British man finds ecstasy tablets in used GTA game

Thursday, 9th April 2009 08:56 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


A British man found some “ecstasy tablets” in one of the used GTA games he purchased at a GameStation in Gloucestershire.

“When I opened the box up, the cling film wrap fell out. I could not believe it. I have two children and my son plays Xbox all the time. He could easily have opened the box and found them,” Richard Thornhill told the Telegraph.

“I dread to think what the consequences would have been if he had. He is only 12. He could have died. It was a pre-used game, but that should not make a difference. My wife is beside herself over this because she keeps thinking about what could have happened and so do I.”

Richard never mentioned why his son would have been messing about with mature rated game in the first place.

Via GamePolitics.



  1. Mad-elph

    Probably so he could get his fix

    #1 6 years ago
  2. DrDamn

    “I have two children and my son plays Xbox all the time. He could easily have hidden the tablets in the box” – fixed ;)

    #2 6 years ago
  3. jnms

    “Richard never mentioned why his son would have been messing about with mature rated game in the first place.”

    It’s illegal to sell these games to those under 18. It isn’t illegal for under 18′s to *play* the games.

    GTA isn’t too bad for a 12 year old to play – so long as that 12 year old has his head screwed on fairly well. On the other hand there are a whole bunch of brain-dead 18 year old kids that shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near GTA.

    The problem with this world is that people believe life is full of ‘one-size-fits-all’ rules. Life doesn’t work that way.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Mike


    #4 6 years ago
  5. Eregol

    To jnms
    As has been highlighted several times:
    Parents are regularly ‘shocked’ to discover what their kids are looking at on the internet or playing on their games consoles.
    When you have parents like this guy, who as every other parent does, ignoring the age rating of a game he has bought it doesn’t matter if it’s not illegal for the kid to be playing the game he wouldn’t let the kid watch an 18 rated film surely?
    Granted this has nothing to do with the seriousness of the ecstacy in the packaging which should have been found (which is bizarre as these things are normally scrutinised when they’re brought in).

    #5 6 years ago
  6. scuz

    or why he “recalled” a mitsubishi symbol meant they were ecstasy

    #6 6 years ago
  7. sickpuppysoftware

    Pet rant – He either plays games or plays on his Xbox, he does not play Xbox.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. jnms


    I look at it like this. There are many types of parents, for simplicity we can put them into three categories:

    1) The ‘ignorant’ parent: Doesn’t pay attention to what their kid watches or plays. i.e. Ignoring all Responsibility / Or irresponsibly thinks ‘all games are for kids’.

    2) The ‘strict’ (or follow the rules to the letter) parent: Feels age restrictions are there for a reason. The personality of the child shouldn’t even be taken into consideration. i.e. The State Knows Best.

    3) The ‘aware’ (follows the spirit of the rule rather than the letter of the rule) parent: The parent knows their child’s personality and temperament very well. The parent makes a personal judgement call, based upon the rating and content of the game/movie and then decides whether or not they feel it is acceptable for their own child. i.e. Claiming Full Parental and Personal Responsibility.

    I know which type of parent I prefer to be…

    #8 6 years ago
  9. BillyBatts

    Lucky git. I only got a half g of base in mine.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Prof Power Glove

    Classic parenting.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Eregol


    I am about to become a parent myself, and would not put myself in either of the aware or strict camps you mention.

    I personally would make sure I am checking the content my child is viewing and making sure he isn’t viewing anything I deem as being inappropriate for the little mite. I’d never dream of allowing my child to play a game that contains violence, sex, swearing or frankly disturbing images, and I will be installing net nanny on my pc to make sure any websites (that I use for *ahem* personal reasons) are not viewed by the child.

    And to be honest. Why would he want to play GTA4 anyway? It’s, quite frankly, crap.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. deanimate

    He’s 12 and isn’t doing drugs yet?

    #12 6 years ago
  13. jnms


    There ya go then. I think you will make a great parent! (And congrats by the way).

    My little ‘un is a bit to small to be worrying about these sorts of things yet. But I will most likely end up falling into category 3.

    Kids shouldn’t have this stuff thrown in their faces, and should be protected from it. But at a certain point they will have a degree of curiosity about them. At that point it’s best to be involved with what they do (i.e. Work with them. Don’t simply ‘ban’ or alternatively ‘let them have their own way). Because at some point they will do these things with or without your knowledge. (Watching SAW at a friends for example. Or looking at a mates Playboy in the school toilets, and so on).

