Thai Youth Facing Murder Charges for GTA IV-like Robbery

Thai Youth Facing Murder Charges for GTA IV-like Robbery


Reuters reports that a Thai video game distributor, New Era Interactive Media, halted sales of “Grand Theft Auto” on Monday after an 18 year old student confessed to robbing and murdering a taxi driver while trying to recreate the action in GTA IV.

“We are sending out requests today to outlets and shops to pull the games off their shelves and we will replace them with other games. We are also urging video game arcades to pull the games from service,” Sakchai Chotikachinda, sales and marketing director of New Era Interactive Media, told Reuters.

The high school student is currently in custody and faces not only murder charges but likely death by lethal injection if found guilty of robbing and killing a 54-year-old taxi driver with a knife at the weekend.

Thai police described the kid as an obsessive player of “Grand Theft Auto”, but stated that he showed no sign of insanity during their questioning. Furthermore, he confessed to committing the crime because, “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.

The only levity I could find in the entire situation was a quote proffered by the Cultural Surveillance Centre. It seems this organization feels game shop owners are more culturally relevant than taxi drivers. Of course, we’re sure that’s not what she meant.

“This time-bomb has already exploded and the situation could get worse,” Ladda Thangsupachai, director of the ministry’s Cultural Surveillance Centre, told Reuters. “Today it is a cab driver, but tomorrow it could be a video game shop owner.”

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