Somewhere, Jack Thompson Stirs From His Slumber

by on April 24th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

According to the Southeast Missourian, a man hailing from Little Rock, AR has plead guilty to stealing a car and intentionally running down three joggers. None of the joggers were seriously injured, so feel free to crack jokes in the comments without guilt.

I cracked some jokes. GET IT? Hi-yoooooo!

I cracked some jokes. GET IT? Hi-yoooooo!

So why is this story relevant to Gamers Schmamers? Well, it turns out that with the joggers escaping serious injury the gaming community avoided another shit storm. Take a look at this gem from the article:

According to court documents, police took a smartphone from Anderson’s passenger, Marcus E. Jones, 27, that contained videos in which the men talked about stealing the vehicle and hitting pedestrians. Prosecutors said in one of the videos, Anderson said he and Jones “had fun like on ‘Grand Theft Auto,'” a popular video game.

Yes indeed, boys and girls. If any of these joggers had been killed I’m sure we’d be hearing all about how that dastardly “popular video game” GTA caused Vincent Anderson to go batshit crazy and start mowing people down. I’m a big news junkie who routinely scans for info and checks all the major news broadcasters to see where they’re focusing their coverage, and as of yet I have only seen this story mentioned briefly beneath the fold on Fox News.

But just for fun, since the prosecutors felt it was relevant to point out so let’s go ahead and examine a possible link between GTA and this violent act. Using a trusted source, I’ve hunted down the sales figures for the series.


Of course, not all the sales are unique: people who liked one GTA will likely buy one or all of the others. But that still leaves millions of GTA players, and the vast majority of these people, I cannot stress this enough, have not stolen a car and tried to kill pedestrians. Let’s assume, for generosity’s sake, that Anderson has only ever played GTA: Vice City Stories, the least popular (by sales) from the modern iterations of the franchise. That still means that 2.222222… × 10^-7 percent of GTA:VCS (SVU?) players have not stolen a car and tried to kill pedestrians.

Not that you need a lot of ammunition when someone claims that playing a video game leads to murder, but one of the simplest and I feel often underused arguments against that line of thinking is how many people play violent video games every day without mimicking the events they see in the game.


This is not one of those people.

We don’t need to take the time to conduct scientific studies trying to prove that playing games doesn’t lead to a deterioration of ethics; simply point out that most gamers are safe and that maybe, just maybe, we should focus on what makes this one person think playing real life Grand Theft Auto was a good idea as opposed to the millions upon millions of people who don’t.

Because the media could still grab that tidbit from this story and run with it after they’re done talking about the Boston bombers. After all, short of national tragedies it’s not like the mainstream media is going to offer some in depth discussion on things that are actually important.

Paul Valentine (admin) Your reliable source of inane drivel.
Paul has written 39 articles.