In New Zealand: Another “GTA Made Me Do It” Case

The lawyer for a 25-year-old New Zealand man who pleaded guilty to beating a police officer and stealing a patrol car has blamed his client’s crime in part on playing Grand Theft Auto – and the judge apparently agreed.

As reported by the Dominion Post, attorney Cris Nicholls argued at the sentencing hearing for Tim Reid that his client’s behavior was influenced by the game.

From the news account:

[Reid] committed violent offences and compulsively played Grand Theft Auto. Mr Nicholls said a video game that showed violence toward police was a public safety concern, with the game promoting the behaviour…

 

Wellington District Court judge Denys Barry jailed Reid for five years… He said Reid was hardwired for violence and anti-social behaviour and programmed by his recreational pursuits.

GP: Reid, according to the report, began smoking pot at age five. He had been physically and sexually abused while growing up, and continues to abuse drugs and alcohol. He has priors for assault and robbery. Moreover, he is a 25-year-old man, not an impressionable adolescent.

Yet a video game is to blame?

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

78 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t want to get on anyones bad side, but this is New Zealand, one of the areas that hates video games, so its not really surprising.

  2. TheEdge says:

    Well,GTA is obviously responsible.I mean,how could smoking pot at 5,being sexually and physically abused have anything to do with this?

  3. Kincyr says:

    the real keyword there is ‘religious’
    go after organized religions first

    岩「…Ace beats Jack」

  4. Waffles says:

    I’m starting to get concerned about the quality of defense attorneys nowadays, especially if they’re lazy enough to think a "games made me do it" plea is gonna go anywhere in a case…

  5. DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    He’s a scapegoating pothead who lived in a hellhole… with or without GTA, he’d have done this. Period.

  6. Christophe Janson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A game is not drugs, a game is not alcohol, a game cannot change the basics of your soul, or whatever you call the thing that defines you. A game is a artwork and a plaything it’s not a life or a sort of guide. You can learn lessons from games, but as with everything else you can’t trust blindly in what it teaches you. If you seek something to trust blindly in, make it the religion of your choice not gta4.

    Sometimes it feels like the world is full of retards that can’t put one foot in front of the other unless someone tells them how.

  7. Thats Insane! says:

    Wow, the "Video Game’s Made Me" Card is like the new Last-resort when the Insanity card doesnt work!

    It goes:

    "IM INSANE"

    "Why do you think that?"

    "Uhhhh….. ROFLGARBLAGDERS?"

    "Right…. try again"

    "VIDEO GAMES MADE ME DO IT!"

    "Okay, that one workds case closed! By the way, do you have a 360? maybe when you get out we can play Halo?"

    "Nah, I dont really play games……"

    "Oh, Okay, well see ya"

  8. Necromancist says:

    This kind of thing fills me with contempt. Are the judge really that biased that he CHOOSES to ignore the fact that Reid is 25 years old, thus not very impressionable, been smoking pot since age 5, been sexually and physically abused by his parents and has had prior charges for assault and robbery?

    And these people are supposed to be the objective, non-biased justice system… so much for that.

  9. Raz says:

    So…that’s basically an insanity plea? 

    "Don’t blame me, the violent videogames I choose to buy and play religiously have corrupted my understanding of right and wrong"?

    If true, perhaps anyone who plays videogames should be forced to undergo psychological screening on a regular basis to ensure they aren’t being driven insane.  Or maybe we should ban videogames entirely, and force everyone to engage only in ‘psyche-friendly’ activities (as defined by the FDA).

  10. Lost Question ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I dont think if gamers could trade jack they would (and not because he’s so loved and popular) i dont think anyone would know what to trade

     

    XD thinking about it 2 kids:

    kid 1: i’ll give you my JBT for your Nepolion Dynamite.

    kid 2: only if you give me your Pedro and your longcat as well.

    kid 1: but I need Nepolion for Pedro how about a Troll?

    kid 2: no deal.

