Spanish Cabbies Want GTA Banned in Wake of Thai Taxi Murder

Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reports that an association of taxi drivers has called for a ban on Grand Theft Auto.

We’re working from an imprecise Google translation, but the basics of the story are that Josep Maria Goñi, secretary general of the Catalan Taxi Federation, has requested that the Spanish government pull GTA titles off the market.

Goñi makes it clear that the Taxi Federation’s request is based on the Thailand murder case. The cabbie spokesman didn’t stop at GTA, however, calling for a ban on all games with a high level of violence or which "celebrate" drug trafficking or prostitution.

GP: We’ve always found the GTA series to be fairly sympathetic to cabbies. After all, they get mega-tips if you warp to your destination. You can even play as a driver, racing fares around town to earn some in-game cash. And, as GameSpot points out:

There are no actual missions in GTAIV which require players to rob, stab, or kill a taxi driver…


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  1. 0
    Conejo says:

    exactly.  France has grown up and no longer deserves the "surrender monkey" moniker.

    it should now be attributed to Spain, the only country that continually wants to surrender to fear.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe.

  2. 0
    Father Time says:

    How can you make that comparison?

    Do a search for France in gamepolitics and you’ll find lots of pro-gaming stuff coming out of France (like tax breaks). The only bad one was about some watchdog group that seems a lot like some of the ones we have here.

  3. 0
    Kyt Dotson says:

    Well, paint me annoyed yellow.

    I did roll my eyes at the theory of the crime for the Thai murder/theft that involved GTA but if this is going to roll out into the industry I suppose I have enough reason not to stay quiet. 

    This is foolish. 

    Taxi drivers are high risk enough without drawing bogus conclusions from popular culture. CSI: NY ran a TV show about a serial killer who suffocated people in the back of his cab, but that hasn’t been blamed for any robberies/murders of cab drivers. Grand Theft Auto doesn’t really rise to the level of being an able participant in the toxic delirium of a criminal mind. 

    Taxi cab drivers carry money, they have cars, they serve a wide swath of the public—a swath that includes a giant number of people who have never encountered GTA. 

    Furthermore, what is there really to gain by going on record “we want this video game banned” after one murder, wrongly and inconclusively connected to a video game? One murder. If suddenly cabbies were dropping like flies and everyone doing the deed was huzzahing GTA maybe there would be a case.

  4. 0
    Oddball says:

    Although I really think GTA is an insult to true video games, I don’t think they should ban it. If kids are really going around shooting taxie drivers, then they were messed long before GTA. Banning GTA would only make it more popular. If you ban something, people are still going to try and find a way to get it (it’s human nature).

  5. 0
    HarmlessBunny says:

    Oh the movie Collateral had taxi-cab violence, ban it too? How about Die-Hard With A Vengeance?

    Yeeeeeah… games are such an easy media to pick on.

  6. 0
    relax_guy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:



    maybe i should hijack a taxi and blame b the x-files movie :\   maybe we can get something banned that would do some good.




  7. 0
    Ben says:

    Amazing. People are all going insane over one murder and acting like its the end of the world. Do they really think banning games will rid the world of crime?

  8. 0
    Krono says:

    why the hell are you coming up with these oh so clever screen names for yourself and using retorts which you seem to think are witty?

    Coping mechanism would be my guess. Afterall, Jack is under a good deal of stress, and is currently having tremendous difficultly getting people to take him seriously.


  9. 0
    V-2 Osprey says:

    GTA2 had the punk song "Taxi Drivers Must Die!", as well as a mission which the same title which required you to blow up five cabs, or something along those lines. However, the gang leader which gave said mission also wanted you to blow up a pizza place for giving him a cold pizza, so it wasn’t like he was focusing his rage on just taxi drivers.

  10. 0
    HarmlessBunny says:

    Amazing that one 19 year old man, who was low on cash…intentionally robbed a cab, and when it went bad, he stabbed the driver to death. Is that terrible? ABSOLUTELY! Appalling and disgusting! It has happened many times in Canada and the United States, almost every year. Hell I’ll bet the entire world has that issue.

    Now the moment that boy, or his parents, or the corrupt government and/or police lay the blame on a game. Pure fantasty that is mere escapism like a movie or a book…place that little blame, and then people begin to lose their minds.

    Yes in GTA, you do hijack cars. Yes Cabs are cars. However in GTA, you are not encouraged to harm cabs. Infact in the game if you show them respect they take you to places, like mission locations prono. Also the cab missions where you are the taxi can be a lot of fun.

