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Thai Teen Kills Taxi Driver, Video Game Pulled Off Every Shelf

The strikingly violent video game Grand Theft Auto IV will no longer be sold in Thailand, after a teenager murdered a taxi driver while trying to bring the virtual violence into reality. Video retailers have pulled the game off the shelves, and replaced it with other games. As for the teen who played the game for hours a day over a few years span, he now faces a possible death sentence.

Bangkok's police chief said that the teen wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game. He said the boy planned to use the stolen money to play the game at arcades.

While I have a low tolerance for violence (I closed my eyes during most of The Dark Knight), I can't decide if I think Thailand is overreacting to this individual's crime. To see what experts might say,


Some empirical research has shown that high levels of violent video game exposure have been linked to delinquency, fighting at school, and violent criminal behavior. I wonder which is the cause, and which is the effect. Still, other research maintains that there is no connection between violence and gaming.

If the distributors of Grand Theft Auto start self-censoring, will movies, cage fighting, and other forms of violent entertainment be expected to follow?

Da-Ly Da-Ly 9 years
Video games is just the new blame game for kids acting up on excuses of parents who believe their kid was "normal." Parents need to take the time that when video games are first introduced to the child to explain and make it clear that they are not reality nor should they be imitated. If the child can't handle that, then they should not have a video game. It's possible the game is just what broke the grip on reality their kids loosely had, or became the excuse in which the kid or teen thought they could get away with it just because it's acceptable in that form of media. This isn't the first time though that it becomes a form of media or entertainment that is to be blamed instead of the actual person. Before it was rock n' roll for this kind of deviltry... hell, even comic books. Last I checked, last time I read a superman comic book, it did not end badly in my trying to stop trains. Or, my reading of Catcher in the Rye did not make me want to go out to kill John Lennon.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
>I have an abnormally low (almost non existent) level of tolerance for violence as well Liberty! I can barely watch the news. Same. Law & Order gives me nightmares.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I have an abnormally low (almost non existent) level of tolerance for violence as well Liberty! I can barely watch the news. I think that certain people can play violent video games for their entire lives and never become affected by it. But I think certain other people who already have horrific life issues already (maybe they're abused or in need of mental health care and they arent receiving it, etc.) and then the gaming could compound a problem that is more or less already there. This reminds me of Cher's debate in Clueless, where she argued that violence should remain for entertainment value since it is already in the news already and until we become a non violent society, why get rid of it altogether. :ROTFL: I dont know, what came first again? The chicken or the egg? :?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I agree with the fact that "We all have a choice", but then you have to look at what the individual has to choose from to begin with. Some of us aren't so lucky to have enough good choices instilled in us to counter sway the bad ones.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 9 years
Hahaha, Estelle you rock!
LoveSarah LoveSarah 9 years
Video games don't kill people. People kill people.
danzerdrea7 danzerdrea7 9 years
uummmmm...where were this kids parents? Not that most teens don't understand right and wrong, but it seems to me his parents missed some of his education.
Meike Meike 9 years
The only correlation is that violent individuals will play violent games and watch violent movies.
organicsugr organicsugr 9 years
MSucre, you left out the federal government like Barack and I believe.
MSucre MSucre 9 years
We're talking about Thailand here. We can't expect our government to do the same as this country. That said, I think that parents, teachers, psychologists, and video game players should carefully consider the effect that violent video games have on young, impressionable children.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Oh, poorly executed sarcasm. Loves it. It's just like anything else: most people are not going to play and then go murder a cab driver, but parents need to pay attention to their kids.
MSucre MSucre 9 years
Organic, your sarcasm is noted.
organicsugr organicsugr 9 years
Amber you're correct that video games don't make anyone do anything, but they might influence the behavior of our population and as such should be under the strict control of the federal government. We must make sure to parent every child in this great nation. I also agree that we should exploit the positive side of videogames, by making laws that video games should have to have positive messages, like "Resident Homeless" where the user feeds the homeless or "Operation: Retreat" where we finally apologize to the terrorists. I think we're on the same page Amber. Video game resocialization is a great compromise. This way we don't have to trust the masses to make decisions for themselves, but we don't have to ban videogames outright.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 9 years
