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Gran Turismo Gamer Becomes Pro Race Driver

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the practice-makes-profession dept.

Games 249

An anonymous reader writes "Back in 2008, Lucas Ordonez lived what seemed like an ordinary existence. The 22-year-old Spanish student was an avid motorsports fan, but he lacked the suitable investment necessary to become a professional race driver and had virtually given up on racing. Besides, he was already knee-deep in trying to complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA). But it was Ordonez' passion for virtual racing, particularly his love of Gran Turismo, that made him stand out from his peers — both off the track and eventually on it. In just a few months, Ordonez' life was transformed from console dreamer to racing the real thing at a real race track in Europe. And Ordonez managed to do the unthinkable: go from the couch car to the race car, and win."

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249 comments

Oh God (5, Funny)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326442)

Just what we need - more people thinking that since they can play games they can do it in real life. Hide all the Guitar Hero/Rock Band addicts.

Re:Oh God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326542)

Gran Turismo is not to driving as what Guitar Hero is to playing the guitar.

And Modern Warfare 2 hasn't caused a skyrocket in enlistment, so why are you going to worry about anyone thinking they can tackle Laguna Seca when it is thousands of miles away? Are you really that phobic of video gamers?

Re:Oh God (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326582)

And Modern Warfare 2 hasn't caused a skyrocket in enlistment

America's Army makes enough of a difference in enlistment number for the Army to keep funding it, though.

Re:Oh God (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326648)

Don’t they use it – or a modified version of it, at least – as part of their training?

Or am I totally remembering that wrong...

Re:Oh God (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326792)

No they use ArmA2 for training

Re:Oh God (1)

FrancoMcNeil (1194507) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326974)

No, they use both. The video game is created by the Public Applications team (or whatever happened after AA3.0 was released), while the training applications using the same platform are made by several other teams (http://info.americasarmy.com/teams.php).

Re:Oh God (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326986)

No they don't. I develop Army training, and most of the stories you hear about soldiers playing video games for training are exactly that...stories.

Re:Oh God (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326720)

And Modern Warfare 2 hasn't caused a skyrocket in enlistment
Indeed, I wonder if the more realistic modern warfare 3 [theonion.com] will change that ;).

Re:Oh God (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326882)

I don't see what the big deal is. These games are simulations. That means you can make all the stupid mistakes possible without killing yourself or wiping out a village. Any good quality simulator should be usable as a training platform for people who intend to do it for real.

Which makes me wonder about those Resident Evil fans. Are you really planning to have a Zombie Apocalypse? Ohh... that's right you are. Must tune my trigger fingers. and practice how to decapitate with a machete while avoiding splatter.

Re:Oh God (1)

ibbumpin (879118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326988)

... And Modern Warfare 2 hasn't caused a skyrocket in enlistment, ...

Except in the 9 year old age range

Re:Oh God (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326548)

Just wait 'till the CS fans get out of their parents' basements...

Re:Oh God (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326556)

Just what we need - more people thinking that since they can play games they can do it in real life. Hide all the Guitar Hero/Rock Band addicts.

And keep all the "Phoenix Wright" players off of slashdot.

"I am not a lawyer, but I've played one on the DS!"

Re:Oh God (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326722)

OBJECTION!

Re:Oh God (4, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326580)

Just what we need - more people thinking that since they can play games they can do it in real life. Hide all the Guitar Hero/Rock Band addicts.

Bill Belichick got his job with the Patriots after showing off his skills at bribing the ref in Mutant League Football.

Now if only it was legal to kill the quarterback and farting was a 5 yard penalty, then I might watch a game again.

It's different (5, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326612)

Driving a car in a videogame and driving a car in real life are very different, but the actual *racing* part is pretty similar. Controlling the car is important, but it's not what wins races. Racing is all about knowing the lines and racing techniques, and a video game can definitely teach you that.

Re:It's different (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326726)

I think about 98% of gamers just had their hopes dashed when they read "fitness" as a requirement.

Re:It's different (3, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326914)

Racing is all about knowing the lines and racing techniques, and a video game can definitely teach you that.

Actual F1 teams train their drivers using simulators. [youtube.com] Basically a very expensive version of Gran Turismo.

