mom.

In this era of hand-wringing over the impact of media on society, and on children in particular, the possibility that these people may be just barely smart enough to figure out that pointing the finger at a high-profile videogame could help shift the blame away from themselves has apparently not yet occurred to anyone. As for me, I learned how to make Molotov cocktails by watching Miami Vice.

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Sigh.

Molotov cocktails are easy to make, that is why they are the most common improvised explosive. Maybe they did learn how to make them from GTA, who knows. Personally, I knew how to make them when I was in middle school.

Still, I actually feel bad for T2 and Rockstar on this. This is not a poor area we are talking about, these kids live in of the wealthiest areas of the Atlanta metro. Good schools finded by high property taxes on homes ranging from 300K to the millions.

These kids were bored, stupid, and thinking it would be "cool" to do something destructive. I've seen kids from the same area smash a Guitar Hero 3 controller IN A GAME STOP for no other reason than "let's break something and run. What a rush." The point is that they would have founds something else destructive to do, for some other reason, with some other inspiration.

In this case, however, we just get another onslaught of BS from the Jack Thompsons of the world. . . and nobody thinks to ask their parents who bought their kids an M rated game.

Jhereg42:
In this case, however, we just get another onslaught of BS from the Jack Thompsons of the world. . . and nobody thinks to ask their parents who bought their kids an M rated game.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

And doesn't Mr. Jack have bigger issues to worry about right now, like I don't know, being disbarred? What muscle does he have with "authorities"?

(For the idiots, please note that the following is completely sarcastic)

Jack Thompson is totally right! If GTA continues to sell to our youth, they're going to start finding RPGs on rooftops and spawning helicopters with their cellphones! The horror! Plus, GTA trains people to escape from the police SOOOOOOO easily after commiting any kind of crime, weather it be shooting a cop or bumping into a cop car! It even shows the little flashing circle and your wanted stars which all cars come equipped with these days! And GTA encourages you to kill cops throughout every second of its gameplay! It doesn't even have any kind of storyline; all you are supposed to do is kill people! And you can pick up hookers and watch them do everything with full digital nudity! It leaves NOTHING to the imagination! And finally, this game is incredibly easy for kids to get their hands on! They don't even have to walk into a store and show them an ID; they can get it in the alleyways and street corners of any city for low, low prices! The people who play this game and sell it to the children are all anarchists who want to destroy society!

Alright, now for the sane and non-satirical me to take over for a second.

Molotov cocktails are extremely easy to make, and GTA doesn't even show you how. As I said before, you can find fully loaded weapons on roofs and even have a reticle to show you where to aim.

Honestly, I see worse things than GTA on Cops or RENO911.

On the other hand, GTA coming to PC is a terrific idea. I can't wait to see all the kinds of modded planes, trains and automobiles around the new Liberty City. I just hope we don't get another hot coffee scandal like before.

This is BULL SHIT! If you want to go and blow up a few dozen cars because you saw it done on a video game then you have more problems then that video game. You don't see me going around chopping people in half with a battle axe just because I do it in World of Warcraft. If you want to do something from a videogame that may be illegal then please...for the sac of every gamer in the world please don't tell the cops "I saw it on a videogame" thats just retarded man...WTF...you know I like violence in my games, its not cause I like seeing people die. Its cause it makes it more realistic and gets me in to the game more. So i don't have to do it in the real world. What all these cops and...a holes who want to ban violence in videogames need to remember is that games are for the sole purpose of entertainment.And for all the rejects that think it'll be fun to see a dozen people die in a car wreck...seek help...please...

I hope that the attorneys prosecuting the molotov cocktail morons pull a fun stunt, like hooking up a PS3 or 360 and asking the kids, on the stand, to demonstrate how the game taught them about making molotov cocktails.

"Uh, well, you make them by walking over one, and if you had a grenade, pressing triangle to drop that and pick up the cocktail instead...."

This article is proof that mankind are a bunch of idiots, it is now a conclusive fact that video games are a conspiracy from the evil faceless corporation (that consequently does have a face) is trying to destroy the earth by corrupting the minds of teenagers. But we can fight it, there is a way. Teenagers simply need to redevelop their brain cells. Read a book, do a wholesome activity. Date. Anything that can require our teenagers to once think commence with human thought. Fight the power people, togather we can make the world a smarter place. Parents, I'm looking at you too. If you know your child(ren) is/are retarded, don't buy a whiz-bang shooty game that teaches our kids bad lessons in life. Buy a Wii.

How can the authorities be this stupid? It isn't the video game's fault, it is all because of the individuals sick and twisted mind for condoning such actions. Thousands if not millions will have played GTA without killing anybody. These people are just trying to soften the blow by blaming a video game.

