Grand Theft Auto teaches 6-year-old to drive

Just what are children learning when exposed to violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto? How to drive, according to one Virginia 6-year-old. The Associated Press is reporting that the child missed the bus to school Monday morning, and so decided to take his family's Ford Taurus instead. The...

Just what are children learning when exposed to violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto? How to drive, according to one Virginia 6-year-old.

The Associated Press is reporting that the child missed the bus to school Monday morning, and so decided to take his family's Ford Taurus instead. The boy made it almost six miles before crashing into an embankment and utility pole just a mile-and-a-half shy of the school. He suffered only minor injuries, and a county sheriff told the news agency that the determined boy began walking the rest of the way to school after the crash.

According to the report, the boy told police that he had learned to drive by playing unspecified games in the Grand Theft Auto and Monster Jam series.

The boy's mother was asleep when he took the car keys, police said, and both parents are charged with child endangerment. Both the boy and his 4-year-old brother were placed in protective custody.

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Discussion

726 comments
martin2079
martin2079

crasy thing, 6 YEARS OLD GUY ON THE WHEELS ALONE. woah what a mess

FlaviusJulius17
FlaviusJulius17

Well, you really shouldn't blame the game (hey that rhymed!), you should blame the parents for letting them play an M-Rated game at the age of 6 & 4.

GameShark9000
GameShark9000

Its good to see that everyone is taking awareness in the fact that parents are the main cause of bad/violent kids, NOT GAMES. It served those parents right that they got charged; its instances like these that make my family call the game "evil".

ParaBellum71
ParaBellum71

They took the kids away for the parents sleeping in on the wrong morning and their kid grabbing the keys... thats just ridiculous. Could have happened to anyone. The only difference is this kid drove a car 6 miles and crashed instead of almost burning the house down with matches.

gmap27
gmap27

Hey, i too learned to driver by playing GTA.. Ok let me see, press triangle to get in the car. I mean who needs keys to open the door. Press X to driver the car. Wow, that was easy. Seriously, his story is a joke. Another blame video games for everything kids do.

dark_surge
dark_surge

Exactly what I was thinking. My parents had to (sometimes literally) drag me onto the school bus. What this kid did...now that's what I call dedication

F1_2004
F1_2004

shouldn't the parents be commended for raising a kid so eager to get his daily dose of education?

dark_surge
dark_surge

I can't believe how dense the population is getting. Chances are it was just one of those days were people just forget to get up. The kid obviously wants to go to school, but he missed the bus (Darn those parents for making him so determined to be in school..sarcasm by the way) . He didn't want to wake his parents, so he tried to drive himself. You have to think like a kid, instead of like a lawyer. I remember one time I tried to take the car out for a test drive back when I was a kid before there was even such a thing as Grand Theft Auto. I got caught..got a good spanking...and never did it again. Kids don't worry about right or wrong as much. When they're on a mission, they're on a mission. And Siman552 is right...the worst the kid would get is driving without a permit/license. And if a judge actually charges him with it, once again, it just shows how dense people are getting. Now if the parents would have TOLD the kid to drive himself to school...that would be neglect, among other things.

Siman552
Siman552

OK a couple things: First: the kid might not have even played GTA. He might have seen his parents playing it. (I remember watching my brother playing Vice City when I was 7) Second: If this is acurate, the only crime is the kid driving without a license, which I wouldn't charge a six year old with (because he didn't know any better). Granted the parents SHOULD have watching him, but that is not illeagal. If I was a judge in this case, I would order the parents to take parenting classes and pay for the property damages, because parents are legally resopnsible for their kid's actions. I would also advise them to teach both kids the diffrence between video games, and the real world. Third: For people who are against video games, age-appropriate games can be useful tools to teach kids the diffrence between reality and fantasy. It's how I learned Fourth: The reason the kid did this reminds me of a story where some teenagers stole a car to get to school on time. It is terrible that kids are conditioned to think that being late to school is worse than stealing a car. It is also completly possible that this kid was scared of getting in trouble, so the policy at the kid's school should be reviewed in the criminal courts as part of this case.

allie2590
allie2590

Because they weren't watching the kid.

androidtype7
androidtype7

I don't see why the parents were charged, and the kids taken away. I wonder how it was considered child endangerment.

Meluckycharms12
Meluckycharms12

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

elheber
elheber

6 miles without crashing is farther than any player drives without hitting something. He must be pretty good with the controller.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

The associated press link was taken down. This was BS, apparently. Truth be told, none of it made logical sense or possibility.

