Read the following excerpt from Gaming Age and then my comments following:
A teenager told police that a video game about stealing cars inspired an auto theft spree involving about 100 vehicles before he and two others were caught, authorities say.
Micah A. Zoerner, 19, of Somers is charged with numerous counts of theft, burglary and auto theft beginning in late September and is being held in lieu of a $15,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is cheduled Nov. 20.
He was arrested Friday when officers in the village of Pleasant Prairie spotted him breaking into vehicles parked at a local apartment complex, authorities said.
At the time of his arrest, Zoerner was in possession of an auto that had been reported stolen a week earlier from the same apartment complex, as well as property taken that night from cars in the area, authorities said.
Detectives said he told them he had been inspired by the video game "Grand Theft Auto" in which the characters steal cars from parking garages and other places.
Two other teens, one 18 and the other 19, were also apprehended but have not yet been charged.
"He (Zoerner) said that actually going out and committing these crimes was challenging and fun," Pleasant Prairie Police Chief Brian Wagner said.
"A video game is fantasy and you can turn it off and walk away without consequences — there are no victims and no one gets hurt. Reality is not as forgiving.
"He cost this community thousands of dollars in damage and property loss and is facing some serious penalties as a result. I would hope that he'll rethink the meaning of the word 'fun.'"
You have no idea how much something like this pisses me off. If this little punk's parents don't beat him within an inch of their life, then they need a beating as well. I am tired of little idiots like this doing something insanely moronic and then blaming on video games. The real issue is that Dippy the felon here has the intellect of a dirty sock and parents who need a serious lesson in the ways of polite society.
Now we have a limey Joe Lieberman, the UK Culture minister Kim Howells complaining of,"'heartlessness' of videogames, accusing them of creating a 'pornography of violence' and of 'playing to the lowest common denominator, which is a kind of vicarious pleasure in spilling blood'."
What people like Senator Lieberman and Minister Howell need to realize is that it's not the fault of a video game that causes rat-faced punks to steal cars, nor is it the fault of cigarette companies that those who chose to inhale smoke get cancer, NOR is it the fault of gun companies that some stupid kid finds a parent's firearm and then removes their head via ballistics. It is one thing: blind, rampant stupidity. It is the fault of the negligent parent who doesn't involve themself in their kid's life. It is the fault of the store clerk who ignores the ESRB rating as sells Grand Theft Auto to a thirteen-year-old. Children only know what they are taught and if they are given a good, solid sense of right and wrong, then even peer pressure can be tempered by common sense.
I can only hope that whomever is judging this case decides that it is the person who commited the crime that is at fault and not the manufacturer of their insturment OR entertainment. Take down this little brat and then put their parents under the microscope.
Then hit him with a stick.