Milkatron:
Parents, I'm looking at you too. If you know your child(ren) is/are retarded, don't buy a whiz-bang shooty game that teaches our kids bad lessons in life. Buy a Wii.

Thank you, I needed a good laugh.

*Smacking head on desk* FUCKING.IDIOTS.
OMG! I JUST STOLE A CAB THAT'S SO COOL! IM GONNA GO KILL SOMEONE NOW YAAAYYY!!!
That shithead deserves everything that's coming to him, I CAN'T BELIEVE that was an 18 year old! What was he RETARDED? Only in America -_-
They can't ban a game just because of a few unstable shitheads can they?

You know I don't see where these people are coming from. It's the parent's responsibility to their spawn that games are different than life. My dad once pulled my and my brother aside before we played something as ridiculously nonviolent as Gauntlet Legends. If I was to blame anyone it would be them.

Milkatron:
This article is proof that mankind are a bunch of idiots, it is now a conclusive fact that video games are a conspiracy from the evil faceless corporation (that consequently does have a face) is trying to destroy the earth by corrupting the minds of teenagers. But we can fight it, there is a way. Teenagers simply need to redevelop their brain cells. Read a book, do a wholesome activity. Date. Anything that can require our teenagers to once think commence with human thought. Fight the power people, togather we can make the world a smarter place. Parents, I'm looking at you too. If you know your child(ren) is/are retarded, don't buy a whiz-bang shooty game that teaches our kids bad lessons in life. Buy a Wii.

It's not as if the parents could tell kids there is a difference between GTA and the real world is it? Blaming video games for violence is like blaming a gun for killing someone.
As for the evil faceless corporation trying to destroy earth by corrupting teenagers...lol

If I ever get caught and fined for J-walking, I'm just going to blame it on frogger.

When I was a young and impressionable child this video game taught me that running accross the street infront of trafic is an excellent way to get from Point A to Point B.

Either way, win or lose it would sure make for an interesting arguement and if I do win show just how far society has fallen.

I think Thailand is overreacting to that one incident (to our knowledge) of a kid murdering a cab driver. Just because GTA4 was "apparantly" related to that one taxi murder does not give them anyright to ban the game completely. Of course, they are a different culture than ours, but I still think they're overreacting.

And OH-FUCKING-GREAT!!! More kids blaming GTA4 for their screw ups?!?!?!?!!?As the world gone mad?!?! I thought the parents were the ones who were supposed to blame the game? hang on, I'm going to prepare for Armegedon.

On a lighter note, this made me chuckle a bit:

Jack Thompson:
In addition to multiple written warnings, I told you of this coming mayhem in a face-to-face meeting with you, Mr. Zelnick, on Central Park West on May 15, 2007," Thompson wrote. "I am working with authorities now... as well as other remedies against Take-Two for its reckless worldwide distribution of its murder simulation training products. This is just the latest killing incident prompted by your murder simulators. I aim to make it the last.

Sounds like G4's "Jack Thompson: The Movie" to me.

Jumplion:
I think Thailand is overreacting to that one incident (to our knowledge) of a kid murdering a cab driver. Just because GTA4 was "apparantly" related to that one taxi murder does not give them anyright to ban the game completely. Of course, they are a different culture than ours, but I still think they're overreacting.

And OH-FUCKING-GREAT!!! More kids blaming GTA4 for their screw ups?!?!?!?!!?As the world gone mad?!?! I thought the parents were the ones who were supposed to blame the game? hang on, I'm going to prepare for Armegedon.

On a lighter note, this made me chuckle a bit:

Jack Thompson:
In addition to multiple written warnings, I told you of this coming mayhem in a face-to-face meeting with you, Mr. Zelnick, on Central Park West on May 15, 2007," Thompson wrote. "I am working with authorities now... as well as other remedies against Take-Two for its reckless worldwide distribution of its murder simulation training products. This is just the latest killing incident prompted by your murder simulators. I aim to make it the last.

Sounds like G4's "Jack Thompson: The Movie" to me.

Jack Thompson the movie XD
THIS YEAR, ONE MAN, WILL STAND AGAINST A GROWING EVIL;
VIDEO GAMES
Man that guy is a douchenozzle.

Robert0288:
If I ever get caught and fined for J-walking, I'm just going to blame it on frogger.

Some people (above) are born genius.
Others, like Jack Thompson, aren't.

I'd love to see the reaction of someone saying they wanted to become a doctor from playing Trauma Centre, or a lawyer from Pheonix Wright:Ace Attorney. Oh, those bad video games, putting our children into successful, knowledge intensive professions!

