What other purpose can any of these accoutrements serve aside from preparing these vehicles to race? No one is going to put foils on a car so they can sedately drive the speed limit to take the car grocery shopping or go to the Laundromat. Yet we still act shocked and dismayed when we hear about incidents like the accident last week.
It's become easier and easier to blame the entertainment industry for anything that happens. It used to be violence on television that was the cause of societies ills, then it was popular music with its salacious lyrics, and now the new kids on the block are the video games.
Sure some of them are violent, and some of them involve high speed car driving, but so does almost every movie or television show in the theatres or on the air. But, the argument goes, in video games people are active participants and are encouraged in that behaviour. Why should playing a video game encourage behaviour of any kind, they're obviously not real.
A game isn't going to make you do anything that you were not inclined to do in the first place. Toronto Police Service Detective Paul Lobsinger was quoted in the Toronto Sun article, buried near the bottom of the piece, as saying: "There is a small percentage who have difficulty separating reality and simulation, fantasy. It's a very, very small percentage… This was not the game's fault. There are millions who play this game and don't go out and do this."
If these games truly did influence behaviour wouldn't there be much more widespread behaviour of the kind depicted in them? In some ways games are probably the least likely to have the effect of pushing people into the streets to race their cars, as they do allow them to experience the thrill and the difficulty of driving a car at high speeds.
Any of the racing games I have had experience with have told me how hard it is to control a vehicle when driving at accelerated speeds. They have also made me realize I probably have no business being behind the wheel of any vehicle, but that's another story.