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6-Year-Old Says Grand Theft Auto Taught Him To Drive 504

Posted by timothy
from the buck-beats-scapegoat dept.
nandemoari writes "A six-year-old who recently stole his parents' car and drove it into a utility pole has passed the buck onto a familiar scapegoat: the video game, Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar Games' controversial Grand Theft Auto video game has been criticized by parent groups and crusaders (or in the eyes of gamers, nincompoops) like former lawyer Jack Thompson for years (Thompson once tried to link the Virginia Tech slayings to late-night Counterstrike sessions. He's since been disbarred). However, not as of yet has anyone under the age of, oh, ten, blamed the game for a car theft."
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6-Year-Old Says Grand Theft Auto Taught Him To Drive

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  • by gbulmash (688770) * <semi_famous&yahoo,com> on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:25AM (#26382229) Homepage Journal
    Let's put the blame squarely where it lies... on the stupid freakin' parents who were letting a 6-year-old play GTA!

    It doesn't take that much effort to monitor your kids. But it does mean saying no and standing up to their whining and crying. It does mean dealing with the inconvenience of not being able to always do what you want to do and having to spend some time actively engaging them.

    If this kid was playing GTA, then there should be additional charges filed against his parents.
    • by lxt (724570) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:27AM (#26382255) Journal
      And let's just remember here, this is a 6 year old kid. It's not like he's walking up to a counter and buying the game himself. His parents (or somebody) went out and actively bought a game where you deliver drugs and are free to have sex with prostitutes for him.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:30AM (#26382291)

        You should probably be more concerned with the parts where you kill people.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:36AM (#26382347)
          Well that depends where the poster is from. If it's the Netherlands, then gun violence and murder are considered a bigger social problem than drugs and prostitution. If it's America, then drugs and prostitution are considered bigger social problems than gun violence and murder.
          • by DeathElk (883654) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:03AM (#26382533)
            Hmmm, interesting priorities. I, for one, would rather get stoned and laid than shot and killed...
            • by HiVizDiver (640486) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:49AM (#26382833)
              You are clearly not from the US, where it's okay for us to buy guns at Wal-Mart, but OMG BOOBIES HIDE TEH CHILDERN!!!! ;-)

              Note that even as a lefty-moderate, I actually don't see anything wrong with guns. I do love me some shootin', and properly handled and locked up, they're no more dangerous than a hammer or any other object that could be used to kill someone.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Raffaello (230287)

                Hard to kill someone at ten yards with a hammer

                Don't read too often about the 7 year old who accidentally killed his playmate when he found his dad's toolbox unlocked.

                school children are almost never killed in the crossfire in drive by nailings

                  so guns are in fact more dangerous than hammers.

                • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                  by Anonymous Coward

                  I could kill someone at ten yards with a hammer if i threw it.... And what if kids took the recipe for a potato gun at high velocity and shot up their school in a "drive-by potato-ing"

                • by wizzat (964250) on Friday January 09, 2009 @02:25AM (#26383073)
                  When I was a younger man, I knew a kid (~8 yr/o) that was put in the Big House because he attacked his playmate with a hammer. He said he got mad and 'woke up' standing over the other boy with the bloody hammer in his hand. Last I talked to him, the other kid was still not conscious. Additionally, you have to look at accidental injuries with hammers vs accidental injuries with guns. While the single instance seriousness of a gun accident is much higher, I'd say (from experience) that the collective injuries from the common hammer is much higher. In fact, I'm willing to bet that there's more hammer and tool related hospitalizations than gun hospitalizations...
                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by ThePengwin (934031)
                    Probably because the accidently shot may be dead?
                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by robthebloke (1308483)
                    In fact, I'm willing to bet that there's more hammer and tool related hospitalizations than gun hospitalizations...

                    true, mainly due to guns being illegal in most developed countries.

                    Additionally, you have to look at accidental injuries with hammers vs accidental injuries with guns.