SirDan88
SirDan88

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

naughtynuggetz
naughtynuggetz

I bet all the kids want to hang out with him. He's gonna be the Fonzie of the school.

Dawg9000
Dawg9000

And even if it's automatic, you still have to put it into drive.

Dawg9000
Dawg9000

It's not entirely Grand Theft Auto. How did he: Start the car, put it in gear, reach the gas pedal, signal, look over the steering wheel, and crash. lol

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

Provided this isn't a hoax... a 6-year-old should never be playing even T rated games, let alone GTA. Stupid, irresponsible parents strike again!

Melirune
Melirune

Drive 6 Miles Without Crashing - Achievment Unlocked!

TheStryker3E3
TheStryker3E3

People are talking about changing the gears and all that, it was most likely an automatic.

RaNDM_G
RaNDM_G

This bit of news looks like a hoax. You're talking about how a six year-old, probably about 4'3", managed to steer and operate both pedals at the same time? Really? Not even Bart from The Simpson's could do that (with the exception of the 24 episode). Unless he was a giant for his age, he must have gotten help from someone. Then again, driving a car isn't all that difficult guys. So long as you have your seat belt on and know the speed limit, you could get from point A to point B in relative safety. GamerBoy53 asked how a kid could understand how to properly utilize a clutch and steering wheel. The concept of a steering wheel isn't too hard to follow. Turning left goes makes the car go left various increments just as how turning right makes the car go right various increments. And all you gotta do is notice if the clutch is in drive before you actually start driving. You know, this reminds me of something I saw on the news where a four year-old managed to crash his parent's car in a grocery store while they were out shopping. Now THAT'S child endangerment.

ShadowB86
ShadowB86

I'm impressed. He drove for almost 6 miles solely on GTA driving skills. I wonder how he handled the gears and all. They don't teach that in GTA. :P

Dawg9000
Dawg9000

Taking their kids away was uncalled for. The kid missed the bus and was never taught he shouldn't drive. Don't take them away for that. I feel bad for the parents.

ShetEfEyeNo
ShetEfEyeNo

"... but how could the kid understand the clutch, the steering wheel and all that???" yes because it was mentioned that this family car was a stick all through the article i am also curious as to how he knew how to do this because the article definitely said he did

hawkeye_jmr
hawkeye_jmr

I'm just glad he didn't try to run over people with the car.

GamerBoy53
GamerBoy53

Hey, wait a sec. These guys have the same family car as me.

GamerBoy53
GamerBoy53

Wow, but how would GTA teach a kid to drive??? Sure, they may learn the physics and the other drivers in the game might have taught him to stop at red lights or whatever, but how could the kid understand the clutch, the steering wheel and all that???

GeorgeW32
GeorgeW32

Wow, nice parents. Let me take a nap while my 6 year old plays GTA and then proceeds to drive himself to school.

blade113355
blade113355

Wow, I mean I can understand learning the mechanics of driving using GTA (it's how I learned how to back up). The parents should be in trouble for letting them play GTA, but not for the car thing even though it's bad. I mean I'm just 19 but I sleep with my keys setting out cause I'm forgetful. If A kid was to grab them and take them while I'm sleeping how is it my fault. Charge the kid for driving when he shouldn't have been, if my kid killed someone with my knife is it my fault he killed the kid cause I left a house hold knife out? What if he was 14 or 15 then it wouldn't look as bad would it? It's not like the parents were passed out from drinking, they were just sleeping. And for those who said the kids borrow the game from a friend, that's what checking the saves are for (or if it's xbox360 achievements). If there is a trace of it on there you know they have it then you search there room. But not all parents can watch there kids 24/7, now if they bought it for him then it's a problem. But I borrowed games my parents never knew about when I was younger. Not that I'm messed up now that is.

_LinkZero_
_LinkZero_

Am I really the only one who thinks police are too careless these days? The parent's must be like "What the heck, all I was doing is sleeping, and I get charged?!" Where has seseity gone over the years? As for the child's 4-year-old brother, he has absoulutely nothing whatsoever to do with this case. The police are acting like the parents are some kind of unknown enemy. If I could, I'd just walk into a police station and give them heck. They definitely deserve it.

logicill
logicill

Ted Ninja, while I agree with your post for the most part, you really don't have to qualify it with "Anyone who disagrees with this is a moron." If anything, that discredits you. ...and I seem to have forgotten that this is GameSpot, where an accurate assessment such as this is frowned upon and generally considered an act of futility.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I'm blaming this on deer hunters. Damn Bambi-killing rednecks!!

