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Take-Two Responds To Another Implied GTA-Inspired Crime

By now, one would assume that Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive is used to replying to such incidents.

The company opted to come forward after a Louisiana sheriff's department mentioned that GTAIV may have played a role in the shooting death of an 87-year-old woman. As reported by CNN, the woman was shot and killed by an 8-year-old boy, and authorities have suggested that the boy's interaction with GTAIV may have been an influence. Here's Take-Two's response to the situation:

"Ascribing a connection to entertainment--a theory that has been disproven repeatedly by multiple independent studies--both minimizes this moment and sidesteps the real issues at hand."

Well, duh. But that doesn't make for a good headline, now does it? And of course, nobody bothered to ask the other question, which may be relevant: What exactly was an 8-year-old doing with GTAIV in the first place? Gee, last I checked, the video game industry took strides to protect that child by placing a certain rating on the box. That rating, which is "M" for "Mature," means the game probably isn't suitable for anyone under the age of 17.

The kid's 8 and he was playing GTAIV, the one that comes with this big ol' rating and warning label? Yep, our bad. Not the parent or guardian. No, of course not. ...man, are we stupid.

Tags: video game violence, violence in games, grand theft auto iv, gtaiv

8/26/2013 11:43:10 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (41 posts)

Masszt3r
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 11:59:45 AM
Reply

You're question is spot-on: what is an 8 year-old boy doing with a GTA game? Do ratings not matter anymore (or have they ever)? But the most important question is: what the hell was an 8 year-old boy doing with a firearm?

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 12:10:40 PM

My thoughts exactly. But I guess the US has difference laws on firearms from the UK so...

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coverton341
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 2:48:39 PM

I'm glad someone asked. Yes, why is an 8 year old able to acquire a loaded firearm? And yes Ultima, the US does have different laws than the UK when if comes to guns, but that in no way is justification for the negligence and poor parenting it takes to make a firearm available to an unsupervised minor.

With the media portraying this as another "tragic incident caused by video games" they can completely neuter the discussion on why the parents or grandparents where so negligent with a weapon and a child.

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Akuma07
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 7:42:59 PM

Yeah but, let's face it. He isn't the first and/or only 8 year old kid in America that has access to a fully loaded firearm, or has used one.

I've seen SO many pics of parents giving their children rifles for their birthdays.

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jjlive168
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 9:19:27 PM

That's a good question but I think the better question is. What is an eight year old doing with a gun? That's the most obvious question to me

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Crabba
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 11:51:24 PM

It's pretty scary when an 8-year old shoots someone and the first two questions are whether the video game made him do it or why he was allowed to play said video game, and not the most frickin' obvious question, how the heck an 8-year old is allowed anywhere near a gun.

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Limbo
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 @ 8:26:47 AM

The gun culture is rooted deep in the US and it starts young, like really young. There is even a series of rifles called ''My First Rifle'' that is meant for kids. If you check their website the testimonials are especially sickening, parents write how satisfied their 5 or 6 year old kids are with the rifle.

And when a kid surrounded by guns for as long as they can remember shoots someone, but just so happened to play GTA beforehand, nobody thinks to blame the gun culture. No, it's the video game (which he shouldn't have been playing), not the gun culture.

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Crabba
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 @ 4:55:25 PM

Limbo that is some scary sh*t right there...

I've played violent video games & watched violent movies (I grew up in the eithties damn it, when action movies were violent & bloody) all my life, but I'm about as non-violent in real life as you get, always have been.

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newchef
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 12:06:59 PM
Reply

i think the bigger question is who the hell leaves a loaded firearm, unlocked and in easy access to an 8-year old...i think the parents are more suspect than the game here, a game that he should not have even had in the first place, except that his parents bought it for him

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H0TSHELLZ
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 12:40:48 PM

In California whoever left the gun loaded and accessible is the one that will be charged for the murder.

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telly
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 2:18:36 PM

Exactly. What the hell was the kid doing with A FREAKING GUN??? That any child can get their hands on firearms just blows my mind. How could any adult be so irresponsible?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 5:23:31 PM

Here in America we give our kids guns and take em to the range.

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Tim Speed24
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 6:05:11 PM

And then feed them McDonalds and Mountain Dew on the way to buy them violent games!

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kraygen
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 12:27:15 PM
Reply

Will we ever see parents who not only realize that games are not just for children, but also that it's their job to discipline their child.

I don't like to rant a lot, but I get sick of parents who expect, the government, the schools, daycares, or anyone else to teach their children right from wrong. You're the parent, you're responsible for them. Stop blaming it on things I enjoy and trying to convince the government that I shouldn't be able to enjoy it just because you don't want to take 2 seconds to look at a rating and tell your kid no.

