Should Rockstar Be Prosecuted For Thai Murder?

Cab from GTA4

The murder of a Thai cab driver at the hands of an idiot teenager in Thailand has stirred up a controversy that is to GTA4 what Hot Coffee was to San Andreas. With global response to the incident, Rockstar seems to have riled up a bunch of video game violence critics.

In the latest chapter of this story, we have Somchai Jaroen-amnuaysuk, deputy director of Thailand’s Welfare Promotion, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups Office going against poor old Rockstar, developers of GTA4.

He says that when a player “copycats a crime he or she sees in the game”, the makers of the game should be prosecuted. Prosecutions will force the game makers to act more responsibly, the director says. This is a pretty much WTF kind of idea, because till now, I’ve only heard these critics go against publishers, distributors and the like.

The fact that Rockstar is in good ol’ America is consoling, seeing as if it were a Thai company, it would probably have been “prosecuted” already. And speaking of Thailand’s legal system, let me remind you that the 19-year-old kid who killed the cab driver may be sentenced to execution by lethal injection. Not good news for the game makers.

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Spanish Cabbies Want GTA4 Banned Too!

Grand Theft Auto 4

After being banned from Thailand, Rockstar’s infamous Grand Theft Auto 4 may also see a boot from another country: Spain. According to GamePolitics, the Catalan Taxi Federation’s secretary general Josep Maria Goñi has asked the government to ban the game.

Goñi states that the move has been triggered by the Thailand murder case where a loser kid wanted to know “if it’s as easy to hijack a taxi as it is in the game” and did just that. Kid will soon face execution by a lethal injection.

And GTA isn’t the only one on Goñi’s hitlist. He wants a ban on all games with “a high level of violence or which “celebrate” drug trafficking or prostitution”. Well, that isn’t something new, because there must be about a million people or more on this planet who want a ban on those.

Regardless, it should be noted that Goñi didn’t say anything about movies. Apparently, movies with a high level of violence and which celebrate drug trafficking or prostitution must be perfectly fine. But video games? Think of the kids!

While we don’t know how the Spanish Government has responded to this, we’ll just hope that they won’t. There must be more important matters in Spain that banning video games, dammit!

No GTA in Thailand after game-related murder

GTA 4 Screenshot

It’s controversy-time for Rockstar again. Reuters reports that Thailand has halted sale of Grand Theft Auto 4 after a dumbass teenager admitted to killing a goddamn taxi driver after being inspired by the game. While we’re not sure as to how much of an impact this is going to have on the game’s sales, Rockstar is definitely going to take some moral beatings.

The 18 year old boy wanted to see if it’s as easy to hijack a taxi as it is in the game. To conduct this experiment, he tried it on a 54 year old taxi driver. When the driver resisted, the boy killed him with a knife. He was later caught “trying to steer a cab backwards out of a Bangkok street with the severely wounded driver in the back seat”. Holy shit.

And what’s worse? The boy will be executed by a lethal injection if proved guilty. Seriously. I’m not even sure what to say. The boy was an arse alright, but a lethal injection? Thailand’s law is not to be messed with.

While anti-video game fanatics will say otherwise, I still say that there’s nothing wrong with the game. If the kid is stupid enough to try and find out if it is “as easy to hijack a taxi in real life as it is in the game”, then he was definitely the village idiot here. Or maybe suicidal.

A lethal injection. Damn.

Do You Live in LA?

‘Last Stop for Paul’ invite for screening‘Last Stop for Paul’ invite for screening

In the Spring of 2005, writer, producer, director Neil Mandt and cinematographer Marc Carter set out on an around the world journey to film the story about two guys traveling to the famous Full Moon Party in Thailand. All they had was one camera, two wireless microphones, three batteries and a rough story outline. They traveled without a crew, a cast or having scouted any locations, all of this was to be done on the fly.

There weren’t any casting calls along the way, just strangers picked up on the street to either act in a scene or hold the camera as Neil and Marc delivered their improvised lines.

The outcome is a smart, funny and poignant story about world travel.

Continue reading “Do You Live in LA?”