  11. blitz30952 says:

    hey bro don’t include the rest of us kiwi’s, don’t know what the hell that judge was smoking.. and you guys can keep Jack Thompson…

  12. Aliasalpha says:

    Yeah, I think we can arrange that, I’ll not get a headache that way too. I used to buy a madden game every 3-4 years thinking they might have changed stuff but the gameplay is still pretty much the same & the prices are getting way too high to tolerate incremental changes, it wasn’t so bad when they cost au$60 but now they’re reaching au$100…

  13. HalfShadow says:

    Can I talk you into randomly tackling people and blaming it on the latest ‘John Madden’ game?

    Because I’m getting really tired of the same game being released every year, and if we can come up with a way to nip that in the bud…

  14. Jabrwock says:

    Although funny enough by themselves, emoticons would have added an extra level of humour to his routine. *ppbt* *ppbt* *crrrrrck*

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  15. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    Yeah, I blame Peppy Hare for all this bullshit.

    I AM A LOST SOUL, CONDEMNED TO HAUNT THE DREAMS OF JOHN BRUCE "JACK" THOMPSON UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS. SOMEONE, PLEASE! END MY SUFFERING!

  16. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Jack should move to New Zealand. Some of the courts over there will totally believe some of the shit he spews!

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  17. Aliasalpha says:

    That’s it, I’m going to new zealand to headbutt everyone.

     

    Then I’ll blame it on FIFA 2008

  18. shaoron says:

    well you know Dennis…

    "if i can put the blame on some one or something else and get lower a lower sentencing.. why not? i’m not man enough to admit my mistakes."

  19. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    If he had kept pleying them he might not have done this. He might have been using them as therapy.

     

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  20. Ravenhawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh, sure, I’ve committed violent crimes before and have a known history of substance and physical abuse, however, my cop killing wasn’t my fault. It was the fault of those evil video games I was playing.

  21. Sebastian says:

    [quote]Reid, according to the report, began smoking pot at age five.[/quote]

    Five years? Holy. Fucking. Shit.

    I mean, I like to indulge in Mary Jane from time to time myself, and I’m absolutely supportive of drug legalisation. But even I aknowledge that taking drugs (any drugs) at such a young age will seriously fuck you up. If not psycologicaly, then at least socialy – I mean, in what kind of environment has a child to grow up in to smoke pot at such an age?

    But of course, the current convinient whipping boy (i.e., video games) will recieve all the blame. Because correlation totally equals causation, and all other possible influences are miniscule at best.

  22. Judith Iscariot says:

    Someone really needs to retire the "(insert video game) made me do it" excuse, it’s getting old and stale…

  23. Andrew Eisen says:

    If Victor Borge were still around, would he incorporate emoticons into his phonetic punctuation routine?

     

    Andrew Eisen

  24. Jabrwock says:

    I blame Victor Borge! 😉

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  25. Adamas Draconis says:

    Actually I have a couple friends in NZ, one’s an ex-cop from a family of cops, last time i talked to him (I admit it’s been awhile) he thought such reasoning was the hallmark of idiots and fools.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  26. PHOENIXZERO says:

    With judges like that NZ seems like the perfect place for all our idiots to move…..


  27. Loudspeaker says:

    Just because someone takes the actions of a GTA main character does not mean he was molded from GTA.

    -Loudspeaker
    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  28. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    I blame assholes like Jack Thompson. They have given the freaks a defence to get out of trouble…ONE THAT DOESN’T EVEN WORK(except in NZ apparently)!!! Good job, cockbag!! I wanna see someone blame the Bible or Elvis or something most people don’t bitch about. Hell, BLAME JACK!!

     

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  29. Jabrwock says:

    Twinkie defence, here we come!

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  30. TheBird says:

    take responsibility for your own stupid actions

    games are not a scapegoat for idiocy
    -The Bird

  31. Anonymous says:

    And again Thompson will ignore all the abuse and focus entirely on video games.  In a roundabout way, it’s like he’s FOR child abuse.

  32. RobotUs says:

    1: What was the co-defendent’s excuse?

