Giant Bomb News

30 Comments

U.S. Army Funding Canadian Booze Cruise

Will video games keep veterans from driving drunk?

They're so drunk, they couldn't even stand up for the photo shoot.
Apparently after returning home from a nightmarish tour of duty spent wallowing in man's inhumanity towards man and other unsavory things, a serious number of U.S. Army soldiers like to do a little bit of recreational drunk driving. It's bad behavior for sure, though as someone who gets stressed out from blogging, I don't feel I'm necessarily in a position to pass judgment.

Still, the U.S. Army is taking the issue of shellshocked vets getting DUIs seriously, or at least seriously enough to throw some funding behind Booze Cruise, an educational PC game designed at the University of Calgary to educate people about the dangers of drunk driving by virtually recreating the effects of alcohol when you're behind the wheel. Punch in your weight and the number of highballs you've had, and Booze Cruise will blur your vision and cripple your reaction times accordingly. The game's been around since 2007, though the Army is throwing additional funds behind it for some unspecified improvements.

I realize that it's the video-game blogger's duty to defend our industry to the death, particularly when it comes to receiving serious validation from the outside, but this doesn't seem like the best use of resources if vets are hitting the bottle because they're having trouble coping with civilian life. And frankly, I thought that Rockstar already nailed the whole drunk-driving simulator idea with Grand Theft Auto IV. While that game wasn't so concerned with hammering home the horrible consequences of such grossly irresponsible behavior, I would always end up calling a cab after going on a bender with a buddy, simply because the constant fender benders and vehicular manslaughter made getting home take forever.
30 Comments
Posted by Ryan
They're so drunk, they couldn't even stand up for the photo shoot.
Apparently after returning home from a nightmarish tour of duty spent wallowing in man's inhumanity towards man and other unsavory things, a serious number of U.S. Army soldiers like to do a little bit of recreational drunk driving. It's bad behavior for sure, though as someone who gets stressed out from blogging, I don't feel I'm necessarily in a position to pass judgment.

Still, the U.S. Army is taking the issue of shellshocked vets getting DUIs seriously, or at least seriously enough to throw some funding behind Booze Cruise, an educational PC game designed at the University of Calgary to educate people about the dangers of drunk driving by virtually recreating the effects of alcohol when you're behind the wheel. Punch in your weight and the number of highballs you've had, and Booze Cruise will blur your vision and cripple your reaction times accordingly. The game's been around since 2007, though the Army is throwing additional funds behind it for some unspecified improvements.

I realize that it's the video-game blogger's duty to defend our industry to the death, particularly when it comes to receiving serious validation from the outside, but this doesn't seem like the best use of resources if vets are hitting the bottle because they're having trouble coping with civilian life. And frankly, I thought that Rockstar already nailed the whole drunk-driving simulator idea with Grand Theft Auto IV. While that game wasn't so concerned with hammering home the horrible consequences of such grossly irresponsible behavior, I would always end up calling a cab after going on a bender with a buddy, simply because the constant fender benders and vehicular manslaughter made getting home take forever.
Staff
Posted by Lepuke

Yeah crashing into people and whatnot does slow me down when completely shitfaced driving home.
Just focus on that warm cozy bed at the end of the tunnel is my advice.

Posted by Weltal

I get the idea behind this type of game and at the same time I feel it's absolutely useless. You can create all the drunk driving ads you want it doesn't do anything to change a persons prospective on the issue if they already don't care. Add to the fact that inebriation can cloud even the most rational person and you get even less help from this type of thing.

Online
Posted by bartholomew999

Is this not another way to let vets practice driving drunk?

Posted by Bucketdeth

Money well spent.

Posted by Coltonio7

Speaking as a dude from Calgary: THIS IS NECESARRY!

Posted by LordAndrew

I think commenter Kurmudgeon did a good job of explaining why this kind of thing just doesn't work.

The only problem with this game is that it is *almost* realistic.

It allows you to drive a car that doesn't respond well, or handle great, and you have to do it with impaired vision, but you do get to drive it while being in complete control of your faculties and still retain normal cognitive judgment - which you don't have when you're impaired. When you're impaired, it might actually seem like a good idea to drive on the sidewalk to get around the car in front of you to save time. With this game, you just have the muddle reactions of an impaired driver and have the ability to compensate by driving slower, applying the breaks sooner, or recognizing that the light is about to turn red.