    Remember folks, GTA doesn’t actually encourage killing cops or cabbies…more cops and eventually feds/national guard start wanting a piece of you. (funny thing you don’t remember that Space Cowboy, you know who you are)

  11. 0
    Paul T. Farinelli says:

    Jack, why the hell are you coming up with these oh so clever screen names for yourself and using retorts which you seem to think are witty? In case you didn’t know: they’re not. Also, shouldn’t you stop posting here by now? Methinks it a tad hypocritical to rant about users here having "no lives" while you post here so much I’m beginning to think it’s you who has an unhealthy obsession with the internet. Mainly for getting into such enlightening arguments as "IMa NOT A IDIOT U GAMErZ RRR". 

  12. 0
    face777 says:

    I’m wondering if whacko-Jacko paid that Thai-shit to murder, purely to further his own agenda.  He must be rubbing his hands with glee – after all, this is all he’s got now…

  13. 0
    Christophe Janson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Iv’e played gta4 a i can safely say that I want to kill cab drivers just as much now as I did before I started playing. But after reading this I have certainly changed my mind, death to cab drivers! ( if you read this and think im serious then death to you 2!)

  14. 0
    Buckeye531 says:

    I hate to break it out to taxi drivers around the world, but cab drivers being mugged and/or killed has happened before any GTA game was released.

  15. 0
    vellocet says:

    The majority of people out there don’t actually play games.  They don’t care about them, and are likely scared by what they don’t understand.  They won’t take the time to find out about it because they "don’t have to understand it to know it’s evil".  But in decrying gaming, they get to feel like they belong, get attention and possibly money.  It’s easy to see why any one who doesn’t play video games would be tempted to join in this stupidity.



  16. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I’m Spanish and I’m ashamed of that guy. Also, the taxi drivers in Spain are some of the worst drivers in the world, and are usually very violent, both driving and reacting to the rest of the drivers.

    BTW, Josep Maria Goñi is a man, not a woman.

  17. 0
    Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I want a million dollars, but we dont all get what we want.  NOW GET BACK TO WORK!  Lazy taxi drivers just looking for a reason to picket…  I don’t think we see violence to cabby drivers increase after GTA is released, so they can all keep working and quit complaining.

  18. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness, when will it stop?

    "As a [cabbie], I want GTA banned because there is violence towards [cabbies] in GTA!"

    Basically put the appropriate catch words of the week in the brackets and you have this week’s craze over violence in video games, next week it’s [bicyclist]-[bicyclists] then maybe [Restraunt worker]-[Restraunts]. Also don’t forget to mention the non-existant rape and torture. Uggh.

  19. 0
    GryphonOsiris says:

    I think the only time I ever wanted to hurt a cabbie in the game was when they wouldn’t stop for me when I was blind staggering drunk. Other than that those guys rocked.

    "The Good, the Bad, and Videogame"
    Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames.

  20. 0
    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.


  21. 0
    Diane ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    No one else has done this yet?

    I’m not a native Spanish speaker, but here goes:

    Los taxistas catalanes piden la retirada del mercado de ‘Grand Theft Auto’
    Taxi drivers from Spain’s Catalonia region ask for a market ban of Grand Theft Auto

    El domingo, un joven fanático del violento videojuego asesinó a un taxista en Tailandia
    Sunday, a young fanatic of violent video games murdered a taxi driver in Thailand

    Barcelona. (EFE).- El secretario general de la Federación Catalana de Taxi, Josep Maria Goñi, ha pedido al Gobierno español la retirada del mercado del ‘Grand Theft Auto’ tras el asesinato en Tailandia de un taxista a manos de un fanático de este violento videojuego en el que vence el que más delitos comete.
    Barcelona. (EFE–a Spanish news agency).- The Secretary General of the Taxi Federation of Catalonia (FCT), Josep Maria Goñi, has asked the Spanish government to ban the sale of Grand Theft Auto after the murder of a Thailand taxi cab driver. His murderer was a fan of this violent game, in which your score is better the more crimes you commit.

    El secretario general de esta entidad, una de las principales asociaciones del taxi, ha señalado que aunque se trate de "un hecho puntual" que se circunscribe en el contexto de una sociedad que "rinde culto a la violencia", la federación reclamará que este videojuego se retire del mercado.
    (Note: This was hard to translate & it’s not close to perfect. I think I’ve got the general meaning, though.)
    The Secretary General of the FCT, one of the primary taxi associations, has indicated that although they are asking for limitations based on "a finite event", in the context of a society that "produces the worship of violence", the federation will demand that the game be banned.