                    Argh, my thumb hurts v.s.
                    Argh, I'm bleeding from a hole in my leg.
                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Nathrael (1251426)
                  Of course they are dangerous - but pretty much everything can be said to be dangerous, and if it isn't guns, then it is cars, and if isn't cars or guns, then it is pollution, or whatever. People will always find something to go mad about - besides, you know...guns don't kill people, people kill people. And, coming from a nation with very tight gun control laws - well, here, the people possessing guns are mainly either employed by the police (which is underfunded and -trained and thus doesnt't exactly do a g
                • by warsql (878659) on Friday January 09, 2009 @02:44AM (#26383175)
                  Reminds me of an episode of All in the Family.
                  Gloria: Daddy, do you realize there were x number of murders committed with guns last year?
                  Archie: Would it make you feel any better, little girl, if they were pushed out of windows?
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by HiVizDiver (640486)
                  But if I were to try and beat someone to death, I'd sure pick a hammer over a gun. :-P
                • by dmizer (1081799)
                  It's hard for 7 year olds to accidentally kill their playmate and have drive-by shootings when guns are

                  properly handled and locked up

                  Parent is clearly advocating gun safety here.

                • by Rick Bentley (988595) on Friday January 09, 2009 @04:21AM (#26383611) Homepage

                  so guns are in fact more dangerous than hammers.

                  Hammers might be a bad example, but guns are a lot less dangerous than cars. In fact, we are all much more likely to be killed by a car than a gun.

                  Firearms are involved in 0.6% of accidental deaths nationally. Most accidental deaths involve, or are due to:
                  motor vehicles (39%),
                  poisoning (18%),
                  falls (16%),
                  suffocation (5%),
                  drowning (2.9%),
                  fires (2.8%),
                  medical mistakes (2.2%),
                  environmental factors (1.2%),
                  and bicycles and tricycles (0.7%).

                  Among children:
                  motor vehicles (45%),
                  suffocation (18%),
                  drowning (14%),
                  fires (9%),
                  bicycles and tricycles (2.4%),
                  falls (2%),
                  poisoning (1.6%),
                  environmental factors (1.5%),
                  and medical mistakes (0.8%).

                  Clearly guns don't kill people -- cars kill people. Unlike a car, however, only a gun can protect you from an assailant.

                  As an aside, I have an assault rifle (in California, bought it just because it was being banned) a .45 and a 9mm. I also have an SUV. Believe me, I could kill a lot more people with the SUV than I could with all three guns and a wheelbarrow full of ammo. Just hit a crowded parade area, with jam-packed sidewalks, one fine day and start mowing people down. You can keep that up a lot longer in an SUV than you can shooting on the street corner (before a cop shoots you or the crowd jumps you). I can go 400 miles on a tank of gas, I could mow down most of a parade route before the cops boxed me in and shot me.

                  You want to keep your kids safe? Hide the keys. You want to keep society safe? Take away the cars.

                • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                  by oldspewey (1303305)

                  Hard to kill someone at ten yards with a hammer

                  Depends on your THAC0

              • It works with the inverted clause too.

                "Omg Children Hide Teh Boobies!"

                Aka Wardrobe Malfunction.

              • by beelsebob (529313) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:36AM (#26383415)

                There's one difference between said gun and said hammer â" the hammer has another purpose. Which is why most countries (but not the US) limit gun use to only people who have another purpose for the gun.

                • by azenpunk (1080949) on Friday January 09, 2009 @04:20AM (#26383603)

                  the other difference between a gun and a hammer is that when both are held by an attacker and an intended victim, only the gun offers either a level field or possibly gives the victim an advantage, where the hammer gives the advantage to whoever is strongest and most violent.

                • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday January 09, 2009 @09:23AM (#26385147) Homepage Journal

                  The US doesn't do that because we understand that you can't have the other nine rights in the bill of rights if you don't have any way to protect them. Universal rights are a nice idea but in the end they are pure bullshit, and the only rights those you have are those you can keep and hold. Gandhi said that of all the acts of the British, disarming an entire nation would go down among their blackest. Carrying this idea along, do you really trust your government to be in charge of all the guns? I sure as hell don't. And the day I do, you might as well shoot me because I have turned off my fucking brain.

              • by cliffski (65094)

                guns are indeed much more dangerous than anything in the toolkit. If this was not true, then armies would fight each other with screwdrivers.
                You only need to leave the gun not locked up once to have an accident that a family will regret forever. Everyone forgets to lock up at some point.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dan541 (1032000)

        How can it teach him to drive anyway?

        Apparently he crashed...

    • Even better reason (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:29AM (#26382275)

      The parents had car keys where the six year old could get them?

      With kids, everything is on high security lockdown. Especially when young.

