Monday, 04 Aug, 2008 Offbeat
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Bangkok Teenager Kills Taxi Driver to See If It's As Easy As In GTA

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With the goal of imitating the actions from the popular video game "Grand Theft Auto", a teenager used a knife to stab a taxi driver to death. He now faces capital punishment, i.e. death penalty by lethal injection.

After the incident a Thai distributor of video games decided to stop the sales of "Grand Theft Auto".

Currently Polwat Chino, 18-year-ol high-school student, is in custody. In case the teenager is found guilty of robbing and murdering the 54-year-old taxi driver, he would face death by lethal injection.

According to the police, during the interrogation the teenager did not show any sign of mental illness. Moreover, he confessed of killing and robbing the taxi driver due to video game obsession. It is worth mentioning that Polwat Chino was a fanatical player of "Grand Theft Auto". Nevertheless his parents described the teenager as polite and hard-working.

"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," said Veeravit Pipattanasak, chief police investigator.

Newspapers reported that the youth was arrested after spotted trying to steer a taxi backwards out of one of the streets in Bangkok, having a heavily wounded cab driver in the back seat. In addition, it was reported that the teenager did not intend to kill the driver due to his age, but stabbed him to death after the taxi driver fought back.

"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," said Sakchai Chotikachinda, sales and marketing director of New Era Interactive Media.

In the meantime the video game has been criticized for showing beatings, car jacking, drive-by shootings, drunk driving and other scenes of violence.

"This time-bomb has already exploded and the situation could get worse. Today it is a cab driver, but tomorrow it could be a video game shop owner," said Ladda Thangsupachai, director of the Cultural Surveillance Centre of the Ministry of Thailand.

Thailand's ministry decided to implement stricter regulation of video games which include scenes of violence. One of the measures that might be taken is the establishment of a rating system on sales and limitation of hours that teenagers can play the video games in public arcades.

In 2005 the developers and marketers of "Grand Theft Auto" faced multi-mullion dollar lawsuit, which was filed in Alabama. The lawsuit claimed that after a youngster played the video game for several months he killed 2 police officers and a 911 dispatcher.

Source: MailonSunday

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