GTA Maker Should Be Prosecuted for Copycat Murder, Claims Thailand Government Official

By Chris Faylor, Aug 13, 2008 8:59am PDT Game makers should be prosecuted for the criminal activities of players that are inspired by game content and actions, according to a Thailand government official.

The response stems from the recent murder of a Thai cab driver, with the 18-year old murder suspect telling police he was attempting to recreate a scene from Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV. The game has since been pulled from store shelves in Thailand.

"When a player copycats a crime he or she sees in the game, the game maker should be prosecuted," Somchai Jaroen-amnuaysuk, deputy director of Thailand's Welfare Promotion, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups Office, told AsiaOne, as relayed by GamePolitics.

"Prosecutions will automatically force game makers to act more responsibly," he added.

While Thailand's former Human Security spokesman Somprot Sarakosas believes the government should prosecute all responsible parties, he stressed a need to better educate children about the difference between games and life.

"At the same time, everyone, especially the Education Ministry, should make children aware that games and real life are two different things," noted Sarakosas.

Released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this past April, the open-world criminal antics of Grand Theft Auto IV are slated to arrive on PC November 18.

Published and developed by Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar, the Grand Theft Auto series has a long history of controversy for its depictions of criminal activity, with a recent poll suggesting parents are more afraid of their children playing GTA than drinking alcohol or looking at pornography.

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  • Read: Why politicians will continue to say or do anything to get attention or support surrounding any issue. The "government official" who was quoted? He was from the Welfare Promotion, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups Office. If this guy really gave a shat about 'vulnerable groups' he would be shouting about how we need to investigate why kids are prone to mimic things they see in popular media in the first place (read: lack of proper parenting). This is like saying we should burn history books when countries war against each other because they "inspired" the action.

    I think the saddest part is that if he said what I proposed then no one would have given him any deserved attention -- and if so everyone would scream "Duh!"