NYC Mayor, Slain NYPD Officer's Mother Criticize GTA IV

April 30, 2008 -
It's difficult to imagine the sense of shock and loss experienced by the loved ones of a police officer killed in the line of duty.

So it's not surprising to read in today's New York Daily News that the mother of slain NYPD Officer Russel Timoshenko (left) doesn't appreciate the cops-and-robbers animated violence in Grand Theft Auto IV. Tatyana Timoshenko told the Daily News:
For some people, it's a game. But for me, it's not funny. It was for real. It was my son. This game teaches children to kill, then they wonder where criminals come from.

Big Apple Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has criticized GTA in the past, added:
The kids are playing these violent games that don't exactly teach the kind of things that you'd want to teach your kids.

Pat Lynch, president of the NYPD Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President, said:
Being involved in a shootout in a video game has no consequences and that is the wrong message to send to young people.

Comments

Re: NYC Mayor, Slain NYPD Officer's Mother Criticize GTA IV

GTA4 should not be banned.  I enjoy the game myself.  I can see, however, why it may not be considered morally right to have fun slaughtering police officers even if fictional.  I would contend that GTA adds to the already rampant demonization and hatred for cops that subsists in many urban areas around the US.  I doubt that GTA would drive anyone to kill unless they were already unstable enough to kill someone.

What we can expect to happen within the year of GTAIV, given a 3 to 1 chance;

-Cop or Civilian is shot, Injured or Killed

-Criminal and/or victim places blame on GTAIV

-UNFair and UNBalanced press and lawyers and critics complain

-1st Ammendment Rights are cited, cycle repeats itself (can't wait till GTAV!)

So, instead of just repeating the usual obvious banter, come up with a suggestion that might make this more public, I don't know, like........
Jerry Springer?

Just throwing ideas...

"Being involved in a shootout in a video game has no consequences and that is the wrong message to send to young people."

wrong again as usual... the game penalizes by removing cash and in older ones weapons.
it also forces you to restart the mission if you were on one.

shooting someone in the game just like reality, the cops come to stop ya, and 9 out of 10 times they'll overpower ya before you ever get away.
granted you get up and walk away from it later on.
but irregardless there is penalty.

besides that, why do they specificly target GTA?
what about say, Mario.
stomping on things and eating mushrooms with benefit.
no complaints with bashing things skulls in and shrooming?
guess thats okay then..

@NovaBlack:

I thought it was:

Can I have GTA4?
No.
WAHHHHHHHH
HHHHHHHHHH
HHHHHHHHHH
Okay okay if it'll shut you up... sir can I have a copy of GTA4?

While I'm sorry for her loss, games aren't to blame. A person is responsible for their own actions.

Cue up the usual responsible for one's own actions, parents should parent their kids, etc., etc.

"Being involved in a shootout in a video game has no consequences and that is the wrong message to send to young people."

Agreed. So when do we outlaw paintball? And laser tag. And water guns. And little kids running around pointing their forefingers at each other making "Pew! Pew! Pew!" noises.

"This game teaches children to kill"
"The kids are playing these violent games "
"teach the kind of things that you’d want to teach your kids."
"wrong message to send to young people."

Do they still not realize that this isn't made for kids? :|

Always with the assumptions that gamers are total morons. "Hey, I just shot that guy in a *game* and there were no consequences! That must mean I can totally do that in real life! Wheeee!"

Yes it does have consequences...

When your fake character shoots the fake cop character with the fake gun and fake bullets, lots of other fake cop characters hunt you down and sometimes you can end up in the fake character hospital or in the fake character jail.

But apparently that makes real kids go grab their real parents real guns and bullets and go into the real world and shoot real people.

That's the problem with GTA, there are no fake parents to stand in your fake character's way and tell him fake right from fake wrong. And there are no fake politicians in the fake city to fight fake gun crimes.

I absolutely agree that the context of games, movies, books, television shows, smells, etc. can stir up emotions from our past, but that is no reason to start banning the content. How many WWII shooters are there?

"This game teaches children to kill, then they wonder where criminals come from."

I'm sorry for her loss, but she's still an idiot. As if there were no crime in the world before videogames. As if cops didn't die in the line of duty before pong. She's angry over her loss, I understand that. But if she wants to honor the memory of her son, she might try attacking the real causes of crime (like poverty and corruption) instead of innocent bystanders.

If watching Robocop at the age if eight didn't cause me to go out and start shooting cops then Grand Theft Auto certainly won't

I feel sorry for the mother's loss none the less.

It simply amazes me how some people say "GTA teaches children to kill" as if GTA is the cause of all crime in the world.

NEWSFLASH! If crime didn't exist, there would be nothing for GTA to emulate. Thus, it's the opposite of what they think.

Crime causes GTA.

Also: kids kids kids kids kids kids kids kids kids kids. Does that M(17+) Mean ANYTHING to you? This. Game. Is. NOT. For. Kids. I thought we already established that a long time ago.

