Playing Mario Kart Can Save Lives [Video]

gryffin sanders, saves grandmother, mario kart

When I played Mario Kart, I was about not being hit by lightning and the screen blackening by the Octopus. I never thought it would come to a point where my skills in Mario Kart (lack thereof) would help me with my day-to-day driving. However, a 10-year-old boy’s great grandmother passes out behind the wheel of a vehicle going at a high speed. What’s a 10-year-old to do? Grab the wheel like he’s on Rainbow Road. That’s what! In doing so, the video game world wins an influential presence of how playing Mario Kart can save lives.

A heartwarming story out of Hugo, Colorado tells a tale of how a 10-year-old boy who saved his great-grandmother and brother’s life after she passed out behind the wheel of their vehicle going 60 miles per hour. Where did his driving expertise come from? Mario Kart, naturally. Denver NBC affiliate KUSA has the report on how young Gryffin Sanders became a hero in the throes of chaos. Last Friday, everything seemed normal for the boy and his family until their vehicle crossed the center lane and bee-lined straight into oncoming traffic. The car also contained his 4-year-old brother. “My first thought was actually, is this a test or what?” Sanders said. “My heart was thumping.”

The situation truly was a test, as his great grandmother lost control after what may have been a mild heart attack. After trying to wake her up, Sanders took the wheel and steered the vehicle toward a ditch full of mud. According to KUSA, Sanders told reporters that he got his driving skills from playing Mario Kart. Fortunately, due to his brave actions, the car came to a stop, and KUSA reports that there were no injuries in the accident. These days, you can’t go too long without hearing something about the negative impact of video games on impressionable minds — but as Gryffin Sanders shows us, there’s plenty of positives that can derive from gaming, too.

Some netizens took to Reddit this week to laud the boy’s quick thinking. “The kid was smart enough to distinguish reality from the game, but still use the skill he earned in the game to the benefit of everyone involved,” Redditor Cptawesome13 wrote on Wednesday.

The Internet may be full of stories about video games causing errant and sometimes violent behavior, but Sanders isn’t the only person who has credited a video game with saving lives. In 2007, a North Carolina man named Paxton Galvanek said playing the video game “America’s Army” helped him provide critical medical aid to the injured victims of a car accident. One of the people he helped had lost fingers. “I have received no prior medical training and can honestly say that because of the training and presentations within [the game], I was able to help and possibly save the injured men,” Galvanek said at the time, according to

For anyone who says that playing Mario Kart or any other video game is a waste of time,  need to meet these people that have used the games to help them in dire situations. Maybe it’s time for me to play video games again?!

Forrest L. Rawls