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H0TSHELLZ
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 12:37:08 PM
Reply

OK well "How did the sheriff determine GTA played a role in the boy killing his Grandma?

And from my experience MY SON does play GTA, (He is 10 now, but 8 when he did play GTA IV)its not because i dont care, its because he's going to be exposed to such violence and GROWN-UP stuff everyday of his life anyway. "GAMES ARE NOT THE PROBLEM" my son had all A's an B's last year in school and is well mannered all while playing GTA, BF, COD, TLoU and GOW. I know im not a regular parent, i just dont feel the need to shelter my child from violence.

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Killa Tequilla
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 4:09:42 PM

He shouldn't be playing TLOU. That's just too much.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 6:02:15 PM

"i just dont feel the need to shelter my child from violence."

You should.

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H0TSHELLZ
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 6:35:39 PM

@Ben Why ? Kids are exposed to violence and hate everyday @ school, home, or even at a friends house. They will be exposed to it anyway, so why not under my supervision where they understand that games are WAY different from REAL LIFE.

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Akuma07
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 7:48:18 PM

There are two parts to it really.

1) The ratings are in place for a very good reason, the games have been deemed inappropriate for children below a certain age. If you choose to let your child play these games you do so at your own risk of possible affects the game may or may not have on your child. Which leads to point 2.

2) Correct parental supervision is the main point. It said in the report that the grandmother was watching TV, while the kid was off playing GTAIV. So not only was he playing it, but doing so unsupervised. As parents, it is our responsibility to provide guidance and direction to our children.

The grandmother isn't at fault for him playing GTA, but she did let her gun be easily accessible. At 87 I doubt she really understands video games or the ratings system. His parents are to blame for this atrocity.

This might sound wrong, but the fact that this kid isn't getting into any kind of trouble really sends a bad message. I wonder what it will be like growing up a normal life, knowing you shot your own grandmother to death.

EDIT:
@H0TSHELLZ
So your saying that just because kids are exposed to violence, we should let them experience it however they want? No kid should be exposed to violence at all, in Australia most normal kids aren't. Exposure to violence at a young age CAN have a lasting effect. But why would you, as a parent, WANT to exposure your son to violence?

Last edited by Akuma07 on 8/26/2013 7:51:15 PM

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JROD0823
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 9:35:06 AM

@Akuma,

HOTSHELLZ made it abundantly clear that he doesn't just let his kid experience violence any way the kid wants to, he SUPERVISES his kid while the kid partakes in the content, and then EXPLAINS why the violence is not the way it works in real life.

Just because he isn't sheltering his kid completely from violence, it doesn't mean that he isn't being a responsible parent, and you should learn the difference.

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Bigimpactpooch
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 12:41:08 PM
Reply

How did this boy come across a gun is the real question?

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MRSUCCESS
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 12:59:51 PM
Reply

Niko Bellic pulled the trigger not the boy O_O

Last edited by MRSUCCESS on 8/26/2013 1:00:55 PM

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bldudas1
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 1:16:22 PM
Reply

Most importantly how did this eight year old have access to a gun?!

Having access to Grand Theft Auto IV is also bad, but not as bad as a gun!

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ulsterscot
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 1:52:17 PM
Reply

Sorry - children under 18 should not be allowed to play violent games like GTA and COD.

Apart from the fact they have so much more time on their hands to play so have an unfair advantage in multiplayer - they just don't need to be exposed to that much violence that young.

If they rate movies for violence - why not a similar classification for video games? Makes sense to me.

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Tim Speed24
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 6:07:40 PM

Children under 21 should not be playing with guns!

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Akuma07
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 7:53:04 PM

Correction.

Civilians without a good reason, proper training, respect and licencing shouldn't be playing with guns.

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telly
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 2:21:26 PM
Reply

No child that age should be playing such a violent game. But for god's sake, how in the hell can you own a gun and not keep it under lock and key so small children can't get anywhere near it??? Unbelievable. What an awful story.

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MrAnonymity
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 2:33:02 PM
Reply

Sorry, but this is an overt case of negligence and improper caretaking. As sad as it is, this is not the fault of the game or the child. To put the blame on the game is ridiculous and points fingers in the wrong direction, but anti-violent game people will use this as fuel for their fires regardless.

Stupid.

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PC_Max
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 2:58:36 PM
Reply

Ah-hum. Well ignoring Take-Twos on-sided response to the old game influence issue ...

