NY Officials Concerned Over GTA IV Connection to Teen Crime Spree

A pair of New York State officials have raised the red flag over video game violence in a jointly-signed letter to Newsday.

Mindy A. Bockstein (left), head of the New York State Consumer Protection Board and Denise O’Donnell, commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, were prompted to take pen in hand following last week’s Nassau County incident in which police linked Grand Theft Auto IV to a crime spree committed by a half-dozen teens.

In addition to expressing their concerns, Bockstein and O’Donnell took the opportunity to tout some parental resources available for game buyers in New York:

[The arrest] raises serious questions about whether violent video games desensitize our youth to violence, or glamorize violent behavior. It is essential that parents are aware of the content in the games their children play or want to play, so that they can make an informed decision on whether a particular game is appropriate…


With more than 5,000 game titles available, some of which contain graphic violence, sexual themes and adult content, parents must be proactive, cautious and vigilant in deciding which games their children should play.

GP: As GamePolitics revealed in December, it was O’Donnell’s department that cobbled together a PowerPoint presentation which cited a notorious video game hoax site as a parental resource.

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


  1. 0
    j0k3r says:

    Thanks good job;

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


    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.

  2. 0
    oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  3. 0
    Majestic_12_x ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Is it just me or does it seem like these two officials have an agenda against video games? I know the evidence is limited, but based on their reliance of a faux pro-legislation website (the fake DS site I believe), could it be possible that they’re actively looking for positive confirmation in a subjective manner?

    @Jack Thompson, Attorney (Not for very much longer)

    How’s http://www.jackvsgoliath.com coming along? Wasn’t this website suppose to crush gamers and the industry in one fell swoop? It’s still showing a generic domain holding page.

  4. 0
    Anonymous says:

    These officials need to learn science or shut the hell up.


    Part of a hypothesis is it will create testable predictions, which can be tested to falsify your theory.


    It’s been 15 years or so since Doom was first released. If violent video games create more violence, then logic dicates that there should be more violence, and even more as time goes on, since a larger and larger segment of the population would be affected by violent video games.


    DoJ statistics on violent crime show that crime has DROPPED, every single year since Doom was released.


    Given that the central prediction of such anti-video game advocates is verifyably false, their hypothesis must be flawed.

  5. 0

    Yeah, the numbers do seem off. By off I mean WWWAAAAAAAYYYY off. Oh, and nice artwork.


    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  6. 0

    I’m about a million times more concerned about knee jerk, ignorant and arrogant politicians who think that being a politician is a career with promotion opportunities..

  7. 0
    Anonymous says:

    There are also several hundred thousand movies and books available, some of which may possibly contain violence. There are also over a billion households world-wide, some of which contain guns.


    Holy crap, think of the children!

  8. 0
    Oobert says:

    If this referances the story from early this week then wtf. The teens were drunk. So lets blame video games when the people made poor choices while intoxicated… sigh. I need to stop reading GP. It raise my blood pressure to much. :)

  9. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Wish the parents would just pay a little more attention. So anyone wanna start taking bets how long it’ll be before Jacko shows up in this thread?

  10. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    With more than 5,000 game titles available, some of which contain graphic violence, sexual themes and adult content, parents must be proactive, cautious and vigilant in deciding which games their children should play.

    Where the heck they get those numbers? From Jack Thompson´s Dreamland Journal?

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/

    My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  11. 0
    Meggie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    First thing that came to my mind. Having more booze available to idiot teenagers seems like a reciepe for trouble moreso than what a game has to offer.

    At least she said "some" games contain those elements.

  12. 0
    Krono says:

    Actually I’d say that the arrest raises serious questions about the availablity of alcohol for teen in that area. Seeing as they’ve been reported as having been drinking before their little spree, and decided to try commiting some crimes while their judgment was likely impaired.


  13. 0
    Vinzent ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    BTW, Newsday has a comments section that does not require registration. I’d suggest the people here post comments so that we’re not just "preaching to the choir".

  14. 0
    Vinzent ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And when a drug-crazed psychopath starts shooting people while quoting Bible verse, are they also prompted to take pen in hand and warn parents about the dangerous influences of religion?

  15. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I thought the concerns about the GTA IV connection were going to be about how some law enforcement officials try to find the easiest cause of a crime rather than the correct cause. But that would be wishful thinking…

    It’s not only important for parents to know about the content in video games, but also to see if the content is compatible with their children’s overall demeanor. Some games are harmless to some but not to others. It’s like allergies and drugs.

  16. 0
    Dragoon1376 says:

    Apparently these officials have failed to pick up a book as well.  Several of our classics are also extremely violent, sometimes contain racial overtones, and could be considered sexually explicit/deviant.  To single out one medium as the sole "corruptor" of youth is idiotic at the best of times.  Desensitizing kids to violence is probably the hot new bumper sticker term for our times. 

    What I find most amusing is that this is a deflection away from responsibility.  These comments usually reiterate the need for parental involvement but, from the way NY officials are handling this, we might as well keep these punks at home for another 10 years since they are obviously ready for interaction in the real world.  Push back the age when we consider kids adults and keep everyone at home for an extra decade or two. 

  17. 0
    Tyler Baumbarger says:

    Here, perfect. Parental education is exactly what we need. Now, the question is how this will transcribe itself in the end. I’ve seen far to many times the concept of parental education turning into government regulation.


    Wait, let me stop myself and point out a few things.

    Of the ten tips:

    ‘AVOID the “first person shooter,” killographic games. Instead, pick non-lethal games that require the player to come up with strategies and make decisions in a game environment that is more complex than punch, run, and kill.’

    FPS games are highly strategic.

    ‘LIMIT game playing time. (Recommendation: no more than one hour per day)’

    I don’t play video games every day, but when I do it is much more than one hour. its not addiction, its just something to do. Would they have an issue if the kid was reading a Tom Clancy novel longer than one hour?

    The rest are typically helpful, but in the end it is acting as if video games are bad. Right before the tips it offers this claim:

    ‘Recent studies conducted on the effects of violent video games on children suggest that children can become more aggressive – both verbally and physically, held more pro-violent attitudes, had more hostile personalities, and were less forgiving.’

Leave a Reply