MrBlack87
MrBlack87

Well just another reason for parents and ppl to blame video games.

Ted_Ninja
Ted_Ninja

Parents fault for not teaching their kid some morals and the truth about right and wrong. It's their fault, not the games fault, not the kids fault. The parents SHOULD be charged, I don't care what for but something has to be done. Make an example of these terrible parents, show the public what REALLY happens when you neglect your kids and let them drive your car out in the open and crash it like an idiot. The boy may have learned to go left and right in the games but what did he learn from actually doing it? NOT TO FREAKING DO IT! He could have learned this from his parents but they where too lazy to do it, as stated in the article his mother was a sleep when he missed the bus. HE IS SIX YEARS OLD DAMMIT! You have to get him ready for school. Hell his brother is only four years old, what kind of mother lets her six and four year old sons get themselves ready for school, miss the bus, take the car and crash it a mile away from school. The mother and father are to blame, no one and nothing else can be blamed for this. EDIT: Children from the age of 2 up to 13 are constantly learning right from wrong through trial and error, just like this kid did. He could have been taught right from wrong however and avoid this situation entirely if one or both of the parents talked to him about driving and other things. And honestly, even if they let him play GTA they should explain first how IT IS ONLY A GAME and not real and he should never try anything from it. I don't think the kid is wrong, he wanted to get to school so he did his best to do it. He was wrong but he didn't know that. He WOULD have however, if his parents told him it would be. And they are wrong for not seeing him on the bus like GOOD PARENTS. Anyone who disagrees with this is a moron.

bladerbot
bladerbot

crazytaxi1 said: Oh,sure he learned to drive, and crash! The controls are so much different than actual driving. You don't get it. The child has never driven on an open road yet he makes it 6 miles to his destination before an inevitable crash! For a 6 year old this is a HUGE Achievement!

bladerbot
bladerbot

Typical of the media. I know you most likely already know this and have heard many a user complain about it but i believe that violent video games are the cause for all News-Breaking Stories about a child with a GTA game through the eyes of the media. Any media would simply blame GTA for it if they had the chance because its a target for the media. Stupid Media. *Slaps 'media dogs' nose*

thespywholied
thespywholied

gta shows kids how today's world is like. not some bod the builder world crap. also i would think wtf? if i saw i child speed past me. lol.

GSB93
GSB93

Well I'm surprised he made it 6 miles... and he knew the way there. How can he see over the steering wheel? And after recently receiving my driving permit I really discovered that driving in real life is FAR different from driving in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, it's closer to GTA4 with the physics of turning and acceleration and braking and collisions.. but still different.

KensuKashen
KensuKashen

How the hell does he reach the paddle. When I was 6 I was like 3-4 feet. One brother steer while the other one push gas or break with his hands? Or they one ****** tall *** family!

marcopolo4212
marcopolo4212

the game didn't teach him to drive... he just drives in the game so he wants to drive... i think the age for GTA should be 13 or 14.....not 17, that's just ridiculos......i can drive in real life before i can drive in a video game.....what a stupid system ESRB is running

joemerchant2006
joemerchant2006

Ugh. Oh yes, as prickish as mothers are today, what mother is going to let their 6 year old play GTA4? More or less, how? You can't blame a freaking game on bad parenting. Parents blame the games because they don't want to admit that they SUCK as a parent. Such arrogence and ignorence.

dj_omid1
dj_omid1

wow he got some skillz!!

xbox4life76
xbox4life76

This is such an interesting story and find it funny how quickly the press are out to suggest that the game had an effect on how the kid was able to find the keys, unlock the car, turn on the ignition, put it in reverse and drive off. Kids watch parents when they drive, I know I've been asked by a friends daughter to let her drive and she was 5. I said why and she said cause it looks like fun. I told her it's very dangerous and when you turn 16 you can practice. Don't blame video games on this one, kids are curious, parents need to be more cautious and why didn't the parents escort the kid into the bus??

souljahofman
souljahofman

I love stories like this. You cant really blame the game for teaching a six year old to drive. I mean, could you.....

General_Lee45
General_Lee45

Wow Parents are not as smart as they use to be! and they expect us to understand why they don't want people to have supposed "bad games" when they really aren't as bad as they make them out to be maybe people should be the ones watching there kids and not the tax payers or the government either.