Now GTA IV can warp kids' minds in a different way

9 April 2009

Bought a second-hand console game lately? If you have, it might be worth rooting around in the box to see if its previous owner used it to house their drug stash.

That’s what happened to Richard Thornhill of Cheltenham after he bought his 12-year old son a pre-owned copy of the 18-certificate (yes, we’ll get to that bit shortly) Grand Theft Auto IV for the Xbox.

Mr Thornhill told the BBC that he found some tablets wrapped in Clingfilm concealed inside the game’s instruction book, adding: "They had Mitsubishi signs on them, which I recalled meant they were ecstasy pills. I wasn't 100% sure though, so I checked online and sure enough I was right - it was ecstasy." Mmm, recalled… checked online… mmmm… mmmm…. we understand.

After Gamestation staff had allegedly advised him to flush the drugs down the toilet, Mr. Thornhill later reported the find to Gloucestershire Police and officers collected the pills.

Scary stuff… or is it? What’s REALLY worse here – a 12-year old necking a few E’s that are probably 90% snooker cue chalk and possibly getting his stomach pumped, or a 12-year old spending countless hours living a virtual life of vice playing a game that he is in no way emotionally able to deal with in a rational, adult way?

Shame on you Richard Thornhill, shame… on… you.

TOPICS:   Games


  • badmans
    Same difference.
  • jaysexy212005
    Nothing new, parents are always buying kids 18-certificate games even when I told them about the age rating. Then the game makers get blamed when kids imitate the actions of the games. It's never the parents fault. Blame anyone but the parents: society, teachers etc
  • Klunk
    Take the drugs, then play the game.
  • Ian
    That's pretty funny. I'd personally like to see ecstasy legalised, but probably not best distributed through video games.
  • Batman
    What's worse, letting a kid play a video game, or take pills that could kill him? I've been playing violent video games since I was a kid, I guess I'm just an anomaly that when I turn off the computer I go back to real life, eh? For me playing GTA when I need catharsis has saved a lot more lives than it's cost :p shame on you for making a foolish comparison Andy Dawson. Shame.. on... you... (Annoying, isn't it, condescension)
  • MikeBeaver
    Ha ha, what a waste, clearly the muppet wasnt from my neck of the woods, or he would have been down the local on a Saturday night trying to off load them :p
  • Andy D.
    @Batman "Annoying, isn’t it, condescension" All depends on whether you're being serious or not love. Are you new here?
  • Rash
    Couldn't agree more [email protected] The 18 certificate is there for a reason you prats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • a m.
    People like jay should refuse to sell to adults if they have been informed it is intended for an underage child though. What type of person complains about free drugs though? (the type who gives a 12yr old an 18rated game, obviously).
  • John
    "All depends on whether you’re being serious or not love" Hmm, sounds condescending AND patronising. Why would Batman he not be being serious? Its a fairly valid point. Video games such as GTA are played by bored teenagers with the purpose of escapism and the only realistic side effect is a few wasted afternoons. Taking ecstasy pills is an illegal pastime carried out by party-going maniacs who face the very possible side effect of death. Are you being serious Andy? That's more to the point. Good article, by the way.
  • callum
    I've played GTA since around the age of 12 and I am extremely pacifistic. Some people are just violent, and would still be violent whether they played GTA or not.
  • Andy D.
    @John I wasn't being completely serious (I rarely am on this site, even when I'm trying to make a point) but supplying a 12-year old with an 18-cert game is hardly a responsible or law-abiding act. Mind you, (and I'm not trying to stick up for the E generation every though the first wave were responsible for some INCREDIBLE music) but I'd imagine that there isn't much difference between the numbers of deaths caused by young men who have spent their teenage years playing violent games that aren't intended for them, than there are caused by the ingestion of disco biscuits. E's hardly one of the big killers in the drugosphere with 7 for every million users. Much safer than the booze.
  • Christopher
    Scariest thing is someone actually had to check these were e's. I mean, they don't stamp trendy modern cultural logos on paracetamol now, do they?
  • MikeBeaver
    Booze is far more harmful for you than E's ever will be, unless someone decides to fill an E with powdered alcohol :) Case in point, I spent this weekend completely sozzled on a cocktail of spirits, lager and cider, managed to get ejected from 3 bars in the space of less than an hour, got stuck on a bus and told to go home, managed to lose 2 1/2 hours wandering the streets, climbing fences, falling in bushes etc, lost my phone, all cards, around £50 and what for ? oh, a lift home in a little white car with pretty lights on top! now, had I been off my face on E's I would have been more than awake enough to have got in a club, sat round talking shit to strangers for hours on end and been quite friendly to everyone, followed by being able to see the bus and actually walk on it, not like you can sleep on E's anyway. Personally, ban Alcohol and enforce mandatory pills, that would sort everything out, well, at least it would till the come down anyway :) Mike..
  • johnny
    as seen on hukd misc section with better pictures and writing throughout
  • Andy D.
    Nice. Thanks Johnny. Any of the pictures yours?
  • John
    That's a interesting point Andy, e's and video games probably have the same small number of deaths but the amount of corruption they both cause is more noticable. The damage is somewhat damaging within society and may result in many of today's social problems.
  • Andy D.
    @John - I'd say alcohol still outstrips them both when it comes to causing damage to society. And I'm on my third glass of wine as I'm writing this... :-)
  • johnny
    @ Andy Unfortunately i didn't take those pictures of him being arrested.
  • Iain
    Following the link posted by Andy and seeing the pictutures i think everyone here has missed an obvious couple of points, 1. £24.99 for a pre-owned GTA? he was not only given drugs but also robbed by Gamestation, 2. Gamestations pre-owned price stickers are orange and say pre-owned on them and the one on the game in the picture is black with white writing so its clearly not from gamestation? compensation claim anyone??
  • Matt
    Well focusing on the positive, after 10 minutes of playing GTA he will know exactly how to go about dealing them in his local Gloucester :P
  • Ten B.
    [...] What do you if you buy an 18-cert game and find a bunch of drugs stuffed in it? Isolate the narcotic... [...]

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