Sad news from Thailand. An 18-year-old high school student allegedly robbed and killed a taxi driver. According to reports, he was a heavy player of GTA IV, and wanted to see if it was as easy in “real life” as in the game to kill someone.

In the wake of this incident, New Era Interactive Media is pulling the game from store shelves. Not that this is going to have any real effect. Going by comments to Piracy: A Different Perspective, a lot of gaming in Thailand (and other countries) is done with illegal copies anyway.

Regardless, this is a terrible and thoughtless reaction. Do they really believe that, considering how long the game has been out now, pulling it from the shelves is in any way worthwhile?

According to Reuters, the police say the suspect was “normal” during questioning. I find that difficult to believe. A normal person doesn’t get the idea that he should try killing someone because he could do it in a game.

No doubt there will soon be another media circus over this event, despite the fact that many people have played (and are playing) GTA IV without any desire to hurt a real person. And anyone who does have that desire doesn’t need a game to set him off.

This has just become so tiresome and depressing. I’m really sick of hearing how video games sent someone “over the edge”. Given the number of games out there, by now we should all be raving homicidal lunatics.

Thailand halts Grand Theft Auto sales after murder on Reuters