geez... if you want to blame video games for violence you also have to blame them for good. Where are all the kids fighting evil and saving princesses? Video games and other media don't "make" anyone do anything. That's why we aren't mindless automatons. We all have a choice. Why was the kid interested in playing a violent video game in the first place?
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
*healdine = headline
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
This reminds me of an Onion healdine: Fun Toy Banned Because Of Three Stupid Dead Kids
MSucre MSucre 9 years
**Correction I don't think that taking 1 particular video off the shelves, 1 video that affected 1 specific person in a really extreme way is going to do anything SERIOUS about the potential relationship between violent video games and real violence in society.
MSucre MSucre 9 years
I don't think that taking 1 particular video that affected 1 person in a really extreme way is going to do anything SERIOUS about the potential relationship between violent video games and real violence in society. This is a startling story. I think it's obvious that if someone's #1 interest with which they are obsessed, whether its a video game, a book, a movie, whatever, is a dangerous sign. And I defintely do NOT agree with Organic's statement: "It's always better for the government to do something rash and extreme than to not do anything at all. That much is certain." That could be used to defend something horrible like a war, in Iraq.
organicsugr organicsugr 9 years
Stephley is right about getting rid of these types of games. The first amendment goes too far in this instance. People shouldn't have the right to sell work that offends people or makes them have ideas that aren't good for society.
organicsugr organicsugr 9 years
Cris is right. It's always better for the government to do something rash and extreme than to not do anything at all. That much is certain.
Cris1192 Cris1192 9 years
I could't tell if you if they're overreacting, but I can tell you that it's hard to know what is overreacting in this situations, and it's better for people to think that you are overreacting than to think that you're doing to little or nothing about it.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I agree with caterpillar on this one. My husband and I have both played these games on numerous occasions, but not to the point of that's all we do as some of these kids are doing. I think doing anything to excess like that will make your brain a little goofy.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well first of all the strong difference I see between the two studies is that the one citing a correlation between media violence and real life expression say "Four types of media violence studies provide converging evidence of such effects: laboratory experiments, field experiments, cross-sectional correlation studies, and longitudinal studies” and this is over forty years. Where as the second study which dispels media violence as a factor for children expressing violence focuses only on video games. I was a child once and I helped raise sixteen nieces and nephews who I observed and if anyone has observed children you know with out a doubt that children watch observe and act out if it’s stimulating to them. I didn't learn to play Cow Boys and Indians because I watched my Momma and Daddy shootin it out in the back yard. I learned because I watched it on the damn TV. I didn't learn what a karate chop was because I was enrolled in martial arts I learned because I saw it on a violent cartoon & when I watched observed and was in turn mentally stimulated by what I saw I acted it out just like any other child. This is what children do and the children are doing nothing wrong because it's what they’re supposed to do, soak up information and learn. The problem is what we're allowing them to learn. It's one thing to enroll one's child in martial arts where they can learn discipline, respect and have a healthy perspective towards the use of force. But allowing a child to mindlessly ingest violence with out guidance, discipline & counter balance of compassion & love IMO leaves them vulnerable to the unthinkable and it is only then that we seem to lift our heads and take notice. Now one could argue that it is not the media which is the problem but the parent/guardians indifference or lack of adequate parental guidance. Either way you want to serve it up is fine with me we just need to be more attentive to our children.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
As much as I dislike this game, I think that there is something missing from this story, cause I don't think hours of gaming makes you completely lose touch with reality. I have lot's of friends who spend a lot of time playing this game and other violent ones, and have not blurred the line between right and wrong. Sounds like the kid is just using the game as an excuse.
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