Re:It's different (2, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327004)

More importantly, racing is about car control. A mass-marketed sim like Grand Turismo does not approach the levels of realism required to be an adequate sim for learning this.

Re:It's different (2, Funny)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327146)

You mean I can't actually just keep the throttle wide open and use the handbrake to scoot around corners in a Mclaren F1 just like in Need for Speed??

Re:It's different (4, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327160)

More importantly, racing is about car control. A mass-marketed sim like Grand Turismo does not approach the levels of realism required to be an adequate sim for learning this.

I think you underestimate the realism of the GT series. While the abstract some of the car characteristics, they do depict the handling of the cars pretty well.

While not a proof, one of the parts shops hosted a GT tournament for the local autox people. The racers were able to apply what they learned while pushing their cars to the limit back to the video game. I had thought I was good, and then I saw what the others could do.

Re:It's different (5, Interesting)

sleeping143 (1523137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327190)

Gran Turismo is actually quite a good simulator. It might not be quite as accurate as the simulators Ferrari and McLaren use to keep their F1 drivers in form, but it really doesn't have to be. With the use of a force-feedback steering wheel, you can get very close to experiencing the real performance of a huge selection of cars in GT. The biggest difference, to me, between GT and actual racing is the level of exertion required. I get physically tired on track before I get mentally exhausted, but in GT4 I don't have to strain against cornering, braking, and acceleration force.

Re:It's different (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30327396)

quit beating-it in your moms basement thinking you race automobiles.

Re:It's different (3, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327262)

In many ways, the parts lacking in realism make the game harder then real life. Standard gamepad controllers don't have nearly the range of motion of an actual wheel, and smoothly applying acceleration through a corner is almost impossible. While that much can be fixed by buying a good racing wheel and pedal setup, there are more fundamental limitations, too. It important to be able to feel how the car responds via g-forces, and until somebody invents artificial gravity, it's simply impossible to simulate this except through very crude methods. The effect becomes more dramatic as the car's performance goes up. Shutting off one of your senses is bound to have an affect.

On the plus side for games (that is, things that increase your times over the real world), the simulation will remove any fear you might have from smashing into a wall. This is probably the main reason why game times tend to be higher than real world times around the same track.

The best way to think about Gran Turismo compared to real racing is to consider a similar but different type of racing, much like difference between a track day car and a go kart. Go karts need many of the same skills, but they're not exactly alike. That hasn't stopped F1 teams from recruiting promising young go kart drivers before they're even old enough to have a license. The differences can be smoothed out later with training.

Re:It's different (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327150)

Driving a car in a videogame and driving a car in real life are very different, but the actual *racing* part is pretty similar. Controlling the car is important, but it's not what wins races. Racing is all about knowing the lines and racing techniques, and a video game can definitely teach you that.

You have vastly overcomplicated what it takes to be a winning race car driver. Source. [theonion.com]

Re:It's different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30327176)

Ben Spies is the current World Superbike Champion ... and was a rookie this(last?) year. He would play Playstation games that included the tracks he'd never been to before to learn the layout and said that it helped a lot.

Heck I think that I would be better prepared for a track day at Laguna Seca or Road Atlanta given the fact I've been around those tracks virtually hundreds of times in Forza and Gran Turismo!

Re:It's different (3, Interesting)

parcel (145162) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327206)

Driving a car in a videogame and driving a car in real life are very different, but the actual *racing* part is pretty similar. Controlling the car is important, but it's not what wins races. Racing is all about knowing the lines and racing techniques, and a video game can definitely teach you that.

I think, at least to an extent, it helps with actual driving too. I've sunk at least a hundred hours into every GT game since GT1 (before I even had a learner's permit). On three occasions I've had to make emergency reactions while driving in real life where - I don't know quite how to put it into words - everything just felt smooth and practiced.

Two things especially, scaling reaction to speed of travel and turning into a fishtail, are things that I think feel natural from all the time in GT. I just fortunately haven't had many "practice" opportunities in real life, so I figure I must have learned from the games.

I use a wheel & pedals instead of a controller, too, which maybe helps the simulation value.

