QOTD: Does Anyone Still Play Car Video Games?

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
qotd does anyone still play car video games

Growing up, my parents were adamant about prohibiting video game consoles in the house; TV was time-limited as it is (the permitted shows included South Park and The Simpsons…go figure), the computer was for “educational purposes” (i.e. school work or reading about cars) and recreational activities took the form of a book or outdoor activities. Until that fateful day in Target.

In the spring of 1998, my family headed to Florida, not for a vacation, but to say goodbye to my Grandfather, who had little hope of recovering from a cascade of illnesses that ultimately led to his death. My Dad was tasked with occupying my brother and I (10 and 6 at the time) while my mother, grandmother and uncle waited by my Grandfather’s bed.

We were easily amused, and so my Dad would take us to Target, where we would occupy ourselves with the video game console displays; a novelty to us, since video games were verboten. On one occasion, the demo being played at the Playstation stand was Gran Turismo. The list of available cars included my all-time favorite, the NSX (a very cool, JDM Honda NSX, no less) and from that point on, it was game over (no pun intended). I didn’t even have to hound my parents for a Playstation. They knew this was a turning point.

For years, battling it out in the various iterations of Gran Turismo was a favorite past time. Controllers were thrown, fractions of a second were agonized over, endless vexation was endured over those motherf***ing license tests. And then, I turned 16, began driving and never picked up racing games again. To me, it’s analogous to Playboy and the real thing. Some of my friends still love to nerd out over Forza 3 and GT5 and compare virtual gear ratios, tire compounds and engine swaps. I don’t get it. But then again, some of them love to argue over who is a better porn star, too. Let me know if you still like to play racing games. Keep the x-rated opinions to yourself.

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  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Aug 08, 2012

    I thought my video game days were done after the Sega Genesis. But my buddy bought GT5 Prologue shortly after we did the 4-day Grand Prix Road Racing course at Bondurant and it seemed pretty realistic. I eventually decided to buy a PS3 just for GT5. Shortly after, so did the other two buddies who attended the course with us. One of them even used it exclusively for driving a few laps of the Nurburgring every evening for a year leading up to his trip to Germany. It made a huge difference in him getting the most out of his two days lapping the Ring in an M3. I couldn't imagine attempting to learn that track in person with other cars constantly flying by on my left. The game has really taught me a lot about driving dynamics and track driving, and honed my reflexes and muscle memory. I wish I had that experience before attending Bondurant. I'd have gotten way more out of the course if I had all that simulator experience beforehand. There was just too much to learn in addition to the thrill of actually driving fast cars to the limits of my ability. The Logitech G27 provides a pretty realistic feel to the controls. You can even practice your heel-toeing with the manual. It's also taught me a lot about racing history and the various types of racing around the world, as well as greatly increasing my interest in real racing and respect for the skills of professional drivers. I've had this thing for three years, and I'm still nowhere near the best GT5 drivers. Online racing plus track experience gives you an idea of how intense a serious race actually is. It used to look pretty boring on a TV screen before I knew what was really going on. I don't play any other games, nor do I ever plan to unless a better simulator is released. I haven't even been playing GT5 much lately, but I still enjoy it occasionally. A good F1 race often gives me the itch.

  • Night driver Night driver on Aug 09, 2012

    I still play Night Driver on my Atari. Does that count? :)

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.