What inspires a 7-year-old to take his father’s car out for a drive? Why video games of course!
It’s a well known fact that everything bad in the world is the fault of videogames. They killed the dinosaurs and are responsible for global warming. So in the grand scheme of the horrific, world-shaking things that videogames have done, teaching a kid in Utah to drive is fairly small fry.
They didn’t do it of course, except in the mind of Captain Klint Anderson of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, who clearly is not a gamer himself. Hell, they didn’t even kill the dinosaurs!
The story behind this is that a 7-year-old by the name of Preston Scarbrough took his father’s car for a joyride on a Sunday morning, ostensibly to avoid going to church although he later admitted how he just wanted to try driving a car. After he drove through two red lights, the police became involved and chased the boy before several miles before he stopped the car and made a run for it.
The link to video games comes in after the aforementioned Captain Klint Anderson, who spoke to Fox News following the incident.
Fox News: “How did he even learn how to [drive]?”
Anderson: “Well, we’re not exactly sure except that his father has grounded him from one of his video games which involves operating vehicles so…”
Fox News: “Something like a Grand Theft Auto, something like that?”
Anderson: “I have no idea. I didn’t ask the father what game it was but some of those video games are pretty realistic.”
As I said, Captain Anderson is clearly not a gamer himself.
When NBC’s Today Show covered the incident the following day, they got to the heart of the matter, in that Preston had watched his mother and sister drive and picked it up from them.
While videogames might not have taught Preston how to drive, it’s not a big stretch to imagine that they might have inspired his little excursion. Ordinarilly, I’d argue against the idea that a game could make a young person break the law, but as Preston is only seven and seemingly didn’t grasp the severity of his actions until much later, a case could be made that this is one of the first crimes genuinely inspired by gaming.
It’s also a very persuasive argument for why parents should know what games their kids are playing.