Children Must Be Encouraged To Play Video Games - For The Grandmas!

from the kart-blanche dept

You can't walk near someone talking about how horrible video games are without tripping over their "for the children" line these days. The accusations range from games leading children to become violent, even if the verdict on that is still way out, to causing car accidents, encouraging animal cruelty, and generally turning the movers and shakers of tomorrow into zombie-like drooling drones that would rather play a life simulator than live their own life. There's just nothing good that can come from this kind of fun, got it?

Except then there's 10-year-old Gryffin Sanders, who saved his passed-out great-grandmother and his baby brother, possibly from death, while hurling down the road at 60 miles per hour. Gryffin kept his cool from the passenger seat, grabbed the wheel, and guided the car away from oncoming traffic and off the road, leading the car to a stop in a ditch. Great-grandma was then airlifted to a hospital, where she is recovering. In other words, Gryffin behaved in a manner more calm and heroic than many of us could have done. Wanna guess where he got his mad life-saving skills?


Yup, that's right: video games. More specifically, Mario Kart. Now, this isn't to say that we should be sitting kids in front of a Nintendo to teach them to drive. Rather, the point is that video games provide to us what we want to get out of them. If it's correct to say that Grand Theft Auto is a primer on mass murder, then we must equally say that Mario Kart is clearly a life-saving tutorial.

And in case any of you aren't real big on subtle nods and winks, both conclusions are equally silly. That news report might suggest that Gryffin's family is safe because of a game he played, but I'd say it had much more to do with him being an amazingly level-headed kid who happened to see a situation that was in a minor way familiar to a game and reacted accordingly. We should no more be pinning medals on plumbers than we should be putting Niko in the electric chair. Instead, just focus on what an amazing kid Gryffin is and leave the games out of it completely.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    "and generally turning the movers and shakers of tomorrow into zombie-like drooling drones that would rather play a life simulator than live their own life."


    Who is that Senators-Congressman that plays XBox/PS2 video games?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    Any 10 year old kid knows that the steering wheel is what moves the car from side to side, whether or not they play Mario Kart. On the other hand, it IS just barely possible that his experience with the game made him confident enough to actually grab the wheel.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    Re:

    While teaching an adult friend to drive, my wife experienced this friend letting go of the steering wheel and covering her face because she didn't know what to do when she got to a turn.

    Some people *need* a simulation before they attempt the real thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 4:42pm

    I think brainwashing might cause of most of this teaching of violence

     

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  5.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

    Mario Kart vs GTA

    The kid played Mario Kart...which is in no way violent compared to current GTA titles.

    I've said it a thousand times over, video game violence can desensitize a kid and make them less prone to real world violence...I highly doubt Mario Kart can do that. I avidly encourage Mario Kart.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 4:49pm

    But Mario Kart teaches kids that it's perfectly fine to throw turtle shells and bananas at other cars to try to get them to spin in a circle and stop so you can pass them! That's very dangerous for both turtles and cars!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 5:21pm

    sorry if any confusion, mario kart is completely non-violent. except bannas and turtles of course. j/k.

    when I said that I was referring to the very beginning of the post where he said "The accusations range from games leading children to become violent". sort of non-relevant to the post I suppose

     

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    Mega1987 (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

    incoming dabate

    I got a sinking feeling this gonna bring 3 sides out of the senate...

    Those who says games are evil...

    another is those who will say games are good...

    the 3rd... is neutral....

     

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  9.  
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    Adam, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 7:39pm

    It's true

    Driving in inclement weather has taught me that my nerves and skills learned in video games do help. The few time I've driven in the snow / ice and I'm under-steering towards other vehicles I've been able to act quickly and avoid crashing. If it hadn't been for Gran Turismo and learning that using your e-brake causes your rear end to swing out ahead of you and correct an under-steer into an over-steer I'd probably had kept sliding until I crashed into another vehicle or the curb. Instead I was able to pull my e-brake, point my car in the direction I wanted to go, and give it the beans to start heading in a straight line. Now traveling 10mph sliding on ice / snow is different from everything else but had I not played those games, I would not have known to use my e-brake to straighten my vehicle enough to go the direction I wanted to.

    On the downside it does encourage reckless driving in normal conditions when you're coming up on a 90 degree turn on a empty road and think, "hmm I could pull my e-brake and drift this".

    Now driving simulators and Mario cart are inherently different and thus you have to take anything learned with a grain of salt. Sure this kid was able to save their lives but I've also read stories of children the same age doing the same without playing video game. Then again I learned to drive a manual with a clutch at the arcade and it transferred to real life perfectly without anyone having to explain it to me. When the lady from the dealership asked "have you ever driven a manual before?" my response was simply "Sure, I think I know what I'm doing...", at the end of the drive she told me I was one of the best manual drivers she had ridden with.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:13pm

    Mario Cart probably helped develop his hand-eye coordination.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:43pm

    Too bad he did not learn from GTA instead.

     

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    McCrea (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 12:48am

    Evil

    That little fucker hit me with a red turtle shell.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 12:50am

    Re: Mario Kart vs GTA

    I avidly encourage GTA.

    I and many of my friends grew up playing GTA and none of us have gone on a killing spree.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 2:03am

    Was "hurtling" the word you wanted? Hurling is something else.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:40am

    So.. That means I'll be able to survive without any issues if I meet mythological monstrosities from ancient Greece? (wink at God of War franchise, one of my favorite games)

    Indeed gaming is of the utmost importance in our lives!

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 4:23am

    Re: Mario Kart vs GTA

    I've said it a thousand times over, video game violence can desensitize a kid and make them less prone to real world violence..

    Really? Where did you take that from? I think it depends on several other factors. The game alone is innocuous.

     

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    TheLastCzarnian (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    Re:

    You make a claim without sufficient evidence for it, and with considerable statistical evidence against it. (How many millions of copies of GTA were sold? How many murders have been committed by one of those players?)

    Do you really expect anyone to take you seriously?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:21am

    Re:

    That's why we have to teach them to use holistic, artificial turtle shells, and all-natural, non-GMO banana peels when they go karting. To do otherwise is irresponsible to the environment.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:34am

    1) Old people (with health issues) shouldn't be driving.
    2) Turning a wheel is something that only a retard couldn't do.
    3) Why is MSN News advertising Nintendo? Oh... PIRACY!

     

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  20.  
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    Daniel, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Mario Kart vs GTA

    I like to make people crash at Mario Kart. muhauhashu

     

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