Busted! Man Thinks He's in Grand Theft Auto
The video game mentioned in the case history below is clearly Grand Theft Auto, in which the protagonist completes a series of crime-centric missions involving everything from automatic weapons to chainsaws to stolen sports cars to Harrier jets.
The report does not suggest that GTA was the cause of the man's psychosis, but merely created the dramatic framework in which his delusions played out: they could have easily been action-movie-based had the patient been a film buff.
A young man was admitted from prison to a psychiatric facility after reports that he had been acting in a bizarre manner. He had been arrested for stealing motor vehicles and assaults with weapons. At interview he was found to be experiencing the delusion that he was a player inside a computer game (adult-certificate game, widely available) in which points are scored for stealing cars, killing assailants and avoiding police vehicles. Psychotic symptoms had emerged slowly over two years. His family had noticed him becoming increasingly withdrawn and isolated from social activities. He developed delusions that strangers were planning to kill him and also experienced auditory hallucinations, constantly hearing an abusive and derogatory voice. Previously a computer enthusiast, he began to play computer games incessantly. He felt that the games were communicating with him via the headphones. In a complex delusional system he came to believe he was inside one of these games and had to steal a car to start scoring points. He broke into a car and drove off at speed, believing he had `invulnerable' fuel and so could not run out of petrol. To gain points he chose to steal increasingly powerful vehicles, threatening and assaulting the owners with weapons. Later he said he would have had no regrets if he had killed someone, since this would have increased his score.
Thankfully this guy didn't end up causing a major pile-up while attempting to grab an insane stunt bonus. Please note that the videos to the right depict video-game violence, mayhem and a general disregard for public and private property, not to be confused with real life.
I found this article via boingboing.