    El domingo, un estudiante tailandés de 18 años fue detenido en Bangkok acusado de asesinar a un taxista de 50 años, a quien asestó decenas de puñaladas.
    Sunday, an 18-year-old Thai student was detained in Bangkok on accusations of murdering a 50-year-old taxi driver, who he stabbed dozens of times.
    (Note: a "decena" is actually "more or less 10," so "dozens" is an approximation. "Tens" would be, too, but it would also sound akward.)

    El joven confesó haber copiado el crimen del videojuego y explicó que lo había hecho para robarle la recaudación y comprar la nueva versión del ‘Grand Theft Auto’.
    The youth confessed to having copied the crime from the video game and explained that he did it to rob the driver of his earnings and buy the new version of Grand Theft Auto.

    Goñi se ha mostrado partidario no sólo de la retirada de este videojuego, sino de todos aquellos que contengan un elevado contenido de violencia y en los que se enaltezca el tráfico de drogas o la prostitución.
    Goñi has demonstrated support not only for the ban of this game, but also for all games which are excessively violent in content and those which depict drug trafficking and prostitution.

    También ha lamentado que el colectivo de los taxistas está "desgraciadamente acostumbrado" a ser víctima de actos violentos, algunos de ellos inspirados en películas de ficción.
    He has also lamented that taxi drivers as a whole have become "unfortunately accustomed" to being victims to acts of violence, some them inspired by fiction movies.
    (Note: "fiction movies" sounds a bit awkward, but "peliculas de ficcion" means "movies of fiction" and it seems an important distinction from just "movies.")

    La venta de este videojuego está sancionada en Tailandia con penas de hasta tres años de prisión y otros países, como Estados Unidos, se han planteado prohibir su venta a escala nacional.
    The sale of this game is sancioned in Thailand with penalties up to 3 years in prison and other countries, like the United States, have proposed to prohibit its sale on a national scale.
    (Note: I have no idea under what circumstances the penalties are imposed. The article doesn’t seem to mention. I assume "proposed" in this context carries connotations of "proposed through official/significant channels," "proposed in federal legislature." Not just "proposed at the dinner table by someone’s granpa.")

  22. 0
    Jarmne123 says:

    One Murder + Ignoring All the other Taxi murders before GTA was even a thought + GTA = Absolute cluster**** of ‘I want GTA banned, even if it wasn’t the cause!’

  23. 0
    JustChris says:

    Laws are punitive, they are put in place to punish criminals, and not necessarily to deter them. At least that’s my train of thought. And most of the time, laws do deter potential criminals, but I consider that an extra benefit and not a requirement.

    Remember that the legal system should steer us away from anarchy, but not to promise us a utopia.

  24. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Exactly. The Zodiac killer asked a taxi driver to pull over and proceeded to brutally murder him in a quiet area of San Francisco. This was before videogames were invented. It was mental instability that caused the action, not a game/movie/whatever.

    Our society needs to start realising that there are evil, mentally disturbed people out there. You can make yourself relatively safe but never totally safe. The world is actually a much safer place to be today than it was 40 years ago, it’s just that there’s a ot more of us, and 24/7 news channels make sure we hear about everything bad rather than the highlights our parents saw.

    Banning GTA4 will not stop any crime. It will create a huge black market, and lose millions in taxes from sales of the game. Money which could help tackle the real problems. Sad.

  25. 0
    Anonymous says:

    What will come next?

    Russians wanting Call of Duty 4 Banned because someone killed russians?

    Football players wanting Little Big Planet banned because they pushed a giant football and that is against the rules?

    Come on, maybe the person was in a rush and needed a car and the taxi driver wouldn’t cooperate?

  26. 0
    Andy says:

    An old teacher of mine used to work as a cabbie in New York in the bad old days and once recounted how he was robbed of his vehicle at gunpoint and was lucky not to have been shot.

    This was years before even the first GTA so I guess a violen film must have made the guy put a gun to the head of my old teacher and rob him right?


    These Spanish cabbies are idiots, plus unlike my old teacher they will have cameras in their cab and will be in easy contact with their office.


    If you think banning a game makes you safer I’m suprised you have an IQ high enough to be able to drive a car-so these cabbies have suprised me in one way at least.


