Yeah, another one of those.
Disclaimer: The article really seems to have it in for GTA, dredging up the typical tired half-truths and irresponsibly vague ‘studies’.
Anyway. Straight from the article:
A 20-year-old man accused of a carjacking says he was driven to commit the crime after playing a violent video game for hours on end.
In what is believed to be a legal first in New Zealand, Sheik Tanweerul Haque Sahib is blaming the R18 video game Grand Theft Auto – an escapist shoot-’em-up where gamers are encouraged to steal cars by force – for an alleged incident in which he stole a convertible at knifepoint and then crashed after a motorway joyride.
The defence has failed overseas but research suggests that violent video games are linked to increased aggression and that playing for extended periods of time could cause a “dissociative state”, in which individuals cannot recall their actions.
It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: there’s a difference between aggression and violence. That said, the “I can’t remember, really!” defense? Does that ever really work?
Sahib’s lawyer, Graeme Newell, said Grand Theft Auto would be a plank in the defence case when his client stood trial next month. An expert witness had been called to testify. Alyric: Joy, I hope it’s not He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
“It’s difficult for me to comment at the moment. The explanation that he gave at the time was that he had played an unusually lengthy period of [a] computer game called Grand Theft Auto and was possibly exhausted.”
So wait, he’s blaming this on a lack of sleep? Yeah, every time I don’t get enough sleep I go out carjacking for joyrides. Even if it was true, and I’m being generous in even entertaining the thought, it’s still his own fault – he did it to himself. I mean, when was the last time “I was drunk” worked as a defense?
I appreciated this next bit though:
Simply blaming a video game for causing criminal activity was no legal defence at all, Auckland University law Professor Scott Optican said, although it could explain a defendant’s actions.
“As long as you do the crime, do the act, with the intent to commit, what causes you to do it, propels you to do it, or motivates you do to do it is not relevant.”
Someone should buy him the T-shirt.