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptIt’s difficult to imagine the sense of shock and loss experienced by the loved ones of a police officer killed in the line of duty. So it’s not surprising to read in today’s New York Daily News that the mother of slain NYPD Officer Russel Timoshenko (left) doesn’t appreciate the cops-and-robbers animated violence in Grand Theft Auto IV. Tatyana Timoshenko told the Daily News: For some people, it’s a game. But for me, it’s not funny. It was for real. It was my son. This game teaches children to kill, then they wonder where criminals come from. [...]

I love the US mentality,send your kids off to on spring break where all the girls gone wild videos are filmed yet raise a fuss when they (17+) play a video game.....

I'm sorry, but this guy was apparently shot in July of last year. What does that have to do with GTA IV? The defendants are also all ex-cons that appear to be in their late 20's or early 30's. They're *adults*, not *kids*. Also, given those ages, even if they did play games as kids it wasn't a GTA game! It would been Mario, Punch-Out, StarFox and other games like that. It's just not a valid comparison.

*sigh* I guess we should ban porno when it gets released cause it teaches our kids the wrong ideals. Hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

ARRRRGH!!!

The M on the box must not stand for Mature, it must stand for Moron since these GTA games seem to attract them in droves. The games rated 17+ THAT MEANS ITS NOT FOR ****ING KIDS!!!

Also, again with the no consequences BS when your involved in shootouts. Your wanted level goes up, more cops, and even the FBI and Military get involved and if you do get killed or busted, you lose your weapons and have to start over, damn.

My money is on mommy never wanted her son to be a cop. I'm sorry for her loss, but that's no excuse to lay blame or to focus anger on something that has nothing to do with the violence her late son faced.

Again... Those in political power use such situations for political grandstanding RATHER than getting the poor woman some psychiatric help.

BTW, anyone know when this poor fellow was killed in the line of duty?

"For some people, it’s a game. But for me, it’s not funny. It was for real. It was my son. This game teaches children to kill, then they wonder where criminals come from."

Grats, you've forever cheapened and sullied the memory of your son. I cannot believe that you actually hijacked your own personal tragedy for such a &^@#ing foolish 'cause'.

*cries and later dies when the stupidity tumor explodes in brain*

so if this teaches the kids to kill....what teaches the nypd to unload their weapons at innocent civilians?

Any sympathy I have for this woman evaporated upon hearing her stupidity.

"This game teaches children to kill, then they wonder where criminals come from."

I guess the formation of the kkk, nazi's, black panther party, aarion brotherhood, street gangs, and the rest of the terrorist are gamers. So much for that oppinion. YOU ARE THE COMPANY YOU KEEP!!!

M Rated Game.

That should be the only argument that has to be made, yet we gamers must constantly defend our hobby. Add all the usual arguments to the end of this post. It's too tiring to argue the same argument all week long.

@ Bungles Danforth

The same game that teaches them to taser people to death, run drugs, and act like an occupying force?

I can see why a NYC mayor would be confused about where kids learn things because it certainly isn't in their public school system. Oh, zing!

they are more concerned about kids learning to have sex with prostitutes in a video game...then they might learn it from their governor

I can identify with her loss. When someone experiences a personal tragedy, when you see that re-enacted in something else where it's regarded as entertainment; be it a movie, TV show or video game - it takes on a different kind of resonance what what once seemed trivial now becomes disturbing. Case in point; when 9/11 happened, everyone got uneasy over seeing buildings getting blown up in movies, even though that had been happening in movies countless times for decades. And while 9/11 is still a tragedy, for the most part people got over that particular unease, realizing that fantasy and reality are two different things.

Same with this woman. Since her son was a cop, of course seeing video game character shooting cops is going to make her feel uneasy. And while I sympathize, it's unfair to others to have to put their entertainment on hold out of sensitivity or to make game makers feel guilty about it. It's something that, unfortunately, has been known to happen before in real life. Rockstar is just trying to be accurate in that regard. Art is imitating life in this case.

Today mark the first day of my new campaign named : The Punic Wars were started by GTAIV... since it seems blaming crime and porn on GTAIV isn't enough to get it banned I shall blame the eradication of an empire on it then maybe GTA will be banned from being sold to kids (age being anyone who plays videogames). One of my long dead ancestor died during those wars so Take two people have his blood on their hands.

And if this doesn't work I'll start blaming supernovas on it... you have got to ban a game that can blow stars up. Who's with me? With all the lies and knowledge, I'm bound to get some TV time and newspaper time.

And stop thinking of taking weak measures like locking the games under the counter. Gather them all in the ceter of town and let's organize mass burning. We shall also have to eliminate any person that has once in his lifetime played a videogame they might be killers biding for their times when they take out their rocket launchers and try to rocket jump everywhere.

Be ever watchful unless plumbers eat mushrooms to grow twice their size and start jumping on people's head to kill them.

If video games are so influential to real-life behavior, then let me ask this:

Why don't we have millions of guitar rock stars and amateur bands running around? Why don't we have millions of kids growing mustaches and 'studying' to be plumbers? Why aren't there millions of people running around, convinced they're shooting fireballs at each other? The same reason there aren't millions of kids shooting each other because of GTA.