      I'll bet his was surprised when the pole didn't just fly out the way gracefully, thank goodness ho found a pole before a hooker.

      • by jonnythan (79727) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:42AM (#26382385) Homepage

        thank goodness ho found a pole before a hooker.

        Freudian slip?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by vawarayer (1035638)

        The parents had car keys where the six year old could get them?

        We're talking Grand Theft Auto here. Have you ever seen 'em use car keys? The kid probably bashed both his parents out of the car to steal it.

      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:01AM (#26382525) Journal

        The parents had car keys where the six year old could get them?

        Your parents didn't?

        As far as I can recall, my parents have put their keys and wallet/purse in the same easy-to-reach place for over 20 years.

        Really, it isn't like kids didn't go joyriding in or steal cars 'back in the day',
        the media just didn't sensationalize it by shouting "ZOMG VIDEO GAMEZ"

      • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:40AM (#26382785) Homepage Journal

        The parents had car keys where the six year old could get them?

        With kids, everything is on high security lockdown. Especially when young.

        I'll bet his was surprised when the pole didn't just fly out the way gracefully, thank goodness ho found a pole before a hooker.

        My six year old son can drive games like tux cart and mario cart. He watches my wife and I drive. he knows where the car keys are too, but I am not the slightest bit concerned that he will start doing adult things like driving the car.

        A six year old is perfectly capable of knowing the difference between right and wrong without being wrapped in cotton wool.

        • by The Wooden Badger (540258) on Friday January 09, 2009 @02:50AM (#26383205) Homepage Journal

          Not that I disagree with you. I agree in almost all counts, but there are cases where the obvious social "rights" and "wrongs" are not so obvious. To my oldest they are obvious. To my child with Asperger's Syndrome they are not so obvious. He in fact decided to take the car for a drive once (probably at about this same age). He was able to unlock the car, put the key in the ignition and put it into neutral. He didn't have starting the car figured out, so it just rolled until the topography stopped it.

          My son didn't end up hurting anyone or doing any property damage, but to him it wasn't obvious that what he was doing was wrong. I could see a small possibility of the kid in the story in a sense being conditioned to joyride in his parents' car from playing GTA, but that assumes that the kid has some neurological condition apart from stupid parents. He might have still done this, but the likelihood could increase if he is playing games that portray it as normal.

          Ultimately the kid has stupid parents. They don't have the sense to raise a productive member of society. I think the story further illustrates their stupidity in their passing the buck to the game. He learned that behavior from them and/or they are enablers for his perpetuating that "skill" learned elsewhere. If it was just a story of some kid that fundamentally had a problem differentiating "right" and "wrong" jacking his parents' car and hitting a pole we have no story (unless some advocacy group wants to raise awareness for his condition). Instead we have the hackneyed story of "the game made me do something stupid, and the parents who enabled me."

          • by Sensible Clod (771142) <<dc-7> <at> <charter.net>> on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:20AM (#26383335) Homepage
            I did the same thing with the same results when I was 3 or 4, except no keys were needed (stick shift FTW). I had no concept that it was wrong at the time, but of course I found out later that it was indeed wrong. This has very little or nothing to do with neurological conditions (for most people) and very much to do with the maturity of the child involved.

            But even so, children must be taught right from wrong by their parents or else they will learn it from the media (like GTA) and other strangers (including other children) who teach their own standards.
            • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday January 09, 2009 @09:26AM (#26385185) Homepage Journal

              But even so, children must be taught right from wrong by their parents or else they will learn it from the media (like GTA) and other strangers (including other children) who teach their own standards.

              I would put another spin on this; these parents used GTA4 to teach their child to drive their car.

              What precisely did they THINK was going to result from taking a child too young (studies show) to tell the difference between programming and commercials, and putting them down with a video game?

              If video games were not valid training aids, the world's militaries wouldn't use them as such.

              I'm not saying that video games CAUSE this kind of behavior. Letting TV and video games RAISE your children causes this kind of behavior.

          • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Friday January 09, 2009 @05:23AM (#26383847)

            Heh.

            Many times my grandparents told me the story of how at the age of 3 or 4 my dad crashed the tractor. :D

            climbed up, could just about stand on the pedals while holding the wheel. The tractor ended up in a ditch.

