Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Driving Video Games Help You Pass Your Test!
It's official. A new survey undertaken by a leading car insurance firm reveals that gamers have a 15% better chance of passing the driving test first time. However, 77% of the gamers admitted having an accident within their first year of driving. This figure is higher than the national average.
It seems the video racing game enthusiast enjoys an increased sense of confidence owing to their simulated experience of blasting round a race track in a high performance vehicle. This same confidence can lead to a false sense of security and an over estimation of your driving abilities after the test, leading to traffic incidents. As anyone who has taken the driving test knows, you need a good deal of confidence on the day. Afterwards you need to be careful and drive within your limits as you gain solo experience.
As you can see from the photo I pitched an idea for a different kind of game way back in 2003. 2nd place in the Playstation official magazine competition. All light hearted stuff. I'm sure an entertaining game could be made that does actually test real life driving skills. The driving simulators I have seen seem to be very dull like you're driving around in an abandoned world designed by robots.
I never excelled at driving games at first. I just couldn't get my head round the physics. When to brake and how much eluded me so I never stayed on the track. It was rally games that helped me find my feet. I seemed to be much happier when the car was sliding around. I'd often beat the game clock on the snow and mud then lose pathetically on tarmac. Perhaps I should take a skid pan training course to see if I can do it in real life.
The chav favourite Need For Speed is one I can handle. The cars drive like the sort of car I might be able to afford one day. The city streets are well constructed as well so it pays to look well ahead and anticipate where the road is going. Essential skills for the safe driver. F1 games I cannot handle at all. I simply can't relate to the simulated high speed and the steering is twitchy.
If there's one game I could call myself Master on it was Wipeout3. Racing a futuristic hover ship round a purpose designed track was pure brilliance. There was a definite physics to it making it totally controllable. Nobody I knew could challenge me. I was indeed king.
The upshot of all this is yes, enjoy your gaming as I do. Just remember the confidence you gain can work both ways. A little confidence is a good thing in driving but over confidence brings it's own dangers.