    Besides. In the end we can talk about violent games and movies. But personally I feel the whole culture of Glitzy Magazines, TV Adverts, Soap Operas, Big Brother, etc. – which – as far as young kids can tell – are all depicted as ‘real life’, are far more damaging than GTA IV will ever be.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. Eregol


    Thanks man.

    Can undertsand what you’re saying about the glitzy magazines. While not promoting violence it does make youngsters obsess about celebrity culture and bodies.

    Watching shows like Channel 4′s Sex Show (god awful, blame the gf!) and listening to the comments from the kids on their makes you realise how messed up these kids’ perception of reality actually is. But that’s a debate for another time and place.

    To be honest, with regards to violence in games, GTA4 is more likely to cause someone to go on a killing rampage because of it’s mind numbing tedium and overly demanding ‘friends’ than because of it’s glorification of violence.

    This situation with the drugs reeks of the guy having to find an excuse for having the stash and saying he found it in the game case.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. jnms


    Hard to know what to do for the best when it comes to TV and Kids. I sometimes think of just getting a bunch of cartoons from the 80′s and sticking with them. :D

    Well, regarding the drugs – it will be interesting to see if anything more comes of this. Who gets in trouble for it, the shop? And how do they prove the drugs were in the case before they brought it as second-hand?

    And if the drugs were indeed the fathers – then what a dumb place to hide them! :D

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Michael O'Connor

    “When I opened the box up, the cling film wrap fell out. I could not believe it. I have two children and my son plays Xbox all the time. He could easily have opened the box and found them,”

    Translation: “When I opened the box up, my cling film wrap of ecstasy fell out. probably in front of my wife. I could not believe I was dumb enough to leave it there. I have two children, and I needed to come up with some excuse quick smart so I wouldn’t get busted!”

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Splitfoot

    Telegraph article says he has a 16 year old daughter too, i wonder if she could have tried to hide her stash there?
    I really don’t understand how the store wouldn’t spot them. The Gamestation by keeps booklet/disc seperate to the box so there is no way they would remain there unless put there at the till.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. mightyhokie

    “GTA isn’t too bad for a 12 year old to play – so long as that 12 year old has his head screwed on fairly well.”

    Oh, I don’t think I could agree with that statement. I LOVED GTA4, but the mature themes were waaaaaaay above a 12 year olds understanding. It is very very dirty and I think that no matter how tightly a 12 yo’s head was screwed on, they wouldn’t get it, would be confused by it, and just not something i would let my 12 yo play.

    It was brilliant, but def for adults. I personally wouldn’t let anyone under 16 play it…and I’d need to be there to answer questions like ‘what does she (in one of the radio ads) mean by women getting wet when men force them to have sex’. Yeah, it is def adult.

    #18 6 years ago
  19. Eregol

    I’ve just put up my entire Transformers generation 1 collection on Ebay. So, no 80s cartoons for my kids. Though if I can get hold of M.A.S.K I should be alright, the public service announcments made sure I never put a fork in a toaster.

    Maybe the father’s drugs weren’t in the game hidden? Maybe the Mrs found them and he said they fell out the game maybe? I very much doubt that a lump containing them would have been missed by eagle eyed devoted shop staff………

    #19 6 years ago
  20. lovemoose

    I’m really fucked off. My GTA special edition in a safety deposit box didn’t include any drugs. It did have fifty grand in used fivers and shooter with the serial filed off though, so musn’t grumble.

    #20 6 years ago
  21. jnms

    @mightyhokie: You have a point. yet there are a lot of 12 year olds that will already know what all that means. They pick much of that up in the playground. Even if they come from a ‘prim-and-proper’ home. And at least GTA puts such things into their “correct” perspective – showing society’s hang-ups and habits for just how ridiculous they are…as opposed to say a magazine that tries to promote and sell the same lifestyle.

    Obviously I am not saying that all 12 year old’s should play GTA IV. But I also believe that I don’t have the moral or ethical authority to say that no 12 year old in the world should be playing it. I don’t feel I have the right to take away another parent’s choice and responsibility.

    After all parenting is about personal choice and responsibility. It’s just unfortunate that many parents shirk their responsibilities by either just ignoring them, or laying down a blanket ban.

    @Eregol: Just can’t beat those 80′s cartoons in my opinion Transformers was great. My kid absolutely loves “The Smurfs” at the moment :D

    #21 6 years ago

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