I agree what the REAL question that should be asked in this case is why and how this kid got a hold or better yet was allowed to play the game. We have game ratings for a reason, whether you want to go down the old road and issue concerning influence of games or not. As a parent they are there to help us decide what games are appropriate for our kids. Along with a bit of easy research. AND as a gamer... this should have been a no brainer. At that age they don't fully understand action and consequence. Granted different countries and regions kids may vary, but I would think overall .. this was just plain avoidable.

<<Shaking head>>

We ALL take responsibility in regards to our community and even closer at home.

Keep playing ... kep safe.

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darxed
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 3:03:58 PM
Reply

GTA has nothing to do with It. The kid could have been seeing any movie/tv series with guns on it, finished watching, take the gun and, pretending it was a toy, shoot.

I really can't stand these so called "journalists" that have no integrity and go after every industry that's on the top. They've been doing this for years, first with movies, then rock music, then rap music, and now videogames.

Mick Foley said it best: "The Real world is faker than wrestling"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 3:08:16 PM
Reply

perfect response.

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 3:22:04 PM
Reply

Parents/grandparents/adults whoever's fault for living a loaded gun that's easy accessible for the kid.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 8/26/2013 3:29:13 PM

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anjpikapp3
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 3:55:05 PM
Reply

Terrible story! And even worse for the 8 year old kid!! Sounds like they just want something to point the finger at and since the one they want to point their finger at is dead, GTAIV will be the next best thing...only in AMERICA!

GOOD LUCK TAKE-TWO!! I'm sure a jury of (non-)gamer peers will fight for you! /sarcasm

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frylock25
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 6:43:25 PM
Reply

I let my daughter play on the ps3 all the time. she will be 9 in a month. she has her own psn name that is a sub account of mine. she also sees most of the games i play. i wont play a few games like the last of us when she is up. most other games though i have no problem with her seeing. i do not play CoD or Battlefield type games often. i do play violent games when she is awake.

all that being said she doesnt care to play violent games. she is not violent. i swear. she does not. i though would NEVER leave a gun laying out or let her touch one. half the time she is scared of a sharp knife. i would not let her play gta outside of maybe letting her drive a car.

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Darwin1967
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 7:53:23 PM
Reply

There is so much wrong with this story it's hard to now where to start, but it is completely irresponsible of that so called, sheriff, to immediately place blame on a video game. Taking from a well known phrase...video games don't kill people...people kill people. My first question to the parents would be, how the hell did your 8 year old get access to not only a gun, but a loaded gun? Then I would have to aks, why the hell are you allowing your 8 year old to have access to a GTA game?! This isn't about a video game, this is about piss poor parenting/supervision. Yes, kids will be exposed to violence, they will see and hear things that will curdle the blood...but why, when you have a choice to NOT expose them to certain things, would you choose to, that's just seems cruel. As a parent myself of two young kids I let them play games but there are certain ones they are not allowed access to...GTA will be there years from now, its not going anywhere, but at 11 and 12 my kids aren't going to be playing it anytime soon.

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Akuma07
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 8:05:14 PM

No offence to my american friends on this site, but from a lot of the stories I have read lately, the US sheriff and police departments seem totally incompetent in most cases.

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Akuma07
Monday, August 26, 2013 @ 8:04:29 PM
Reply

This is interesting though.

Makes me wonder if this kid was normal in the head.

I mean, even in GTA, you run around shooting and killing people. What part of that did the kid think was normal to do in real life? Why did he think, "Oh wow, this is a gun, like in gta, I'll go shoot grandma, that will be funny".

He obviously knew what a gun was, he obviously knew how to use one, so he would definitely have known what it would do.

The bad thing is though, this kid got put back into the care of his parents, his freakin parents, the son or daughter of the woman this kid just killed. How the hell can ANY parent love their child after that? I wouldn't be able to. Not only that, but it would ruin the marriage.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 @ 12:49:36 AM
Reply

yeah dam the kid by not means of the imagine ation be on that game he's 8 yrs old for cry out loud like seriously who take care of thus kid and buys him games that are way over his head oh boy when will they learn to ask the "relevent" questions but of course for the story media these days.

happy gaming =)

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___________
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 @ 5:35:28 AM
Reply

gotta love how the first question is always whats the kid doing with GTA, not whats the kid doing with a gun.
only in america.........

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clue
Thursday, August 29, 2013 @ 1:55:52 PM
Reply

Yes, Ben, Americans are Stupid.

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ransomink
Thursday, August 29, 2013 @ 10:26:17 PM
Reply

#1: Why does the kid have a gun (this has nothing to do with gaming in general)
#2: Why the hell is an 8-year old playing GTA IV?

My only explanation is that he lives alone and nurtures himself because no rightful parent would do or put their child in that kind of situation.

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