There are many ways in which playing games, especially racing games can benefit an individual. Some of the most obvious advantages are:
- Games help improve reflexes.
- Enhance cognitive development.
- Aid in de-stressing.
- Help in improving problem-solving abilities as well.
These skills are not limited to the virtual world of gaming alone. Most people can also ‘translate’ these skills into the real world in different ways. So it does beg the question of whether playing a racing game affects the actual driving habits of a person. Can it lead to risky driving on roads?
There is research to support both sides of the coin. Some findings suggest that the aggressiveness that one can display in a video game can often be displayed in real life as well. There is also evidence to suggest that people can become better drivers when they play virtual racing games. In a game, people can learn better planning and enhance their skills at responsible driving.
Also, look at it this way – a racing game can be a perfect outlet for stress and frustration. Won’t you then be in a calmer frame of mind when you take your car out in the actual world?
Time spent at the game
One study links risky driving with the amount of time one may spend playing a game. Someone who averages more than 7 or 8 hours a day playing racing games is more likely to get into an accident. The tendency to drive faster or even engage in risky driving such as not wearing seat belts is more likely to happen when one has spent an inordinate amount of time immersed in a racing game. A review conducted by Muchgames found that participants who visit muchgames.com to play racing games spent more time than participants of other games.
One has to admit that there is also something known as personality traits. There are people who will not take risks and there are those who will. Racing games may, in most cases, only enhance these inclinations. It is to be noted that the sense of adventurousness is brought to the fore during a racing game.
So this level of intensity can translate into real cars as well. The fascination with taking risks is something that can put any individual at risk on the road. After all, the consequences of over-speeding are very different in the virtual and real worlds.
So where is the connection?
Overwhelming evidence points to the direct relationship between racing and risk-taking. There is one study that put young students through the Vienna Risk-Taking Test after they had played 20 minutes of racing games. The group had to play racing games and they found that the group waited for a longer period of time to hit the ‘stop’ key. This key is supposed to indicate their willingness to stop a potentially risky manoeuvre.
The close link between dangerous driving and racing games indicates the need for caution in more ways than one. One point to consider is that in the virtual game, players may get away with acts like driving on the sidewalk or roaring down a one-way street but this should never even be considered in the real world.