Re:Oh God (2, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326768)

Why not? They use flight simulators to train pilots. This is the same basic idea. There is no question learning course layouts via GT would be very helpful if you were placed on the physical track you've lapped many times virtually. I've tackled the virtual Nürburgring [wikipedia.org] enough times that I would be able to put in decent hot laps on a first visit much quicker than someone who didn't have much experience on the track layout from a video game and had to tread more carefully.

The main thing is to build up the physical stamina you need for whatever level you race at. Most people could never handle Formula 1, but they could probably handle a 2-liter touring car.

Re:Oh God (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327078)

Flight simulators are used to train pilots on how to handle situations as they arise, or to learn the location of the many and complex controls. They are used to train pilots on the complex requirements of air traffic control, communications, and regulations. Most racing sims skip all this stuff because the very long boring days of registering a race team, putting the cars through inspection and hanging around the paddock for hours on end are not very interesting in a video game.

Re:Oh God (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326878)

GT 4/5 with a good screen and good wheel/pedals is not a game. It is a simulator as high or higher quality than what is available for military training. Many/most of the skills in GT are directly transferable to the race track.

Guitar hero is not remotely like playing a guitar. I imagine however that the drum skills are transferable to a decent degree.

If guitar hero was what I wanted it to be after the early music games came out we would see transferable skills. Plug in an electric guitar and play to the music. The console works as an amp, and marks your playing based on accuracy. While I imagine you could still get perfect and not sound good (accuracy issues), people would naturally make that correction themselves if they actually were hearing themselves play.

Re:Oh God (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327300)

Man, there is so much wrong with your post...GT is not a very good sim as far as realism goes, especially compared to alternatives out there. It is fun, but not incredibly realistic. It isn't even as realistic as Grand Prix Legends from 1997/98? or even the NASCAR 2003 series. I'm guessing you have never raced in real life, or used a serious racing sim. Any "sim" that lets you stomp the gas and brakes with relative immunity is not a very good sim. It's not even really accurate for learning the race track, as most tracks you go to take a lap or two to remember the layout (this doesn't transfer well in video games, but it takes a lot more laps to memorize a track in a sim than it does real life, most likely because in real life you can "see" more of the track and the environment around, giving you more reference points,etc.) Besides, the things racers are interested in on a track are the camber, bumps, dips, pits, and other things that affect the traction of the race car. The best racing line in a sim may be marred in real life by worn out pavement, or an off-camber layout (only one game I've ever played has successfully simulated an off-camber turn realistically, Grand Prix Legends, the first left hander after the short chute at Watkins Glen).

Secondly, the military has far better simulations available to them than a Sony video game. Unlimited budget, no need for fancy music and cut scenes, no need to worry about sales figures. I know, I was in the Army and I now develop training simulations for the Army. The simulations used to learn how to fly a UAV are indescernible from actually flying a UAV.

Thirdly, (and yes, I play drums too), the drum skills in those Band/Hero games are terrible. They don't even develop the basic motor skills of the bass drum, snare drum, high hat (95% of all popular western music). Instead you just hit something related to when a light lights up on the screen. No transfer at all... At least the guitar part of those games puts the notes in relative order (higher notes are higher on the fret board, and lower notes are lower). The drums are just layed out as, red, blue, orange, green...a drummer didn't design these games, clearly.

Yes I know it is rare that a race car driving, drum playing, Army training simulation trainer shows up on slashdot, but here I am ;-)

Re:Oh God (3, Interesting)

MattGWU (86623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326892)

Second Life architects!

"The winning design was eventually built in Chicago. The 200x400 meter building was 32 meters tall, had three levels, no windows (a bold choice!), no visible internal load-bearing structure, and no stairs because winning architect HeyBaby4U Lauterbrunnen decided 'they take up too many prims, and really, you just fly up anyway, so who cares?' A rotating 10x10x10 cube, which glows day and night while hovering over the building announced to the world that 'VIP Strip Club and Mall and Escort Service' is open for business! Space is available to rent for sixteen cents a day."

Guess racing is easier to pick up from a game, especially one with good physics (and, one would hope, good damage modeling!) I've designed a nice looking building or two for SL, and mine even had plausible-looking (looking!) load-bearing structure for the big open parts everybody seems so fond of (camera angles and the fact that the average avatar is about seven and a half feet tall have interesting effects on pragmatic architecture in SL), but never a self-congratulatory 'you know? I could do this for REAL!' moment!

