It’s not that we at the Allderblob think video games that glorify car chases or car races have anything worthy of praise.
Same goes for video games extolling car violence or car flatulence, car speed or car need, car heists or car shites.
We remember HO-scale racing cars we had as kids. We remember them was fun, but what we really remember was taking the little machines apart with tiny screwdrivers, sniffing the smell of their electric engines and the oil we’d apply so carefully. We remember saving up allowance to buy a new car: we had a Willy’s Gasser and a Firebird, and an Opel GT. These little cars had pick-ups that scraped dust off the track everytime you used it, which got to be less and less frequent so there was more and more dust. They never really held the curve and they’d go flying off into the recesses of the room and the track would get wrecked when you reached for them, so you’d have to prop it back up again. After a while you’d get pretty bored and go out to the driveway and shoot hoops, or hop on your bike to ride to your friend’s house to knock yourself out in a refrigerator box his neighbour had thrown out.
So while we don’t “approve” of kids getting their jollies from video games, still we don’t buy the argument that car racing games influence your choice to get behind a real wheel and drive like an idiot. We actually think that it’s idiots who drive like idiots. If they weren’t driving like idiots, they’d be doing something else like idiots: littering, beating up someone smaller than themselves, or maybe playing the “choking game.”
[Are you saying kids who watch homer simpson choke bart every week will get the idea the choking game is harmless? What are you, a communist? –ed.]
There’s a video game this young feller we know finds appealing, with a gorilla and a plumber in a fire-engine-red roadster that keeps flying out of bounds and wafting back to the race track. Nobody ever gets hurt. You can make the driver and passenger switch places without missing a beat, and banana peels the gorilla throws out back cause other cars to slip and veer out of control [Now that’s funny –ed.], and there’s a map which you can read at the same time you speed through “space” that gives you a sense of the curve or the shortcut just ahead.
The kid finds it kind of fun, but we know for a fact that he gets an even bigger kick out of the “Wave” “Street-surfer” Santa Claus brought him for Xmas (you’ll have to be patient but the video that downloads at this site is pretty remarkable).
In fact, if people were honest with themselves, they’d admit that no one finds the so-called “speed of cars” fun for very long. In contrast to the thrill of skiing down a hill (especially one we’ve just trudged up), bicycling (especially with a strong wind at our backs), hurtling from a high rock into deep, cool water (we should all be so lucky), everyone knows the “speed” that cars give you is a pasty simulacra.
So we really wonder sometimes what kind of drugs our leaders of the free world, a.k.a. the press barons, are huffing in the back rooms. Maybe they’re the ones on speed.
We’re talking, of course, about the car crash the other day that killed this guy who was driving a cab. Two “luxury cars” racing up Mt Pleasant Ave [now there’s an ironic street name!–ed.] in Toronto T-boned a cab that was turning left across their path. Yeah they were speeding. The road was kind of empty, and the taxi driver, who was due to receive his Canadian citizenship the very next day, was killed in a heartbeat.
The drivers of the cars that caused the crash were not hurt. Both were arrested. One of the cars had a copy of a video game on the passenger seat: “Need for Speed.” Ho bloody hum.
Next day, the local shock-and-awe rag ran this front page:
The other papers in town, the “respectable” ones, were right in line. It was the talk of the town: Kids watch street-racing videos, kids race real cars, kids kill cabbie. You make the link.
The missing link however was called to Allderblob’s attention from a fellow member of the international bicycle conspiracy. By now you, our lovely readers, will have found it too: Take a gander at the bottom of the front page. It hits you right between the eyes: a bloody car ad. The “Checkered flag event.” “The excitement starts now.” Blah blah blah.
The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star are at least careful enough to hide their car porn on the centrefolds, but it makes no difference.
Allderblob readers want answers: Does car pornography in the daily papers link to the daily abuse wrought by cars? If car ads were stopped, would people stop killing with cars?