            Now I doubt somehow that my dad ever played GTA at that age and was probably not trying to imitate any game.
            I'd say he was trying to imitate my grandfather who would have been driving the tractor a great deal.

            Kids try to be like their parents a whole lot more than they try to be like Tommy Vercetti.

      • by xstonedogx (814876) <xstonedogx@gmail.com> on Friday January 09, 2009 @02:26AM (#26383075)

        I disagree. My five-year-old knows to drive the car you need to be 16, have a license, and have daddy's permission. She also knows that just because she can handle Mario Kart does not mean she knows how to drive. She knows that video games are fantasy and that when cars crash in real life people are hurt or even killed. We also don't neglect her or tell her we need to nap when it is time for her to go somewhere, so I guess that helps, too.

        I am curious where you kept your keys while your child(ren) were young. Short of a locked safe, I honestly can't think of a place in my house my daughter couldn't get my keys if she were so determined.

        We do keep things out of easy reach (e.g., knives). But those are things that can hurt her just by handling them. She knows enough to not try to reach them, but we don't want her encountering them by accident. She could reach them if she were determined, but she won't. She'd also never really have the opportunity since one of us is always around.

        Car keys aren't really that dangerous in and of themselves. I'm more worried about her losing them than doing any damage with them. Just to use them in the car would take significant determination on the part of a young child, so I don't really think making them more difficult to get to is really going to prevent this type of thing if the kid is determined to have a go.

    • by dmomo (256005) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:32AM (#26382311) Homepage

      Let's mod the parent "Redundant". Not because it isn't valid. It's basically the only reasonable response to stories like this and I would hope the majority of posts that follow are in the same vein. But hot dang, we've beaten this to death and now it's like we're just indulging it. Mod this story redundant.

      The news story shouldn't be:

      6 Year Old Blames GTA for Car Crash.

      The story is:
      6 Year Old Crashes Car

      or

      6 Year Old Allowed to Play GTA

    • by jerep (794296) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:35AM (#26382333)

      This is what happens when the kids have more authority than their parents, they whine, cry, shout and whatnot and the parent is just standing there thinking "what am I going to do with them". These parents usually do everything their child ask of them thinking it will make them happy and maybe correct this behavior, when in fact it just encourages it.

      I agree with the parent (post, not the kid's), a 6-yo shouldn't play an adult game that promotes stealing cars, there's a good reason it was made an adult game and this kid just proves it.

      • by pha3r0 (1210530) on Friday January 09, 2009 @02:50AM (#26383207)

        Father of a two year old, uncle of a 3 and a 1 year old: Some above comments speak of locking everything down when kids are involved. Well that's just not always possible, however my daughter (or nieces under my care) has (have) _never_ gotten into anything dangerous. Be it cleaning supplies, any of my guns or ammo, toolboxes, knife drawer or even so much as a fire ring while camping.

        God forbid it may happen one day, but god willing I or my wife will be there, close by and prepared to handle the situation.

        Now jokes aside if this young boy actually spent enough time playing GTA to figure he could drive, and his parents had not yet taught him the difference between a game and reality. AND they allowed this boy to exit the house, keys in hand, and take control of a motor vehicle then there is absolutely no one at fault then his own parents.

        You simply do not know what a child will do at any given time. You as the adult, guardian, mentor and/or parent MUST keep one eye or ear firmly dedicated to them. You must take responsibility when they knock things down at the store, show them how to apologize when you walk in front of an old man at McDonalds, and for they're sake monitor what they are doing in the moments before these things happen. It might not be an old guy in a wheelchair sometime, it could be a bus.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Skye16 (685048)

          They didn't let him to exit the house.

          The father left for work, despite a court order telling him he was not allowed to leave his son alone with the mother under any circumstance.

          The mother slept.

          The boy, desperate to make it to school so that he could eat breakfast (state assisted at that - aka, free), whereas if he had to stay home he would be out a meal. So he took the keys and drove off.

          This is a clear cut case of parents not parenting. That's fine. It's not this kid's fault his parents are useless.

    • by mpascal (1158165) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:09AM (#26382575)
      Hey now! If we are going to blame GTA for teaching how to steal mom's car; can we also give them credit for motivating the kid to drive himself to school? What we have here is an eager young learner. What other kid has stolen a car to go to school?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drsquare (530038)

      This is all rubbish anyway, GTA doesn't teach you how to drive. I played driving games, but when I stepped into a car it took me about ten minutes to make the thing move at all, and that's with an instructor.

