TikTok is targeting young and impressionable teenagers with an ad for a shocking video game called “Text And Drive!”
Text And Drive! is a mobile videogame by MagicLab only available for Android devices. It currently has over a million downloads and counting. Despite being rated R17+ for a mature audience, this free-to-play mobile game is advertised to millions of young and impressionable TikTok teenagers.
The game, controversially titled “Text And Drive!”, asks the player to demonstrate their “driving skills” while “chitchatting” on their phone. The player must answer texts and complete minigames such as eating food while driving and dodging traffic. Although the game is rated mature, the aesthetic and style of the game is clearly aimed at young teenagers.
The controversial mobile game shockingly as a largely positive reviews from its young player base, currently sitting at a solid 4 out of 5 stars with over 10,000 reviews.
“To start of, the concept of the game is good,” a 14-year-old Tyrese Jones wrote, adding: But, there is a lot of disappointing things. Like how, they repeat the same text messages while you drive.”
Other teens are upset that there is not enough texting and driving in the free-to-play mobile game: “There’s not a lot of texting levels. Okay, the whole game is about texting and driving, but now I’m on level 200 and I only did like 6 text and drives… the rest was minigames and when I do more text and drives it is the same that I did on a diff level,” a Charli D’Amelio fan wrote.
Other’s are understandably outraged by the theme off the game.
“This game glorifies a dangerous habit, for starters. It also exudes the energy of those creepy childrens’ YouTube channels with the super deformed babies singing songs with thick accents. It’s unsettling,” Marshall Deupree wrote.
James Clarke demolished the game with his scathing 1-star review: “We’re trying to teach the world not to text and drive, remove this game from the marketplace. Yes I see the effects of texting and driving in your ad but that doesn’t really send a message now does it. We have games where people shoot other people, you really think this is going to be any different in trying to help spread the message of the dangers that happen while texting and driving? Kids will just play it to get a kick out of it. You wasted your time and money developing this game.”
Texting and driving in Australia is a serious punishment which carried a fine of up to AUD$100 and 5 demerit points. According Budget Direct, approximately 29 people die each year and 1,284 people are seriously injured from distracted driving, in Queensland alone, each year.
MagicLab’s video game, Text And Drive!, is currently still available for free to download from the Android Play Store but it loaded with ads.