Crash Dummies(TM) did for the automobile industry what My Little Toaster did for the International Appliance Cruelty Organization. Let me illustrate: when was the last time you made some toast without thinking, “Gees. I sure am giving this toaster a false sense of attachment. I hope he doesn’t go on a harrowing adventure, accompanied by my other appliances, to try to find me.” Or, even more relevant: “I hope this toaster wasn’t tested on sentient beings.” Truly, this is the state in which the children of our great cosmopolitan nation find themselves. Well documented are the cases reported worldwide of children refusing to drive choice auto-cars due to the fact that they were “tested on people” (Horner & Horner, 2003, 4). It is the opinion of this researcher that the so called “sympathy for Dummies” has come out of the early 90s franchise mentioned at the very beginning of this paragraph.
I submit to you, in evidence of my claims, the game Incredible Crash Dummies. In it, the two heroes navigate a increasingly boring obstacle course of bouncing tires, quickly-moving cars, and other occupational hazards. They are, of course, crash test dummies, the little-known heroes of the automobile industry. Yet, instead of filling their normal role of crashing the fuck into everything, they have decided to abandon their post and seek other life paths. Thus, the goal of the game is NOT to crash into things and to avoid them entirely. I am not the only one to note the irony of the game’s title in light of its message. Carole Anderson is quoted as saying: “You might as well call Two Gentlemen of Verona ‘Cuckold Bros.’ It would be no more erroneous.”
My thesis thus far has been that children have been taught mildly damaging and false information by games such as this. I now hope to prove it beyond a doubt. The mission on which the two heroes embark is one of rescue. They are trying to reclaim their estranged father, who has recently caused quite a scandal by engaging in very public coitus with a sheep and who, if I read the symbolism right, is a communist. Putting aside the questionable father figure presented, the game attempts to elicit emotion in those who play it, specifically through the use of body-part related puns.
The player is encouraged to keep the Dummies safe from harm by throwing wrenches at human drivers who get in their way, causing them to explode with a wonderful “boom.” What is this telling our children? What are WE telling our children? Start a revolution? No blood for automobiles? Dummies are people too?
Well, I’m here to tell you that Dummies are not people. They are Dummies! This they will remain if I have anything to do about it.