I'm sorry, I must have skipped the part where it teaches you how to kill and make car bombs.

I never play tutorials.

Those who get caught say GTA made them do it.

I say Jack Thompson paid them to do it and say that GTA made them do it.

Go ahead, Jack, prove me wrong.

(mweheheheh...)

-- Steve

Honestly, this type of news just gives me a headache. Some people in another country use their personal bias and faulty logic to come to the conclusion: "Violent games need to be banned".

Well, I guess they only overlooked: The fact that people can and do lie, lying is a good way to abuse a system (such as a law system), changing laws on personal bias is short sighted and idiotic and that people this retarded would've probably murdered someone no matter what games they've played. Easy enough to overlook...

I think these politicians do more damage than the murderers ever could.

Pardon me, I've gotta lay down... I can feel my heartbeat in my eyelid.

These comments always make me laugh. Reporting on this sort of stuff seems to directly offend 90% of the so-called 'sane' gamer community, sparking everything from overly defensive comments to willy-nilly attempts at sarcasm to portray 'what the FOX everyman is thinking'; most of these are actually found within the first few pages of a reporting thread.

What's the problem, then? People blaming a videogame for everything? You have to remember that, Hell, some people will be influenced by any media outlet, and reacting so defensively makes you all as bad as Jack Thompson, just on the other end of the spectrum. I think Jack and other personalities are very much misunderstood by rabid gamers en masse, who think that everything that comes out of the mouths of these infamous public figures is bullshit. Well, obviously its not; people are either being directly inspired by playing violent videogames or using playing them as an excuse for their actions. Hell, personally I think its a bit of both. Some individuals simply don't understand the lines between reality and fantasy. Joking about people being able to escape from the cops as long as they drive outside a certain radius on their radar may be all well and good, but there will be some idiots who actually do think that about real life if they play the game long enough.

Personalities like Jack understand that. Unfortunately, they also believe that the lines between reality and the game will blur and collapse for everyone who plays the game. As we all know, that isn't true. Still, you have to admit that some people will fall into such an obscure state of mind that they really will believe they can get away with playing Packie on one too many cars around their little American suburb..

Still, by refusing to admit that videogames just may inspire some sort of violence, even if its in a tiny percentage of the playerbase, makes you as ignorant as the people you're all-so-opposed to who think it'll happen to everyone. If anything, you're all being worse by over-reacting; Jack and his peers in the media are targeting those who distribute and produce this content, not those who actually play it. Sure, he's wildly on the inaccurate side by calling Grand Theft Auto a 'murder simulator' or 'training for anarchists', but I'd certainly say he wasn't that far off the mark if he used those phrases to describe Manhunt, which was such a piss-poor game it purely depended on one gameplay style alone: Reckless homicide - as Jack describes.

'There's worse things on TV' is a bit of a lousy excuse from the community, too (even though in some cases you can joke about it - such as learning how to make Molotov cocktails by watching Miami Vice. Personally, I learned how to murder people and cover it up from Dexter. Oh, and how to rob a train from Firefly). TV is, as the whole 'games are better than TV' crowd* keep wailing on about, different from videogames. Notably (as a lot of you fail to realise) you play videogames, and watch TV (unless we're on about Grand Theft Auto IV... where you can... watch TV). Usually, this helps us get more immersed in the story, keeping us playing for longer and generally making us have more fun. Remember that in videogames you control your character's actions, however. Its a lot more... powerful to kick the shit out of someone randomly on the street in a videogame than to watch it being done in a film or on TV. Often, TV stories are written in such a way that the characters participating in violence are doing it out of desperation or need to advance the story. On games, I can usually shove my fist in the face of anyone, for no real reason. This choice, for many, makes games far more immoral.

Right, I've gone of the subject.

The point is, many gamers outright refuse to accept that, somewhere in the world, someone could be negatively affected by playing a game and be led to do something drastic due to that outcome. Kinda like how Jack will never admit that games can lead to something good being created, see? You're just two sides on a war that will only be fought in courtrooms. Acting so irrationally and immature as completely dismissing any claims that videogames could, finally, be beginning to impact society in a more negative than positive way is not going to get us anywhere.

Melaisis:
words of awesomness

You sir deserve a medal. Or a special Escapist badge. Or something, at the very least...

Melaisis:
The point is, may gamers outright refuse to accept that, somewhere in the world, someone could be negatively affected by playing a game and be led to do something drastic due to that outcome. Kinda like how Jack will never admit that games can lead to something good being created, see? You're just two sides on a war that will only be fought in courtrooms. Acting so irrationally and immature as completely dismissing any claims that videogames could, finally, be beginning to impact society in a more negative than positive way is not going to get us anywhere.

