The Gawker Media Network has gaming super-blog Kotaku in its stable, presumably to handle the video game coverage chores.
And, judging from this poorly-reasoned post by blogger Hamilton Nolan, it’s clear that Gawker itself ought to stick to celebrity gossip and let Kotaku do the heavy lifting when it comes to game issues. From Nolan:
This is an absolute nightmare scenario for video game manufacturers, who must now be thanking their Pagan gods that it didn’t happen in the US: a teenager in Bangkok murdered a taxi cab driver in an attempt to reenact a scene from Grand Theft Auto.
Where has Nolan been?
First, in recent years there have been high profile wrongful death suits filed against teen killers who played GTA in both Alabama and New Mexico. The Alabama case is still going on, the New Mexico case was tossed. Further back there have been unsuccessful video game suits based on the Columbine and Paducah school shootings.
Second, Nolan has apparently taken the initial newspaper and Thai government accounts at face value. Even a little scrutiny indictates that a standard-issue taxi robbery gone bad is the far more likely scenario.
The details of the crime seem to confirm the worst fears of all anti-video game crusaders: a good kid led astray, and willing to do anything to get his fix of violence…
The incident makes GTA look like a mix of the worst elements of trashy media and crack cocaine. Rockstar, which makes the game, hasn’t commented, but they’ll have to do something serious. The day this happens in America is the day video game content regulation becomes a reality.
Good kid? That’s hard to know from a distance, but as GamePolitics reported earlier today, there are some indications that Polwat Chinno was a troubled kid. Wait, at 19, a troubled man.
Moreover, Rockstar will just ride this out as they always do. Finally, claims that games have sparked horrific crimes have already been made in the U.S. several times, as we’ve pointed out. Video game content legislation has failed and games remain protected speech under the Constitution.