NEWS - Monday, August 4, 2008

GTA IV in Hot Water in Thailand

The distribution of Grand Theft Auto IV in Thailand could be halted following the confession of a teenager who claimed he robbed and murdered a taxi driver while trying to recreate a scene from the game. According to Reuters, Thai game distributor New Era Interactive Media has requested that shops pull the game from their shelves following the incident, with the company offering to replace it with other games should they co-operate.

An 18-year-old high school student is in custody after Thai police arrested him on Saturday night when he was found driving a taxi backwards down a Bangkok street with the wounded cab driver in the backseat. If the teenager is found guilty of robbing and murdering the 54-year-old cabbie he faces death by lethal injection.

The youth, who has been described as an obsessive player of Grand Theft Auto, apparently confessed to the crime as a result of playing the game, with chief police investigator Veeravit Pipattanasak adding: "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." However, according to newspaper reports the suspect admitted he didn’t mean to kill the driver, but stabbed him to death when he fought back.

Whether the ban of the game will be enforced across the whole of Thailand remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Rockstar declined to comment on either the ban or the murder.


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