You Don't Score Points For Killing Children In Grand Theft Auto

Last Thursday, Brazil was visited by its own Columbine massacre. Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, 23, opened fire at a school in Rio de Janeiro killing 12 pupils and injuring 13 others, aged between 12 and 14 years old. Wellington killed himself minutes later, after being shot by a policeman. The country was shocked - and then the witch hunt started. It was almost inevitable that like Columbine before, video games were fingered by some looking for a simple explanation.

Two days later, courtesy of O Globo, one of the largest newspapers in Brazil and part of Organizações Globo. In an article about a "person with whom Wellington discussed religion and war games", we were informed that the assassin used to play violent games "like GTA and Counter-Strike", where "you score more points for killing women, children and old people".

Did you know you scored points for killing women in Grand Theft Auto? And children? And the elderly? Why no one told us before?

The gamers protested - we wrote about it too on Kotaku Brasil ) - the article from O Globo was later edited and the references for "scoring points" removed. (You still can find the original version republished in other blogs from O Globo.)

But this doesn't change the fact that video games were getting the blame for a situation that was far more complicated. And it proves that, just as we have lunatic people with guns, we have major media outlets with zero responsibility or knowledge when it comes to video games.

Wellington left a religious and confusing message in a letter, and the police are now trying to figure out his profile based on internet activity. (They have chat logs, emails, contacts, and browser history.) What we know about Wellington Menezes de Oliveira so far? It's still far too early to say anything with surety, far too early to unravel his sociopathy. But between social conflicts, psychological issues and admiration for terrorism, video games seemed to be the least of his problems.

Renato Bueno is the Editor Chefe of Kotaku Brasil.


Comments

    Um, Are children even present in GTA? Wow, these guys are way off!

      Yeah there are kids in the game. The 15 year olds allowed to play multiplayer in Australia cause there is no R18+ rating... *zing*

    *sigh* mega-face-palm-head-to-the-desk-til-my-face-bleeds...

    Seriously, in 25 years, when people who grew up with games are in positions of power and realise this is all BS, we will look back on this as the dark age of culture and the dark age of personal responsibility...

    They blame video games, they blame guns and they blame music. When really it all comes down to mental health. They are always happy to step up funding to gun control or video game censorship but every year they cut funding to mental health yet they wonder why things get worse.

      Easy because mental health in most cases wont be detected, one has to have seen a psychologist etc to be diagnosed. So the logic is to remove any stimuli that a mentally disfunctional person could emulate and any tools they could emulate it with.

      thus the restrictions on games and the removal of guns

    I don't know about other people but avoid hitting people like they have ebola when playing GTA4. There's nothing worse than getting chased by the cops right in the middle of doing something more important.

    Like getting drunk with Roman and seeing if you can drive in a straight line.

    “like GTA and Counter-Strike”, where “you score more points for killing women, children and old people”.

    Hang on... when has there been women, children and old people in counter strike? Sounds like some sort of mod of Half-Life 2 or something

      Sure!!! Don't you remember the 'Escort the child to prep!' mission???

    Millions of people grow up with video games and go on to lead normal lives. A couple of nutcases also grow up with video games also and go on a mass murder suicide………. “Cause must be video games” how is this in any way rational?

    What the hell is with the media and points. Got news for you media very view games have points anymore!

    We've all heard this tune before.

    I want to raise issue with him being referred to as an 'assassin'. That's colourisation, using a word with further negative connotations. He is a murderer, or a criminal, or a gunman.

    The former (and so sorely missed) SA Attorney General Atkinson said something very similar in one of his early objections to an R18+

    Maybe they were quoting him?

    It's like the whole Mass Effect sex thing again by Fox News. Videogames are misrepresented by the media, I'd wager mainly because they're seen as an easy target.

    Ohhh dear!

    You know books are far more dangerous than videogames and that books yes BOOKS are more likely to make you go out and kill people?

    Take all the deaths that GTA has 'supposedly' caused and you can place them all on one table.

    Now take all the deaths the Bible and the Quran have caused and you couldnt fit them in a whole state.

    If videogames make you go out and reinact what you play in the games,Super Mario is one of the biggest videogame franchises in the world....so what does Mario do?....hes a plumber who runs around headbutting walls in search of coins and stamps on mushrooms.

    I dont know about anyone else but in my 29yrs i have never seen a man running down the street dressed as a plumber with a handlebar moustache headbutting walls and stamping on mushrooms...have you?

    Ive been playing violent videogames since i was around 10,im now 29 and have never once wanted to go out and hurt people or copy what ive played in a game. Im also very healthy athletic/muscular and have a great job.(yes i know shock horror a non obese gamer with a job) lol

    Look for a 'real' answer as to why this boy commited these terrible crimes and R.I.P to the people he killed may they rest in peace.

    Do you know why kids have school holidays? It was thought that all that reading would make them go crazy, and do something like this maybe?

    All Gaming needs is a new media to hit the market and start taking all the blame from problems society has probably had since the stone age.

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