Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition

Video Games blamed for teens stealing car and shooting at police

, posted: 25-Jun-2007 12:31

The Facts:

in the Early hours of sunday morning, police spotted a stolen Ford Falcon XR6 (possibly turbo).
the police gave chase, those who were driving the stolen car fired shots back at the police, using a .303 rifle nonetheless!
they were made to stop (possibly with the use of a spike strip) the boys pulled out the guns and got the police to back off, they tried to then take the police car, but were taken down by two unarmed police and a police dog.
The two  14 year old boys are expected to appear in court today facing charges of aggravated burglary, escaping custody, aggravated assault and using a firearm against the police,
I have also heard reported they may be charged with attempted murder.

nobody was hurt during the escapade.

Firstly, let me congratulate the Police on what would have been a nasty situation to be in, nobody wants to be shot at, especially by a couple of boys who are barely more than kids, especially when they are using a high powered rifle.

Good on the guys who took them down.

now for the point that bothers me.
thankfully most of the press are focusing on the real facts, as theres a hell of a story without the video games angle
Some of the press are going for the usual scaremongering and sensational tactics in this case,  the police don't actually  think "Violent Car racing video games are suspected to have influenced two 13-year-old boys who shot at police with a high-calibre rifle during a dramatic chase near tauranga." The dominion post - article by Paul Easton

not by my reckoning anyway,

the article quotes Inspector Karl Wright St Clair,
"It was like one of those video games the kids play where they steal a car and shoot at police"
the article also states "asked if he was making a direct link between video games and yesterday's incident, he said: "Well, they don't come up with these things by themselves."

it then goes on to say that he would not name the games he was referring too, then points to the obvious scapegoat of Grand Theft Auto.

I started thinking about it, and I cannot think of one single game where you actually steal a car and then shoot out the windows at police,

I can think of games where you can ram the police with your car, or shoot at them on foot, but not stealing a car then shooting at them whilst trying to escape pursuit.

I don't blame the Inspector, he was making an Illustrative comment to describe the events.
If these offenders were 38 years old, nobody would be pointing at the video games as the cause.

In my opinion, I don't think that Video games provided any inspiration at all for the actions of the two boys, if anything provided inspiration for their actions (and it was probably subconcious) I think it would be more than likely to be movies.

Its a fact of life that people store knowledge, and when they are presented with a particular situation the mind will present answers based on experience and on knowledge of other similar situations,

I can think of so many movies which feature people shooting out the back window at police during a high speed chase its not funny, let alone the movies which simply feature people shooting out the back windows at a miscellanous pursuer who isn't the police.

this isn't even a new thing, its been in movies ever since the "cops and robbers" type genre started and there were police chases!

There is even an entire entry in wikipedia on Car Chases,

the list of notable films are:

I'm not saying that all those movies feature people shooting out the back window, and even less at police, but a good number of them do.

Meanwhile the same entry on wikipedia lists 9 games (Well three of those mentioned are series) as notable car-chase games,

But I know for certain at no point in any of the games in the  Need for Speed series have you been able to shoot at police, or even use a gun for that matter, (you can however ram and run away from police cars, at the same time the Hot Pursuit series of Need for Speed also allowed you to play the police and chase after the bad guys)

So If any mass media is going to be blamed for inspiring the actions of these two 14 year olds lets look at the movies, but in truth, lets look at the parents, because

What the hell were those kids doing out at that time of night, even worse, who brings their kid up to have values to behave in such a way?
(yeah there is a bunch of exceptions but you all get my point)

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Comment by freitasm, on 25-Jun-2007 13:27

I saw the Police Inspector saying this on TV news last night. With all due respect, I don't think he's qualified to blame youth delinquency on a video game - any.


Comment by hellonearthisman, on 25-Jun-2007 16:01

They use to randomly blame bad movies for such stupid actions.  To blame video games like Grand Theft Auto for youth actions is just looks  so  dumb.

Comment by Miles D., on 25-Jun-2007 16:52

Too bad we don't have actual psychologists commenting on issues like this.

In my opinion psychology should be an authority that has more control in government, because it would be more functional :P.

also they'd be able to properly assess where issues like this one really go back to or begin.

Unfourtunately all we have right now is jack tomphson, who is a lawyer, not a psychologist.

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