  27. 0
    InsidiousMrMoo says:

    I don’t think they know which game they are wanting to ban, then only one GTA game that has ever called for the slaying of Taxi Drivers was GTA 2 if anyone remembers there was a Song that played called "Taxi Drivers Must Die" Oh No we need to ban GTA 2!!!


    Seriously though this is the biggest bandwagon jump there has ever been :P.

  28. 0
    Sean says:

    You know what, I just realized a gigantic irony.  I can’t believe it took me this long to put the pieces together.  Niko’s cousin Roman owns a cab business.  Your character in GTA4 is by default sympathetic to cabbies, heck, he can even ask his cousin for a favor and get a free cab ride.  If these people would only take the time to research what they’re bashing…

  29. 0
    Anonymous says:

    *rolls eyes* Yeah cause we all know there was no cab violence before GTA came out. Not to mention shootings, molotov cocktail throwing, car jacking, etc.

  30. 0
    Anonymous says:

    THIS. IS. RIDICULOUS.  One out of innumerable crimes in one of the most crime-ridden countries in the world are committed by a guy who claims he played GTA, and all of a sudden the entire world wants GTA banned.  I’m probably wasting my breath, but let’s try throwing some FACT into the faces of these guys: GTA is one of the most popular video game franchises, with several million copies of GTA4 sold in its first release week alone.  According to these people, there should have been an equal number of murders shortly afterward.  Guess what? THERE WERENT!

    In a perfect world, that fact alone would be enough to clear video games of suspicion, unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, we live in a world full of liars and people who cant take personal responsibility.


  31. 0
    Black Dragon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I find it very strange that there’s such a cross-country backlash over this incident.

    I mean, haven’t Americans been pinning their massacres and crimes on video games ever since Columbine? Is it not reaching these people? Do cab drivers in Spain read headlines from Thailand but not America?

    The V-tech guy’s killings were (falsely) linked to video games, but all it elicited was a "Geez, those Americans and their guns, eh?" But it happens in a poorer, less stable country and all of a sudden they hit the panic button? It’s just weird.

  32. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I am so tired of hearing about spanish people continually swinging thier arms in the news yelling me too! me too! talk about the pimple on the ass od society.  I think I’m being a little unfair on my spanish brothers, put forth a solution thats not 11th century.

    ANDA LE! Juan Sanchez! drive! I need to get to the sweat shop to make sure your kids are making my clothes right!

  33. 0
    HarmlessBunny says:

    Not even his claim. From what I understand; it is the Thai government, police force, and his parents are stating that he played the game.

  34. 0
    GuiguiBob80 says:

    no it’s just that misinformation and overdramatification are becoming tiring. it’s like no word seem to be enough, no amount of intelligence seems to stop the tide of clueless morons.

  35. 0
    GuiguiBob80 says:

    I think some part of myself where there was hope for humanity just died a little bit more.

    Wish I had something clever to say but I’m left speachless.

  36. 0
    Father Time says:

    "The cabbie spokesman didn’t stop at GTA, however, calling for a ban on all games with a high level of violence or which "celebrate" drug trafficking or prostitution."

    So in other words this isn’t about the cab murder or even about protecting cab drivers this about a personal hang-up of hers and she’s just exploiting an tradgedy.

    Does she remind anyone of a certain someone here in the U.S.?

    Anyway she wants to ban games that celebrate prostitution? Wouldn’t that be supressing an idea she doesn’t like which is the epitomy of censorship? Isn’t that kinda pathetic?

  37. 0
    Anonymous says:

    The only reason I ever had to remove a taxi driver from his car/the world was if I didn’t hold Y down long enough…. I would walk up to the street, go "Hey Taxi!" walk up and then…. Pull him out, beat him, then get in his car, All the while saying "No! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean too!"…

  38. 0
    JustChris says:

    Too much is being made out of one 19 year old’s claim that he played the game.

    Since when does a routine crime in a foreign country raise the "terror threat" level in another? This is a level of paranoia escalated far more than Al Qaeda.

    As far as I know, you only hijack cabbies to take their car. And in cases like Vice City and GTA4 that’s no longer necessary because you can own a cab company with a free taxi cab at your disposal.

  39. 0
    mogbert says:

    As a gamer, I want Spannish cabbies banned… so we are even.

    I still think this is an orchestrated event. Too much is being made out of one 19 year olds attempted robbery.

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