Works the other way, though: I know real architects and jewelery designers who create products in the game.

Oh, also made a 430-some prim replica of an Audi R10 three years ago (before sculpted prims, I hasten to add), but never scripted it to drive, so no Le Mans for me, sadly :(

Re:Oh God (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327474)

and, one would hope, good damage modeling!

Until recently, Gran Turismo had no damage modeling at all, and even GT5 is rumored to only have a simple and incomplete system. That's a downside of using real cars: makers really don't like if you show their product damaged. If you use fictional cars, a la FlatOut or Daytona USA, you can annihilate them as much as you want.

Re:Oh God (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326932)

Even worse, he wasn't even investing his time in a serious racing sim. There are plenty of sims out there that can prepare you with a solid understanding of racing physics that transfer to the real world. None of them, however, run on consoles.

Re:Oh God (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327022)

Wow, I guess Jack Thompson was right after all.

Re:Oh God (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327370)

The difference being that Gran Turismo (I don't remember if it was 1 or 2) came with an additional manual describing real driving techniques actual race driving. I've never opened a GH/RB box and found a "Learn How to Play Guitar" book.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326444)

So now I feel motivated to become a porn star after having so much practice on the computer!

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326566)

Not really, because with porn it's more about the equipment you have than your skill level in using it.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326838)

That's not true. There are plenty of male stars in porn who have average-sized wangs. The important thing for the male star is to be able to get an erection at the right time, keep it, and be able to ejaculate at the proper time. You can have a 12 inch wang, but if you can't perform when you're required to you aren't going to last long.

Top Gear Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326450)

Evidently he is a quicker study than Jeremy Clarkson. Am pertty sure Jeremy tried something similiar (I don't remember the race track), by first playing the video game version as practice for the real course.....didn't help.

Re:Top Gear Anyone? (1)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326748)

Apparently he was recently interviewed on Top Gear (see a ways down the page, they have a transcription of the interview [warning: pdf]) recently. Maybe Clarkson will have another go at it.

Re:Top Gear Anyone? (1)

jzarling (600712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326894)

IIRC, it was Laguna Seca, it was supposed to be a send off for the Acura NSX.

Re:Top Gear Anyone? (2, Interesting)

jggimi (1279324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327446)

Yes, here's a compressed (10 min) version of the Top Gear segment from Laguna Seca posted to youtube [youtube.com] comparing the real vehicle and track to the virtual vehicle and track.

Real gee forces, anyone? Real surfaces, real suspensions and tires? Fascinating segment.

First... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326462)

...Place!

Congrats to the kid. The best I ever did was become a plumber.

Re:First... (5, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327356)

"The best I ever did was become a plumber."

Suck to be told that the princess is another castle everyday I presume?

Cool! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326522)

So I can become a SPARTAN? That would be so cool!

Re:Cool! (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327000)

Sure thing! All you need is to be young enough, living under a fascist government hell-bent on kidnapping and torturing kids, some botched medical experiments with 80% failure rate ending up in horrible, slow, painful death (your odds are not so good here) and bingo! You get to serve the said fascist outfit against a band of religious wackos, in the contest to see which bad guy wins.

On the side note, it is an interesting social commentary that a game where brain-washed product of a Dr. Mendele-wannabe serving fascist lunatics is the "hero" would be a Microsoft best seller...

Re:Cool! (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327196)

You forgot about the part about growing up as some older guy's boy toy and how mating with a woman was an actual chore. In other words, the society's norm was homosexuality.

On a side note, the Spartans were one the greatest fighting forces of all time and they were all homosexuals. So much for not allowing gays in the military.

GTA? (1)

Haxzaw (1502841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326572)

How about Grand Theft Auto? Couldn't someone go straight from the couch to the streets and "win"?

Re:GTA? (1)

berwiki (989827) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327528)

well, without the radar bubble showing you where the cops stop searching for you, it will be more difficult, but not impossible.

SCCA champions, too (2, Informative)

notgm (1069012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326574)

I happen to know for a fact that the current SCCA prosolo and solo2 national champion has played GT extensively as well.

