Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 9, September 2013, Posted On: 8/27/2013
Murder By Louisiana Boy Rekindles Videogame Violence Debate
by Staff Reporter
TAGS: violence in media, video game violence, video game debate, Grand Theft Auto IV, killing by 8-year-old boy, videogame industry
The long-running debate about violence in videogames was revived over the weekend with reports that an eight-year-old boy who police say shot and killed his elderly caregiver had been playing Grand Theft Auto IV, a game rated as appropriate for adults.
The Louisiana boy intentionally shot and killed his elderly caregiver after playing a violent videogame, authorities said. Marie Smothers, who was pronounced dead at the scene with a gunshot wound to the head in a mobile home park in Slaughter, LA, was 87. The gun belonged to the caregiver.
The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Department implied the child's activities in a violent virtual world might have led to the killing. "Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a videogame on the Play Station III 'Grand Theft Auto IV,' a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred." | SEE STORY ON CNN
In June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California's ban on sales and rentals of so-called "violent" videogames to minors, which was regarded as a nationwide victory for the entertainment industry. | SEE STORY