Last weekend, an incident took place that, unfortunately, some may use as fuel for the ‘video games corrupt young minds’ argument: an 11-year-old boy was caught driving down Ontario’s Highway 400 after a night of playing Grand Theft Auto V.
“Drivers called it in thinking it was probably an impaired driver, because the vehicle was all over the highway,” said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt in a video posted on the Ontario Provincial Police’s (OPP) Twitter Page.
An OPP officer attempted to pull the car over. “The vehicle was first… going under the speed limit – like about half the speed limit,” Schmidt said. “As the officer tried to get out and talk to this driver, find out what was going on… the vehicle took off again.”
With the boy now driving at close to 75mph, a second officer was called. They were able to box the car in and bring it to a rolling stop, at which point the police discovered it was an 11-year-old behind the wheel.
The officers asked the boy why he had decided to take his parents’ vehicle out for a spin. “(He) had just been finishing playing Grand Theft Auto at home and wanted to find out what it was like driving a car,” said Schmidt. Turns out Mom and Dad were sleeping when their son went on his joyride.
11 year old boy returned to parents after failing to stop for police on Hwy400...— Sgt Kerry Schmidt (@OPP_HSD) November 27, 2016
Wanted to drive after playing #GrandTheftAuto
Luckily, no one was hurt as a result of the boy’s actions. The police took him home and towed back the car. No charges are being brought. “He’s only eleven years old,” Schmidt said. “We’re leaving it up to the parents to determine what an appropriate punishment would be.”
Sadly, there will likely be some anti-gamers who place the blame completely on GTA V rather than the parents, despite the fact that it is rated M for Mature (17-years-old and over). But, as anyone who has played an online Call of Duty match will tell you, these age restrictions are often ignored.