    2: ‘Reid has previous convictions for aggravated wounding, robbery and assault.’ – The guy had previous, he didn’t do it because he was hard-wired, he did it because he was a violent thug.

     

    Judges, of all people, should be a little more responsible about what they blame on ‘society’.

  33. BlackIce, Dragunov Marksman ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The only possible effect Videogames can have on you is the complete destruction of your faith in humanity.

  34. cullarn says:

    umm the defence has a tailor made claim of mental instability (as well i imagine as one hell of a sob story) and this is his defense are we sure jacky boy hasnt left the country?

  35. SS ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    it would be hard for Thompson to implicate GTA IV in this.  But if he does implicate it I will laugh so hard.

    The Judge seems to be a fairly insane person to implicate GTA even though this guy has been smoking pot since five and getting abused often too.

     

     

  36. Calling All Humans says:

    Obviously our society is doomed. Think about it. We are now officially the GTA generation. Our youth? Yikes. GTA influenced society is scary only if we believe in the unreal. C’mon. Video games made me do it? Classic. I mean how many times has GTA been thrown under the bus but keeps on selling millions of copies. I think that my friends, sums it all up.

    Buy Eee Buy Eee PC Buy A Netbook Buy Netbook Online

  37. MonkeyFace says:

    If I were this guy i’d be so pissed that my lawyer couldn’t think up something better than: vidjaygames made heem doos iet

    Seriously….only 5 years with the videogame defense imagine how scotfree he could have been if he argued the whole"GP: Reid, according to the report, began smoking pot at age five. He had been physically and sexually abused while growing up" aspect of things

    —Reno to Thompson "I’m only interested in virile men. That’s why I’m not attracted to you." This kids, is what we call a grammatical smack down

  38. oto kirlama says:

    Gallagher can araç kiralama say all he wants, but I strongly rent a car believe it’s due to his crappy leadership and E3 being a joke. ESA’s Board of Directors need to find a way to get out rent a car of this horrid contract with this Bush cronie before there’s no one left on the Board.

    Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing ttnet vitamin or little and need to start saving costs.

    YES.

    Now I don’t have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

    Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

    Wait… I think that sounds like a good idea.

    But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God’s Sake… least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

     

  39. ConstantNeophyte says:

    Well this is just great; as if we didn’t have enough of your crap over here, now we get your blame the game defense as well.

    In all seriousness though, I hope that most people reading this article will actually go: "Drug and alcohol abuse, sexual and physical abuse, oh and video games, hmm maybe its got more to do with the former than the latter".

    On a completely random sidenote: I was playing GTA IV last weekend with my Gran in the room and she kept asking how long the program I was watching was going for.

    -ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

  40. Anonymous says:


    I was in a bus station in London a year or so back, sat next to me was a typical chav family (teenage parents, fake gold coming out of there back side) with a two year old child. The mother was showing off the "clever little boy, init" by giving him a lighted cigarette and the kid taking a drag from it.

  41. Herrvillain ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I imagine they mostly learn by watching.  Both my step-brothers started with cigarettes when they were about five years old.  They learned it by watching virtually every adult they’d ever known.  Well, that and a small amount of experimentation.

  42. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    Either way, consult Dennis before you do that again. Me gut says it could lead to a lot of trouble. And not jsut for you, but possibly Dennis. I don’t honestly know, but better safe than sorry.

    I AM A LOST SOUL, CONDEMNED TO HAUNT THE DREAMS OF JOHN BRUCE "JACK" THOMPSON UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS. SOMEONE, PLEASE! END MY SUFFERING!

  43. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I have taken the matter into my own hands. I just find the use of "First Comment" etc, to be very annoying. It is pointless. I will however leave any that are not the actual first comment in as they have punished themselves.

    Other than replacing the "First Comment" I will be leaving the rest of the comment intact so that person will still be able to voice their opinion.

    It has not been approved by Dennis, but he has not objected either. If he does object, I will stop.

