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Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 12/29/2010

Reminder: Don't play Frogger on real-life roads

By Rob Pegoraro

If developers can create video games based on real-life situations, why not try to recreate a video game in real life?

That can be a fun and charming idea if, say, it involves staging a round of Pac-Man around Washington Square Park in Manhattan--aka, Pac-Manhattan. It is less so if you're talking about redoing Frogger, the game in which you try to direct an audacious amphibian across multiple lanes of moving traffic without getting him squashed first.

Just ask the unidentified 23-year-old man who attempted that in Clemson, S.C., Monday night. According to such reports as this one from local station WYFF, he bolted across a four-lane road and was promptly hit--not fatally--by a passing SUV. The reason became apparent after police did a little digging:

Investigators said they later determined that the man and his friends were talking about playing a game known as "Frogger." [....] Police said before he was hit, the 23-year-old yelled "go" and darted into oncoming traffic where he was struck by a 2010 Lexus SUV.

The Greenville News's account (registration required; search for the headline to read it without logging in) offers a few more details but doesn't clear up one obvious question: "it's not known whether alcohol was involved."

Yes, it's possible that might be a factor.

Fortunately, this, ahem, losing contestant is in stable condition, so we can joke about this now.

But in all seriousness: Kids, don't try this at home or anywhere else, as playing in traffic is a certifiable Bad Idea. (Crossing a wide street with fast-moving vehicles can be dangerous even if there's no sport intended, as a scan through recent Post stories should make painfully clear.) If in any doubt, look up a copy of the 1998 Seinfeld episode "The Frogger," in which George Costanza's attempt to preserve an arcade machine with his high score is cruelly thwarted by--who knew?--passing traffic.

Maximum PC's site offers a suggestion for a less dangerous game to reenact:

Perhaps next time he has a hankering to bring a classic title to life, he'll start with Pong and work his way up.

But as a certain commercial reminded us all a few years ago, a real-life game of Pong could be tricky too. If you have other suggestions for lower-impact video games to replay outside the screen--or, I suppose, for games that would be even more unwise to reenact in the physical world than Frogger--I welcome them in the comments.

By Rob Pegoraro  | December 29, 2010; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Digital culture, Games  
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Comments

I saw kids doing this same thing on 295N just off of Pennsylvania Ave. There were 4-5 young men running back and forth. We were traveling to a family event and other family members spotted the same thing 20-30 minutes earlier. They nearly caused an accident while we were there...I can't imagine the number of people that they sent slamming on their breaks. This is so dangerous and stupid.

Posted by: nikkiz04 | December 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Something about Darwin comes to mind. I just hope those practicing "natural self-selection" don't wind up taking anyone else with them.

Posted by: Itzajob | December 29, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Agree with 'itzajob': this sounds like a Darwin Award candidate. Could this be a strategy for population thinning? Such fads could be promoted to reduce unwanted cultures. The obese? Hispanics? Those with one eyebrow? The unemployed?

Posted by: Blackwater52 | December 29, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I think the guys should have started with Pitfall instead and gone to the zoo to try to swing across the aligator pit on a vine...

Posted by: ozpunk | December 29, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: colorado_casual | December 29, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the guys should have started with Pitfall instead and gone to the zoo to try to swing across the aligator pit on a vine...

Posted by: ozpunk | December 29, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: colorado_casual | December 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

When I saw the movie, Tron, they had a commercial saying that there was a GPS-based app based on the light cycles from the movie. I can see that causing people to suddenly turn and cross the street to either avoid hitting the "wall" or block another person's progress. It seemed like a bad idea...

Posted by: mikebecvar | December 29, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

A classic video game that should also not be played in real life is Joust. You remember: The player uses a button and joystick to control a knight with a lance riding a flying ostrich as it jumps over a precipice at another player with a lance.

Posted by: mirebay | December 29, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

A classic video game that should also not be played in real life is Joust. You remember: The player uses a button and joystick to control a knight with a lance riding a flying ostrich as it jumps over a precipice at another player with a lance.

Posted by: mirebay | December 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

More classic video games you shouldn't play in real life:
Asteriods at the planetarium
Donkey Kong at the National Zoo
Leisure Suit Larry (OK, but use protection)

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 30, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm currently working on an Xbox LIVE game, Shifters, and hope stories like this don't impact sales of video games, it's just one daft person, with one daft excuse :/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovS17xd6vmg

Posted by: petermccabe2011 | December 30, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

It's the nature of the business, it's the soldiers and the law, the sailors and the pirates. DA says there's nothing we can do. It's the Gadget Blues.

Posted by: jobandon | January 3, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

oatmeal, kid said letgo of my eggo
don't play in traffic
all widows are likely to be sweet, if young enough
good way to get rid of bad hubby
cheaper than d lawyer
i never saw him officer
we were having text
bumpy

Posted by: jobandon | January 3, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Economy is a shipwreck. Play home-wreck on real low doc no doc loans. Doc says we'll survive and here are some cookies. Reminder: Make rum punch all month. We need a new bowl game, the Punch Bowl. Got a new driver, the last one didn't float too well. Fore!

Posted by: jobandon | January 3, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

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