      • by PitaBred (632671)
        Automatics are slightly easier than manuals to get moving ;) A six year old could watch his parents drive and get the car going fairly easily, really, especially if he just had to shift into drive.
    • by opposabledumbs (1434215) on Friday January 09, 2009 @02:24AM (#26383065)

      I think you're beating a non-existent issue in this case,from reading the article on this. I'm not very sure how much GTA had to do with anything here: within minutes of the kid getting picked up by the cops, his dad was issued with a charge of criminal negligence due to a previous court order which ordered him not to leave the kid alone, and the kid stole the car to get to school and get some food.

      That seems to say that there are previous, serious home issues here, not something that can be explained away by a stupid knee-jerk, blame-the-game reaction.

      Not sure which version of GTA he may have had access to, but mine didn't show me how to turn the key while pushing the gas pedal down with the car in park.

      Besides, the kid stole the car to get to school so that he could get some food, which is incredibly sad. It's guessed that, as he is not tall for his age, he was standing on the pedals, and at some points he was exceeding 70 MPH.

      The only inference I can see to GTA is his drivintg style: speeding, overtaking, too, and an attempt at a pass on a double solid while traffic was oncoming led to him losing control and smacking the pole.

      But my argument still is: someBODY actually taught him to drive- not some game.

    • Outrage!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Friday January 09, 2009 @05:10AM (#26383785)

      > Let's put the blame squarely where it lies... on the stupid freakin' parents who were letting a 6-year-old play GTA!

      That's terrible. Next thing he'll stop paying his hookers.

      My family was so poor that if I wanted to play GTA I had to steal a real car.

  • Next up... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nemyst (1383049) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:26AM (#26382235) Homepage
    Now you can blame plane crashes on Flight Simulator!
    • by gbarules2999 (1440265) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:28AM (#26382269)
      I got fat off Pac-Man.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by db32 (862117)
      NONONO NO you cant! The government said so! Remember? You know, when they said "no on has ever thought of flying planes into buildings, we were totally taken by surprise". Except for everyone who has ever played ANY kind of flying game. I bet at LEAST 75% of all people who have played a flying game have gotten frustrated and flown into something.

      Side note. In 2004 I was at an arcade and they had a huge sim plane thing $1 to play...the goal...take off in a fucking airliner and fly through checkpoint
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:29AM (#26382277)

    No mention of how many hookers he had blow him and then subsequently ran over.

  • I wish I could tag (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skogs (628589) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:30AM (#26382281) Journal

    Bad parenting.
    How many kids used to grow up emulating old western movies?
    What about the Rocky movies?
    Footloose?

    Most of the time, decent parents stop the children before they act out gun fights, boxing matches, and tractor chicken.

    Stop blaming your environment and start taking responsibility for yourselves!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mr_mischief (456295)

      We acted out gun fights all the time. Our guns shot water, though. This kid had a REAL car.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sumdumass (711423)

        Well, to be fair, the kid said the game taught him how to drive, not that driving was ok or that he was allowed to.

        The 6 year old missed the bus and his mom would get up to take him to the school so the kid grabed the keys and went almost there. The cops took him the rest of the way. The mom told him she had to take a nap, it seems like the kid was used to doing things himself in that family. Anyways, he didn't tell the cops that the game made him think it was ok to drive, he said he learned how to drive fr

    • I would just like to point out that he took the car to DRIVE TO SCHOOL. I don't know about you guys, but I certainly didn't look forward enough to school that I would try to drive myself there, especially not at 6. He missed the bus, his mother was asleep, and he wanted to get to school. He obviously didn't want to disturb his mother, and it wasn't good that this occurred... but we all leave keys out in places that are easy to find and reach, and they obviously did SOMETHING right, if the kid was going t
  • the real story (Score:5, Informative)

    by UncleWilly (1128141) * <`UncleWilly07' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:30AM (#26382283)

    The real story is somewhat sadder. Dad went to work, kid missed school bus, Mom was asleep (and the boy didn't want to miss breakfast & P.E. at school) so he tried to drive himself in Mom's car. Police asked him how he did it and he told them he stood next to the wheel and steered with one hand. Then when asked how he knew how to drive, he answered, Grand Theft Auto. It sounds like this came mostly from being hungry. Both parents I understand have been charged with felonys related to this.