    E. Zachary Knight
    http://www.editorialgames.com

     


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  44. J03_M4M4 says:

    Wow 5 Years, this guy got it heavy for New Zealand, some murderers only get 7 years non parole. I bet hell be out in 3

    Our justice system is incredibly screwd up.

  45. Austin_Lewis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Smoking pot at an early age (5) is an indication fo a lack of parental supervision.  Chances are, this kid was either a latch-key baby, or he came from an unusually dysfunctional family.  Yes, if your parents give you pot at five, your family is dysfunctional. 

  46. Anonymous says:

    Or maybe all that pent up anger from being sexually abused as a child is starting to come out in ways that tend to be violent? 

     

    Oh shit, sorry.. thats wrong, obviously it was the games that set him off! 

    Cause, you know.. video-games seem to have that brainwashing feature in them that rewires our minds to become more violent, aggressive people for which we’ll go on random rampages and kill loads of people, because well… if it happened in a video-game its gotta be fun IRL! 

    Lets forget that even though youth violence as gone down since video-games started becoming more prominent, we can safely assertain that video games are causing more youth to become violent crimminals! 

    Indeed, for things such as a growing poverity amoung the lower class(and thus, a larger gap between rich and poor), the rise of rap music and a general gang mentality amoung youths, video games have been the sole reason for our degredation as a society! 

    And last but not least, those damn controllers our youth use to play video-games.. obviously they are the single biggest threat to our society as a whole as it trains our children to hold ‘real’ guns and use them with the same proficency as say, someone in the army of police.  Going from holding a joystick/pad/controller that weighes less then 3lbs to holding a rifle or assault rifle that weights anywhere from 10-20lbs+ (i might be wrong here) while being able to sight it in, adjust for recoil and all these other things… indeed, controllers are making us better marksmen to shoot you!  (thats right, you!)

  47. Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "I doubt many people would disagree if the judge had said "His recreational pursuits gave him an idea that played into his existing hardwired violent and anti-social behaviour."

     

    Actually many people would disagree, such as myself.  I think what gave him the idea was this existing violent and anti-social behavior.  You see violent people are violent.

  48. Necromancist says:

    Precisely. He’s blaming GTA, as he knows that playing it was a recreational pursuit for Reid.

    But you’re right about us blowing stuff out of proportion a bit, I feel stupid about my previous comment now.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I think everyone here is blowing this out of proportion.  I doubt many people would disagree if the judge had said "His recreational pursuits gave him an idea that played into his existing hardwired violent and anti-social behaviour."

    If you actually READ the quote from the judge, that’s basically what it is coming down to – Blaming GTA for the idea, and the existing "hardwired" violent and anti-social behaviour for being open to the idea and then actually following through on it.

  50. gameman9 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "Reid, according to the report, began smoking pot at age five. He had been physically and sexually abused while growing up, and continues to abuse drugs and alcohol. He has priors for assault and robbery. Moreover, he is a 25-year-old man, not an impressionable adolescent.

    Yet a video game is to blame?"

    Yes They didn’t want to go through all that paper work. The jugde sounds lazy.

  51. Haggard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Seems kind of ironic that people say that "in GTA you can kill cops with no consequences".

    It looks like thanks to the videogames-made-me-do-it defence, you can do it in real life now too.

  52. Jab49 says:

    Pot doesn’t increase the effects of depression or schizophrenia, this is a common misconception, and honestly if my parents had smoked me up when i was 5 it might have made less nuts, I think my objection is that next to sexual and physical abuse the effects of marijuana become essentially nil. Sig figs, and whatnot.

  53. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    [sarcasm]Sweet, first reply![/sarcasm] Seriously, EZK, WTF? Did Dennis approve this?

    I AM A LOST SOUL, CONDEMNED TO HAUNT THE DREAMS OF JOHN BRUCE "JACK" THOMPSON UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS. SOMEONE, PLEASE! END MY SUFFERING!

  54. Orange Soda says:

    EZK: I have declared war on the phrase "First Comment" all all variations of it. All will be replaced with a thumbs down. 😉

    Thank you.

  55. GameDevMich says:

    "First comment lol."