Saying that nobody could be influenced by a game is ridiculous - however, you can't have all the gears and levers working if you are influenced to commit murder by one.

I think the people who claim GTA made them do crime are smarter than the people that believe them. At least they know they are fooling some of the biggest idiots in history.

Johnn Johnston:

Saying that nobody could be influenced by a game is ridiculous - however, you can't have all the gears and levers working if you are influenced to commit murder by one.

Absolutely true, which is then the anti-gaming party's problem: They believe that everything comes down to whether or not you play a game, not the fact that some of these kids are gonna be insane way before they even caught sight of a 360.

EDIT: Oh Jeffers; you do flatter me!

Johnn Johnston:
Saying that nobody could be influenced by a game is ridiculous - however, you can't have all the gears and levers working if you are influenced to commit murder by one.

That's the essence of my point-of-view too; sure, games can influence what you're thinking... isn't that the point of games, to stimulate thinking or at least emotion? But to say that means players will confuse the imaginary with the real is to give the vast majority of people insufficient credit, and those who will become unclear on the concept would likely blow it doing something else if games aren't available.

-- Steve

Hmm. Very interesting. This reminds of when Fox News covers a story on those "damn liberal-hippies." Both sides are so busy hating each other that they can't figure out most people are actually reasonable. When Jack Thompson says something it sounds just like someone on youtube saying "lolfag." I mean, who honestly fears this man's opinion or power?

Of course, on the other hand, I remember reading the article about the young murderer in Thailand. One of the posters was so kind as to suggest his testicle be removed, ironically enough. In all likelyhood, the general public is probably correct in keeping a closer eye on games with large amounts of violence, especially player induced violence. Video games are a relatively new phenomena in the world of human development, and I would call it premature to say they can't have a negative effect on individuals.

On a less boring and preachy note, "the state, not the country, which is being bombed by someone else entirely" was a funny little tidbit.

@Melaisis

Personally, I don't think that there's any denying that Video Games can inluence someone to a degree. wether that's good or bad is debatable, but they do have effects on the people who play them. But there are so many other variables as to why this person or that person did this and that, some people are quick to blame video games. To a certain degree, they are, but the people who blame video games blame ONLY video games and don't account any other variable like, say, bullying or abusive family members. That's why alot of gamers get uptight about these things.

But other than that, your speech was awesome. you're my hero for the day.

I believe kids go out nowadays to cause trouble, as has always happened. However when they are caught they use GTA as a martyr, if they say that they were influenced by something then they could plead diminished responsibility to gain a lesser sentence, or even a waver.

*Sign*

This is just what we need. a couple ppl CLAIM that they learned how to do something from a game and POOF all of a sudden the media is upon us gamers again. What idiots they are.

....When do you use a car-bomb in GTA IV? 8 Ball isn't in Liberty City this time around.

Yeah, Patrick will give you one, but thats not telling you how to install it or make it.

Damnit people need to step up and take responsibility for their actions, the game didn't grow arms and legs, buy a gun then commit murder, you did.
And what about the parents, how do they not notice their children buying guns? It's up to them too.

I didn't play GTA IV yet, but I'm pretty sure that in the other GTA games, to bomb something, you'd pick it up at a random location, usually a store, put it on the ground and press square to blow it up.

Did these kids bring a PS3 controller when they tried to bomb the car? How did they pick up buying, assembling and operating a bomb from that?

I know several recipes for napalm. I can find a way to make nitroglycerin, plastic explosive, lightbulb bombs, you name it. I haven't played GTAIV, and I learnt most of the recipes from Fight Club. You know why I don't roam the streets killing people?

I'm not insane.

Anyone who does roam the streets propably has much bigger problems than playing GTAIV, which I have been reliably informed actually discourages mindless ultra-violence.

Also, if anyone told these people about Saint's Row, their heads would explode.

Crap, I'm going to study journalism. Does that mean I'll meet the people who believe in this crap?

its not inspiring anyone

people just realize they can blame the game for killing and actually get away with it

"im so stupid the game made me kill"

unless u have some sort of mental sickness u shouldn't be that effected by the game

i played gta4 , and i found gears of war to be 10x more violent i mean it has more blood more gibs in gta u shoot someone he just dies and theirs not that much blood , gears of war each time u take someone out there's a little mini pool of blood.

my point is that the game didn't hold u in gunpoint and made u kill.

u kill take responsibility stop trying to blame a good game.

While nobody is saying video games can't influence people, most are saying that video games don't do it to sane people, people who's minds are working properly.

Hey, at least you don't live with someone who reckons all video games should be banned because of the small minority that's loco.

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