The Drunk Driving Video Game

Dennis Faas's picture

The video game industry has long been the target of crazed lawyers and out-of-touch politicians. Now, a new game simulating drunk driving -- yes, drunk driving -- is sure to raise some more eyebrows.

But not so fast: don't expect to turn your Wii-mote, tilt your PS3 pad, or jam on the trigger buttons of your Xbox 360 any time soon. Called "Booze Cruise," the game sounds like an extremely irresponsible "Grand Theft Auto" clone. However, it's actually meant to be an educational tool. In fact, it was developed as a school project by University of Calgary professor Jim Parker and several of his students.

"The basic story is that this person is absolutely pissed [drunk] and woke up in the trunk of their car and now is going to drive home," Parker explained.

To accurately recreate the experience of driving home drunk, the player's vision will be narrow and blurred. Obstacles will include pedestrians, other vehicles, a police checkpoint, and "pink elephants."

Calgary Police also helped with the game.

"I think it's going to be a great tool," stated Calgary policeman Const. Rob Haffner. "Whatever education that we can get out there is always going to be beneficial as far as drinking and driving goes." "This [game] is aimed not at adults, this is aimed at people who are 13 to 16," Parker revealed. "We want to stop them from doing it [drinking and driving] in advance." (Source:

"A lot of people believe they could drive drunk. It's not that big a deal, you just have to pay attention," Parker continued. "The game simulates the issues that drunks have in terms of perception."

The game does more than just simulate the experience of drunk driving; it also highlights the aftermath, including fines, jail time, damages, and even death.

Of course, Parker realizes that Booze Cruise won't be the next big thing in the video game world, no matter how important and relevant its message may be to today's teens.

"It's not going to replace Halo, not even close," Parker admitted. "I think it's fun for a little, while, then the teachers can say, 'Let's talk about this.'" (Source:

Currently, Booze Cruise is undergoing tweaks and improvements. It will eventually be made available online, but that's still many months away from happening. (Source:

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