    • The Real TFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:41AM (#26382381) Journal

      Associated Press [google.com]

      Thanks for reading TRFA -- looks like you're almost right. It wasn't just GTA, either:

      The boy told police he learned to drive playing Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam video games.

      Ironically, on the directly linked TFA [infopackets.com]:

      Here's hoping that the parents who allowed a child to see (let alone play) Grand Theft Auto will attract more attention that the award-winning video game (which anyone will admit, should only be played by adults).

      Yeah, good job. Your pre-emptive, kneejerk, anti-Jack-Thompson interpretation has already drawn more attention to both Jack and GTA than the original article did.

  • by goatpunch (668594) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:47AM (#26382417)

    ... GTA also taught him that you can drive through lampposts, notice that he avoided the trees.

  • I would love for this to go to court and have them use this GTA defense. I totally agree. GTA is a danger to kids. We should keep it away from kids.

    That being said, keep it the fuck away from kids.

    My dad used to work at walmart for his retirement job and he would tell parents he wasn't going to sell them M rated games if they had little kids with them. The management backed him on it too.

    Everyone who works in retail has an obligation to let parents know that games have ratings. There is such a thing as games for adults.

    • by Quartz25 (1195075) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:32AM (#26382735) Homepage
      I agree with you that keeping it from kids is a good idea, but it should be in the hands of the parents to decide. I think the real problem is that GTA is being used as a red herring to distract from more deeply rooted problems that each case has.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:35AM (#26382753)

      Now, see, I have an issue with this. As a gamer who is also a father, it is indeed possible that my son may be with me at some point where I am buying an "M" rated game. My son is quite young right now, so no employee could realistically believe that he's going to be playing the game, but 8 years from now or so, I foresee myself still playing and buying games. What then? I have to leave him at home or tell him to bugger off to look at the TVs while I pay for the game?

      And my age group gets older, this situation is going to become more and more common.

    • I will agree that retailers should, as a service to customers, inform them about game ratings.

      I won't agree with refusing sale of M-rated video games to any adult with young children. It requires the assumption that the video game is for the children, which is tantamount to accusing your customers of bad parenting. Refusing to sell the game after notifying the parents of the M-rating is the same as saying you know better than the customers how to run the customers' lives and parent their children.

      Honestly,

    • by drew (2081)

      I appreciate the thought, but does he ask if the video games are for the kids or the adults before refusing to sell them? Obviously, the fact that there are video games with "M" ratings shows that video games aren't made just for kids but too many people assume so anyway. Is somebody who automatically assumes anyone with a kid in tow is buying the game for the kid, necessarily doing any better then the people who don't know about the ratings in the first place?

      Sorry, I'm not trying to be too critical of s

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by secretcurse (1266724)

      Everyone who works in retail has an obligation to let parents know that games have ratings. There is such a thing as games for adults.

      No, every parent has an obligation to monitor everything their child consumes, from food to clothing to entertainment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192)

      I totally agree. GTA is a danger to kids. We should keep it away from kids.

      OK, what evidence do you have to support this assertion?

      I remember being a kid. Every single time my parents forbid something, because it wasn't appropriate I sought it out anyway. And when I finally found it, it was no big deal. Even as a kid I could see my parents were hysterically overreacting, it's the Helen Lovejoy effect.

      I just don't think there's anything inherently harmful about a video game. Any video game. If you have

  • I tried blaming backing the car down a hill on Pole Position when I was a kid, didnt work then I really doubt this will work now.

  • by log1385 (1199377) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:07AM (#26382561)
    Are they assuming here that a 6-year-old who had never played GTA would not have crashed his parents' car? Seriously, a driving 6-year-old is bound to get into an accident no matter what games he has played.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mysidia (191772)

      They're using an old excuse "the game made me do it"

      The kid is to blame here. The 6-year-old obviously has more sophisticated knowledge of vehicle workings than an average 6-year-old to be able to start a car up, take the car out of gear and get it in motion.

      But very poor judgement

      Followed by the parents.

      Someone taught this kid how to do what he did, and it was NOT the video game.

      GTA depicts cars being taken illicitly, but doesn't provide instruction in how to do it that a kid could have followe

      • No the game does not teach you how to drive, but that's not what matters.

