Friday August 8, 2008
Follow Thailand and ban violent video game
IT was recently reported that the Thai authorities have banned a computer video game known as Grand Theft Auto.
Copies of this game were apparently taken off shop shelves following an incident where a disturbed teenager allegedly killed a taxi driver in a copycat crime.
The 18-year old high school student has been charged with robbery and possession of a weapon, and could possibly face the death penalty or life imprisonment if convicted.
The sole legal distributor of the game in Thailand was reported to have expressed regret over the incident. They have indicated that they have stopped selling the game and will not be importing the next version the fourth of the series.
Violent video games and television programmes have previously been linked to expressions of violence and aggression in young viewers. It is time for the authorities to act.
If this particular video game is available in Malaysia, CAP calls on the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to immediately halt its sales and ban this game. The Ministry should also warn the public and any stocks that have already been sold should be recalled.
CAP also calls on the Ministry to initiate immediate measures to weed out similar games and halt sales and also their use in video game arcades.
S.M. MOHAMED IDRIS,
Consumers Association of Penang.