The vast majority of people who play games are stable and sane, and they can differentiate between reality and a game. The poor souls who would fall prey to their own imaginations with a video game are the same kids who would make the same mistakes if they read a book or watched a movie. Video games are only a convenient scapegoat.

And I also assert that video games do very little in the way of 'training' a person to kill. Does a video game teach a person how to aim and fire a real gun? How to load it? How to unjam it (if applicable)? Does a video game teach a person how to properly hold the butt of a rifle to your shoulder so the recoil doesn't totally throw off your aim? Does a video game build the physical strength needed to carry a large firearm, or the large amounts of ammunition most of these psychopaths carry?

The answer is a large, resounding no. The people who are able to account for all the things above have already had training or experience (hunting, ex-police/military), and they lack the mental stability to realize what they're doing is wrong.

I know how to use a gun. I play GTAIV. Why haven't I killed anyone yet?

i think we can successfully blame COD 1,2 and 3 for causing World War 2.

@Bungles Danforth
so if this teaches the kids to kill….what teaches the nypd to unload their weapons at innocent civilians?

I know you get to play as cops in "25 to Life".

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Vinzent stole my comment, so I'll have to make a new one...

See, where they go wrong is that GTAIV is a game, even if it is a mature game.

What do you want from a game? Should you BLEED if you get shot in the game? Whould you have prefered if people actually DIED when they "lost a life" in Pac-Man?

There are repercusions in the game if you do something bad, however, in this game you are a relatively bad guy. Why? Because they have a lot of the good guy games already covered. It is a pretty untapped market.

Tell you what, you make a "MacDonald's Smile Game" and put it up against this one, maybe you can use sales pressure to push it out of the market. Maybe I'm actualy the reincarnation of Ghandi as well.

Movies with an anti-hero are common. This game is no more detailed or realistic then them, actually a lot less. It isn't a kids game so saying that it teaches kids this or that is hogwash. The moment you tell us that an adult can't play a game because kids might get their hands on it, is the moment that you also condem all movies, writings, alcohol, cigarettes, and guns with that exact same argument.

If anything GTA taught me never to mess with the police. No matter what picking a fight with them will eventually end badly for you.

@ Arad

Under-achiever...

Playing cops and robbers has no consequences and shouldn't be allowed

Playing war has no consequences and shouldn't be allowed

See Mike, I can do it too, make me mayor

playing tag shouldn't be allowed becuase it makes someone 'it'. When someone is 'it' they are being unfairly discriminated against.

I'm sorry, but if your child is actually 'learning' from a VIDEO GAME, you need to rethink your parenting skills. Period.

I've gone over bullcrap 'opinions' like these far too many times before.

Lady, it sucks that your son died, but really, stop with the game blame. I can go into so many details and arguements, but I don't feel I need to. Just stop. As for you Bloomberg, shut the fuck up. The shit you claim is RETARDED. Everyone and their mommas' know that. A goddamn game can't teach a kid to kill, for reasons that have been pointed out by everybody. Also, what about kids who train in some sort of martial art? A lot of kids do that, and yet I don't see them tearing ass all around punching people in the ribs. That's because they were taught to be responsible with what they know. It's not that hard.

every time I hear them speak about videogames I keep remembering Farenheit 451... oh that's right gamers don't read books never mind serious books. sorry I forgot.

@ Guiguibob80

isn't that a movie?

@JohnnyD, but more so to all similar commenters
"but that is no reason to start banning the content. How many WWII shooters are there?"

To be fair, no one's talked about banning the game in this instance. We are quick as gamers, and commenters, to assume criticism is a call to ban or censor content, when in fact, no solution has been presented by the critic.

I don't know if they made a movie about the book by Ray Bradbury. But it's the book I keep thinking about.

@Tubatic
I think the problem we gamers have is they treat us like we should be ashamed of our hobby. This is why we respond like this. They are saying we are likely to be killers, criminals and violent persons. I am offended by the way they treat us. I prefer to respond with humor, but this is not everyone's way of responding.

@ Guiguibob80 & Dungles Danforth

LOL! I don't think there's a Farenheit 451 movie. A video game of it would have some awesome irony though.

Ok so I ready the article and saw her son died in July of 2007. Almost a year ago.

Lady... GET SOME COUNSELING NOW!

You know, you'd think there'd be SOME risk of death or injury being in the force.

Although I have much respect for the police for fighting on our behalf, the mother is simply seeking something to blame for her loss.

Sucks son died but damn it Mourn the loss instead of trying to blame on something you clearly don't understand.

"This game teaches children to kill, then they wonder where criminals come from."

This pissed me off. Criminals comes from a sick twisted mind that don't think straight. Almost like this "Mom"...

Being involved in a shootout in a video game has no consequences and that is the wrong message to send to young people.

Then if there are No Consequences, then why the fuck do we have cops then? Doing Nothing. Hit a cop car Cops hunts you, Hit a person cops hunts you, Drive drunk cops hunts you, kill a person or groups of people cops hunts you. They more like KILL you untill every part of your body is full of holes.

GTA4 has barely been out after a day and already blame is being passed for a crime. Well, that was quick.
 
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