Thai video game distributor New Era Interactive Media has announced it is suspending sales of Take Two Interactive’s controversial Grand Theft Auto games after a teenager confessed to committing a robbery and murder in an attempt to recreate a scene from the game.
According to Reuters, the teenager said he wanted to see if it was as easy to rob a taxi in real life as it was in the game. Although the teenager said he did not intend to kill the driver, he was arrested trying to steer the cab backwards out of a street after stabbing the 54 year-old driver with a knife. The mortally-wounded driver was in the back seat; the suspect stabbed the driver when he fought back.
New Era Interactive Media is requesting shops pull Grand Theft Auto games off the shelves, and is shipping different games to retailers to fill up the space. The distributor is also saying it is urging video game arcades to pull Grand Theft Auto titles.
The 18 year-old student is described as an obsessive player of Grand Theft Auto games.
This isn’t the first time Grand Theft Auto titles have been associated with assault and murder: in 2003, an Alabama teen shot two police officers and a 911 dispatcher in actions allegedly inspired by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.