This joke has probably been around since the first automobile ran over a wayward jaywalker. You have to brake suddenly because some idiot decided to run across the street, and your buddy sitting shotgun says "You should have kept going, would've been ten points." Very funny. We're all amused. Your wanton disregard for human life makes you both charming and handsome. But it's not the complete lack of common decency this joke requires that gets me. It's the fact that people pull these numbers out of their ass. There is no standardized rubric for the points you get in Pedestrian Bowling. Until now.
Before I get started, I feel like I should probably put some sort of disclaimer in here. I know this may be obvious to you, and it is to me, but just in case, I have to be clear. This is not a game, kids. This is vehicular homicide. It may be amusing in theory, but in practice, it's messy, potentially traumatic and extremely illegal. Part of me feels like this is obvious. We live in America, where people are held responsible for their own actions. And I'm lucky this is print, cause I could not have said that with a straight face. Anyway, it is my moral obligation to say that this is a joke, and if you take this seriously, you are worth 500 points.
The hunt begins… RUN!!!
So, now that the dumber of us have been thinned from the herd, and a few of the quicker ones have a head start on the leaderboards, we can get down to the rules. First, let's define the game: Pedestrian Bowling is a game in which the players, mounted in an automobile, attempt to hit people that aren't inside anything with their car. Points are given to the driver, and the driver alone. Passengers only get accessory to manslaughter charges.
But how to dole out points? Well, let's take a look at video games. They are a big fan of doling out points. And generally, they reward players with more points for accomplishing a feat with greater difficulty. Therefore, if we compare the demographics of people you may run over with a list of things that may make them more or less difficult to hit with a car (body dimensions, reflexes, the face a child makes as he looks into certain oblivion). The resulting chart looks something like this:
Baby or Toddler (0-4 years old): 100 pts
Adolescent (5-12 years old): 80 pts
Teenager (13-19 years old): 20 pts
Adult Male (20-64 years old): 30 pts
Adult Female (20-64 years old): 40 pts
Senior (65+ years old): 5 pts
I'd give no points at all, but we've got to get rid of them somehow.
Race would have been a factor four years ago, but we have a black president now, so race as a concept no longer exists. That's how it works, right? Anyway, those are the points. That's how it works. "But Zack," I hear you cry, "that seems far too simple!" I agree, voice in my head! Let's liven it up a little… with multipliers!
Just like every game on your iPhone, you can get bonuses for pretty much anything. Which is the perfect example, because if you hit someone while playing on your iPhone, you double the points. Wearing all black at night is times five. Politicians are times ten, and that doubles if their mangled body lands directly in front of their smiling campaign poster.
But there are also negative multipliers… I guess they would be called divisors, but shut up. I'm writing the article. Half points if the person is on the sidewalk when you hit them. Your points get quartered if you touch the break at all before contact. Though if you think that's bad, you only get one percent the points you'd get if they walk away from the incident. And they'll also probably remember your license plate, so I'd suggest a good lawyer, or a residence in a country without an extradition treaty with the good ole US of A.
Some of the rules are a little confusing. For example, a cripple is worth half points, unless they fall into the baby or senior category, in which case it's worth double. If they survive, one broken leg is worth more than two broken arms. And don't get me started on combos, we'll be here all night.
Considering I should wrap this up, I'll answer the one question I know you're all asking: "How do I best balance the points to felonies ratio?" Well, folks, I've run the numbers, and there is a single kill that can get you north of ten million points, but it's rare and risky. In the dead of night, on an unlit street, you must find a single mother and her child crossing a street without the light. Speed up, and make sure your headlights are off. Get your camera ready. You aren't aiming for the kid. The goal is to hit the mother at top speed while taking a picture of the child's face at the very moment they realize that they are alone in this world. Speed off, pull into a parking lot, and check the photo. If it is a look of horror, disgust or just despair, the move is called 'the Bambi', and worth just over 2 million points. However, if the look on the child's face is that of acceptance and grim determination, congratulations! You've earned 13 million points, and created a superhero!