It's close though, and this game is probably more comparable to winter driving (as another poster insightfully pointed out).
But hey, at least we get a winter driving simulator out of it. :)
Posted by Media_Master

odd

Posted by JoelTGM

Drunk driving is bad... my friend's dad got drunk one night and drove his truck up our hill and destroyed my neighbor's car (it looked like something you'd find at the junk yard after the crash) and then he smashed into our rock wall outside the house right after that, then took off driving.  Later while in the back of the cop car he said he thought it was a deer.  You can bet those neighbors no longer live next door now.

Posted by Ghostin

I wonder how much cheaper this is than shelling out for long-term post traumatic stress counselling?

Posted by Snipzor
Coltonio7 said:
"Speaking as a dude from Calgary: THIS IS NECESARRY!"
It is true, us folk in Calgary have learned to cancel out the effects of alchohol when driving drunk.
/Speaking from Montreal jokingly
//Speaking for Montrealers
Posted by McQuinn

It isn't a video game because there is no game in this video game.  It's more like a 3-D drunk simulator.

Posted by Captain_Fookup

That game is nothing like driving drunk, where's the empty parking lot where you can do doughnuts in your car worth less than the amount you pay for rent each month.

Posted by Rivix

Hey, i'm from Calgary!

Like it or not, I think its a good investment. We can always learn more about drinking and driving. Just last week in Calgary a drunk driver killed a man helping his dad who landed in a ditch. 
Edited by Gunner612

Or you can drink 1, 2 or 10 bud lights and play mario kart 64. WAAAAY more fun.

Posted by End_Boss

I want to see some dude hop in the simulator who's been playing games for years and fucking book it to the destination without hitting a damned thing. Invalidate the whole project.
...
Booyah.

Posted by giyanks22

Strange...
Well if there ever is a draft I'll get to play this game, because...I won't play it unless I'm forced to by some Army Drill Sergeatn lol.

Edited by MrKlorox

There goes the army trying to use videogames to train people again. This time, how to drive safe while drunk. Perhaps they're doing a Red Asphalt version of the game to scare them straight. Not the wisest thing for a person with PTS.

EDIT: We need a new Carmageddon... except a simulator.

EDIT2: @ giyanks22: Dude... it says it's for soldiers who have seen horrors of war and cope with it by drinking (and the subsequent driving).

Posted by Meltbrain

Wow well that's... dumb. Seriously, if you need educating about how being drunk and driving an car isn't a supremely great idea, and you're not a youngster, all is lost.

Posted by Kraznor

YAY, that is my University!  It is a kind of silly project but it was nice to see my school on Kotaku and Giant Bomb.

Posted by TomA

Kool,most of my relatives live in Calgary and I frequently visit there.Good to see more games coming out of Canada,long live Canada,wooooo!!!!!

Posted by HiroSeven

Wow, great to see other Canadians here!

I'm from Vancouver and we have our share of drunkard drivers... jackasses is the term I like to use.

This a great idea though, go UofC and U.S. Army!





Posted by Det1

are you SURE this isn't funds to procure advertisement in the game?
(Wouldn't that be a kick.)

Edited by Llyr

Are they also going to have a drive-by shooting game for Calgary ?

Posted by DarkCanuck

Thinking on the idea of a drunk driving simulator for research; it seems to me that you would be further ahead building an extremely real driving simulator and then have the 'player' down a few pints/shots/both and then see how they do. It would be much more fun as well.

Posted by Doogie2K

U of C represent.

I got nothin' else.

Posted by Stevokenevo

Its crazy, the Vets will just get really good at the game and then expect to be good at driving drunk in real life! lol.  Why dont they just give them all free consoles and games that way they wont leave the house to drive.  Im fairly certain drunk game playing is allowed if the 'Quest for Booty' video is anything to go off...

Posted by teh_destroyer

for some odd reason I really want to play this game >_>

Posted by atmryder

What about a game that you smoke a shit load of high grade weed and drink a fifth of vodka? I'd play that shit.

Posted by JudgeDread

do not drive drunk!
kill other human beings!
go army go!