        1) The kid (being 6), plays the game.
        2) The kid is late
        3) The kid thinks "Hey, driving is easy, I can hit every hooker on the block in GTA"
        4) ???
        5) Profit!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by speedy.carr (878612)
      Are you trying to suggest the title of the article should have been 6-year-old drives car 6 miles, thanks GTA?
  • Stupid spin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Al Al Cool J (234559) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:28AM (#26382709)

    I have no great love of video games, but I really don't see the sense in spinning this story into an anti-gaming message. The kid learned something useful by playing video games. How is that bad?

    Okay, six-years-old, not exercising the best of judgment, but what if the scenario was different? Say that his mom was unloading groceries when the car slipped out if gear and rolled back crushing and pinning her against a wall. The kid then uses his acquired skills to drive the car forward, saving her life. What would the spin be then?

  • by ParanoiaBOTS (903635) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:53AM (#26382875) Homepage
    For getting a car that is driven with an analog stick and/or a D-pad
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jason Levine (196982)

      Yeah, but you should see what happens to the car when you press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Select, Start!

  • In GTA the player never sees or simulates the use of the real controls used to drive; you use a joystick or controller to play. You are never made aware of the real controls; like an ingnition, steering wheel, gas pedal or break pedal. This kid learned to drive either by watching any number of TV shows that give a lot more information about the act of driving or by watching his parents. He is talking about GTA because he knows its the way to increase his 15 minutes of fame (or infamy) and get the kind of at
  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Friday January 09, 2009 @02:53AM (#26383225) Homepage
    No it didn't, He crashed. That's pretty much the first thing you are expected not to do when you learn to drive. In fact, I'd say that "not crashing" is the essence of driving. Silly boy. Moron parents.
  • by monkeySauce (562927) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:17AM (#26383325) Journal

    I had my first threesome at age 5. It was all because I played the shit out of Leisure Suit Larry and felt I needed to take it to the next level. My parents wanted to sue Sierra but back then they couldn't find a lawyer willing to take the case. What a shame Jack Thompson was too busy going after radio DJ's in those days.

  • Honestly, where do you take the car from park to drive in GTA. And where do you push down on the gas pedal and brake in GTA. The kid "learned" that cars get their impulse from people, but clearly, he did not learn how to drive in GTA. If that's the case, he has also learned how to take the safety off of a weapon, and how to load a magazine, and clear the weapon. C'mon. I really don't appreciate the way conclusions can be drawn based on what ever the reporter wants it to sound like. It's just a load of
  • by phaze3000 (204500) on Friday January 09, 2009 @04:34AM (#26383671) Homepage
    If only the car was manual (I believe you refer to it as a 'stick shift' on the other side of the pond) you wouldn't have had this problem. Why won't the government ban automatic transmissions? Won't somebody think of the children?!
  • Eh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki.gmail@com> on Friday January 09, 2009 @05:49AM (#26383977) Homepage
    I learned to drive at six, might have been seven. That old automatic station wagon of my uncles was a great thing, he even taught me the finer points of proper parking, and parking on hills. My parents on the other hand, had taught me how to drive a stick not long after, but I'd already figured it out on my own by watching their feet and how they shift, as well as listening to the engine. If I'd been able to reach the peddles I could have driven either car without much of a problem.

    I guess it's one of those old things, both my parents, my uncle and most of my family either grew up on farms or lived on farms at one time or another. Came with the life, you learned what you needed to do to get through the day. This however, seems to be a blame game. Bad parenting? I'd say no parenting. Just another example of an adult dropping their kid in front of the TV and walking away. I'd say child, but obviously they didn't try to go that far.
  • GTA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alarindris (1253418) on Friday January 09, 2009 @07:56AM (#26384577)
    I did the same thing when I was 5 or 6. Know where I learned to drive?

    BY WATCHING MY PARENTS DO IT.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      I did the same thing when I was 5 or 6. Know where I learned to drive?

      BY WATCHING MY PARENTS DO IT.

      If I had to watch my parents do it, I'd want to drive the fuck up on out of there, too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hatta (162192)

      Your parents clearly shouldn't have let you watch them do it.

  • by VendettaMF (629699) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:16PM (#26388505) Homepage

    I wonder who trained him in this parroted buck shifting?

    And how strong is the evidence that he was at the wheel and not his drunk dad/mom?

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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