GTA copycat murder in Thailand

GTA copycat murder in Thailand
GTA copycat murder in Thailand

A Thai videogame distributor has pulled copies of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto games from retailers in Thailand following reports of a GTA copycat crime that ended in the murder of a taxi driver over the weekend.

Sakchai Chotikachinda, sales and marketing director of New Era Interactive Media, told Reuters that they were "sending out requests today to outlets and shops to pull the games off their shelves and we will replace them with other games."

Robbing, stabbing, erratic driving

An 18-year-old high school student is currently in custody, charged with robbing and stabbing to death a 54-year-old taxi driver.

Police claim the youth shows no signs of mental problems yet confessed to committing the crime because "he wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game," according to chief police investigator Veeravit Pipattanasak.

The 18-year-old gamer was arrested late on Saturday as he was backing out of a Bangkok street, with the severely wounded driver slumped on the back seat.

Time bomb

"This time-bomb has already exploded and the situation could get worse," Ladda Thangsupachai, director of the Thai ministry's Cultural Surveillance Centre, told Reuters.

"Today it is a cab driver, but tomorrow it could be a video game shop owner."

TechRadar has contacted Rockstar's UK office for further comment on what could well blow up to be another high-profile anti-gaming murder investigation.

Adam Hartley