Young men have been driving recklessly since chariots were the primary means of transportation. Any teenage boy working to pay for car insurance knows that, and so do his parents.
Perhaps that's why a Toronto police detective refused to blame Need For Speed for yesterday's horrific crash which killed a 46-year-old cab driver.
Detective Paul Lobsinger told Global News, "This is a death that should never have happened. By all accounts, the two 18-year-old college students were drag racing, with each driving a Mercedes-Benz at a high rate of speed.
"There is no doubt in my mind these young boys did not intend to kill this person," the detective added. Although the fact that a copy of Need for Speed (no info on which version) was found in one of the boys' vehicles has been widely reported in Canada and the United States, Det. Lobsinger refused to point a finger at the video game.
"There is a small percentage who have difficulty separating reality and simulation, fantasy. It's a very, very small percentage," he said. "This was not the game's fault. There are millions who play this game and don't go out and do this."
But then there is this from the Toronto Sun, by way of Kotaku:
"A veteran street-racing expert says there's no surprise video racing games may be linked to the high-speed crash that killed a Toronto cabbie...
'You have life imitating art,' York Regional Police Sgt. David Mitchell, one of the original founders of Project ERASE -- Eliminate Racing Activity on Streets Everywhere, said of the connection between gaming and street racing.
'The video games and everything our younger generation is exposed to definitely has something to do with (street racing),' he said, noting some kids raised on high-octane race games may blur the line between fantasy and reality."
GP: Well, at least Sgt. Mitchell thinks games are art. But isn't art - in the form of NFS - imitating life, at least the street racing sub-culture? Really, we find this entire controversy rather silly. So what if NFS was in the car? Was there an Xbox or PS2 in there as well? Was the driver supposed to be playing the game? Obviously not. And if someone wants to allege that a game influenced behavior, does the game have to be carried around as proof? Based on that logic, no one would argue that Doom influenced the Columbine killers since they didn't take it with them on their rampage.