Grand Theft Auto: Bangkok

It was bound to happen someday. No longer does the media have to force down our throats a connection between violent killings and video games, because some Thai kid went out and explicitly said he killed a guy because of such a game.

An 18-year-old high school student, now in custody pending further investigations and a trial, faces death by lethal injection if found guilty of robbing and killing a 54-year-old taxi driver with a knife at the weekend.

Police said the youth, an obsessive player of “Grand Theft Auto”, showed no sign of mental problems during questioning and had confessed to committing 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,” chief police investigator Veeravit Pipattanasak told Reuters.

It’s going to be a lot more difficult to discredit the argument that violent video games inspire violence because of this story. We can’t blame the parents, because he was 18 years old and legally entitled to make his own decisions, even if he was in high school. He wasn’t wildly insane when apprehended — instead, he appeared lucid. His copy of Grand Theft Auto IV wasn’t just found in his apartment, and police didn’t ex post facto suggest it might have been a catalyst.

I mean, the case against violent video games is usually specious at best. They’re so easily written off as a guilty pleasure, or a healthy outlet for frustration among the sane, decent 90 percent of humanity.

Jack Thompson‘s going to have a field day. Murder simulators, indeed.




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