    Really!?!? We couldn’t tell considering your comment was the first one under the article.  Did you get a prize? A button? A blue ribbon? A cookie…oh, you got nothing for claming to be first…sad face…

    *On Topic*

    Could the defendent have received clemency solely on the "video games made me do it" defense? The other trauma had to have played a part in the ruling…

  56. Jonnyboy says:

    . But really.. this is kinda messed up.

    EZK: I have declared war on the phrase "First Comment" all all variations of it. All will be replaced with a thumbs down. 😉

  57. Jabrwock says:

    what does smoking pot at age 5 have to do with anything?

    Just like how alcohol and cigarettes are no good for children, pot at too early an age, and in sufficient quantities, can muck with your mental development. As others have mentioned, pot in non-moderate quantities can heighten pre-existing susceptibility to schizophrenia and the like.

    My question is, how do you teach a 5 year old to smoke, let alone smoke pot?

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  58. Lance20000 says:

    Well for one thing pot is a drug that exacerbating the effects of depression, psychosis, schizophrenia combinded with the fact that this person had terrible up bringing makes for a good argument that it actualy help creat this life for the man. So I do think that him smokeing pot at age 5 help and lead to many problems and is relivent.

     

  59. Herrvillain ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, it doesn’t really mean much by itself, but depending on the circumstances, it’s a fairly good indication that things weren’t going well for him even at that age.  It depends on where and how he was getting it really.  If, at five years old, he was nicking jewelry to trade to his dealer for pot, that’s pretty messed up.  Even if he was just getting it from his parents because they thought it was fine for a five year-old to light up, that’s a little dodgy.  But I reckon the sexual and physical abuse are far better signs of the sort of parents he had.

  60. Steve-O says:

    There are a lot of people who think smoking pot will destroy your life automatically despite the fact that a lot of successful intelligent people have done it/still do it. Doing at the age of 5 could really screw you up though, if you’re not metnally prepared for it you can really freak yourself out, especially if you’re alone when you’re doing it.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, GTA is about choice. Without (real) consequence. I think of GTA as a mirror to one’s inner personality; people do what they do in GTA because they like it.

    If the defendant played GTA and obssessivly beat up cops, then he was predisposed in that direction. But I can’t help but think GTA DID reinforce his violent tendency. Of course, this doesn’t mean he can blame his crime solely on GTA…

  62. Gameclucks says:

    I smell an agenda.  Hardwired?  Hardly.

     

    GTA is a game about choice.  Real life is about making choices.

     

    This assclown made some bad choices… at least they didn’t let him off the hook entirely.

  63. Icehawk says:

    No no Dennis his vast history of mistakes cannot have any value or fault.   That would imply that society is to blame and would require whoever sat in judgement of his mistakes to take responsibility.  Nope much much easier to blame it on games.

    Hmmm for punishment I would suggest breaking his fingers so he is not capable of holding a gamepad.  That or lock him in a room with JBT for a weekend. 

  64. Cavalier ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I, for one, am having trouble seeing how this follows from the judge’s perspective as a cause.  I could see it being an inspiration if say, the judge really believes this guy can’t tell fantasy from reality, but if that’s the case, the problem is that the guy is a PSYCHOTIC, not that he saw this in a game.  In that case, he needs to be locked away for the good of society and treated.  Of course, since we don’t have the judge’s reasoning here, that gets pretty speculative.

     

  65. Channing says:

    I just don’t trust any country that doesn’t have the decency to have the water swirl the correct way down the drain.

     

  66. David D. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Everyone knows that being physically and sexually abused, decades of drug and alcohol usage, and a history of violent crime have nothing to do with whether a 25-year-old man beats a policeman and steals his patrol car. It could *only* be that he was "programmed" as a result of GTAIV.

    Are you sure it wasn’t the judge who started smoking pot at age 5?

     

  67. Wiry says:

    [sarcasm]Must have been the video games, I don’t see any other traumatic experience that could have lead to this individuals criminal behavior.  [/sarcasm]

Comments are closed.