View Full Version : Video games: Now good for teaching kids how to drive!

January 16th, 2009, 1:46 PM
First off I must say this is chuckle some. Second here is the article from yahoo.
Most kids wouldn't make much of a fuss if they missed a day of school, but a six-year-old Virginian boy felt otherwise. The AP reports that after missing his bus, the unnamed child hopped into the family's 2005 Ford Taurus and drove himself nearly six miles before crashing. His parents were asleep at the time.

How did he make it that far? Video games, of course. According to police, the boy claims to have learned how to drive from playing Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam.

And by the sound of it, he drives like most of us play: wildly out of control. During his journey, the boy made "at least two 90-degree turns, passed several cars and ran off the rural two-lane road several times before hitting an embankment and utility pole about a mile and a half from school."

After being cleared of serious injury, he was taken to school by authorities. If that seems cruel, don't tell the scholarly youngster.

"He was very intent on getting to school," said Northumberland County Sheriff Chuck Wilkins. "When he got out of the [crashed] car, he started walking to school. He did not want to miss breakfast and PE."

The boy's parents have each been charged with child endangerment, though it's unclear if that's for facilitating their kid's dangerous joyride or letting a six-year-old play the Mature-rated Grand Theft Auto in the first place.

January 18th, 2009, 7:04 PM
... letting a six-year-old play the Mature-rated Grand Theft Auto in the first place.

Well there's your problem.

Capt. Couch
January 18th, 2009, 7:39 PM
I was in a BW3 when I saw this story. My brother chuckled, I found it somewhat amusing.

I find it incredible that a kid his age could even reach the pedals, let alone have the strength to pull the seat forward. My nine year-old brother is tall for his age and even he can't reach the pedals. At least he lived. His parents might have been having an off morning or they simply didn't care. Judging by the fact that they've allowed him to play GTA and never noticed the car being pulled out of the driveway, it's probably the latter.

If GTA could honestly be considered a main influence for him to drive a car to school, then his parents could have done a few simple things which don't involve entire revocation of his video game privileges. I've always had an attitude that whether you're age seven or seventeen, M-rated games are just fine, but that comes with a very small price: sitting down with your child after watching them play for maybe 45 minutes and explaining what he/she shouldn't reenact and why not. At age six, I started to play a lot of Unreal Tournament with friends on Saturday nights. My eyes were opened to virtual death, and it didn't disturb me much (but then again, nothing ever does :P). After being brutally killed, you simply respawned and returned from the dead, and that was that. I understood the unrealism in itself well enough already, but it was actually my best friend's parents who simply said, "Just remember, this can't happen in real life because once you're dead, you're dead." That was all I needed to hear, and since then, I've never had to worry about killing somebody in real life because it looked cool in a video game.