Re:SCCA champions, too (1, Interesting)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326994)

And I came in last and nearly last, respectively, in both competitions. Having never played GT, now I know why. ;-)
-N (#28 FSP)

Re:SCCA champions, too (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327316)

That's kind of like saying "I know some NFL guys who play Madden"...doesn't mean Madden is very realistic, only that people in an industry like playing games associated with their chosen professions.

correlation is not causation (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327382)

I happen to know for a fact that the current SCCA prosolo and solo2 national champion has played GT extensively as well.

Maybe because they enjoy car games. Playing Gran Turismo doesn't do jack shit to make you a better driver. It won't make you a better racer, either, since you're not racing against anyone else who actually knows how to drive/race, and racing isn't just about driving. It's about preparation, conditions, your competitors.

I have friends who are driving instructors for car clubs and they teach at High Performance Driver Education events. The most dreaded words out of a student's mouth are "I really like playing Gran Turismo." Even worse: "I know how to drive. I play lots of Gran Turismo." I heard a student say that, and then the next day on his very first session (in the novice run group), he spun and plonked his shiny VW coupe right into the armco on the 3rd or 4th turn. His 'reset button' was spending the rest of the day in the pits trying to repair the damage enough to drive the car the next day / drive it home.

Despite what the makers of GT say about "realistic physics", there's nothing realistic about the games. Driving at speed is all about feedback from sensations; the sensations and torque from the wheel, the sensations from your butt as you feel what the car's chassis does (you know that really awkward feeling you get the back of your car starts to slide in the snow/rain, aka oversteer?), forces of acceleration, noises from the tires.

NONE, repeat, NONE of that exists in a video game. They'll make tire noise, sure- but there's no difference in GT between humming tires (good) and squealing/screaming tires (bad). Yes, you can tell how loaded a tire is based off how bad the noise sounds.

If you want to get into racing, it's really not that hard or that expensive. The solution is as close as your nearest gokart track. Many F1 drivers started in karts, especially shifter karts. Don't laugh- a shifter kart is absurdly fast. Spend a few minutes on Youtube searching on "shifter kart". You can also take your own car to any SCCA autocross with a minimum amount of preparation and expense.

Hell, the cost of one high-performance driver education event is probably less than the cost of a game console, wheel/pedal set, and game. Hell of a lot more fun, too.

Re:SCCA champions, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30327460)

Road racing and autocross are very different. Virtual road racing and autocross have very little in common. Someone who has never autocrossed (not sure why, it's relatively cheap) wouldn't learn much from a simulator.

What about the SCCA Runoff competitors? Do they do a lot of simulator testing? It nothing else it would save a ton of money. Tires, fuel and the posibility of broken parts on a road race care can make testing cost prohibitive. Lots of folks just have enough to race, let alone test.

The otherway is true too (3, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326602)

Like you hear sometimes from NASCAR, I worked on the race car of a guy who uses Papyrus Nascar Racing 2003 to practice running at Berlin Raceway. He says the ARCA (or was it ASA?) mod cars have a very similar feel to driving a Sportsman at the track.

Wouldn't want to jump straigt into a racecar after driving games in arcade mode though...

I knew I could do it! (2, Funny)

MadAnalyst (959778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326610)

This has inspired me to follow through on my love of Modern Warfare into becoming a world class mercenary. I will then follow up with my love of WOW to a career as a successful blood elf. The future looks bright, and I look forward to proving myself right to so many people who told me my "hobbies" would never do me any good.

I wouldn't sponsor him (0)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326638)

People whose experience comes from driving games have no fear of crashing. So, while this guy may be less afraid of taking risks, unless he re-learns his most basic driving habits, he's going to go through a lot of cars.

Re:I wouldn't sponsor him (2, Interesting)

structengineer (1663069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326756)

Nah, I think it's actually opposite. The gamer knows in the back of his mind that the game is just a game . . . when he switches to the real thing he'll tend to be more cautious, due to the "oh $#!7" factor . . . When you're used to driving around a POS and thrashing it, and suddenly get put into someone else's Ferrari, you're going to be extra cautious.

Re:I wouldn't sponsor him (2, Insightful)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326842)

[citation needed]

I call BS. Just because you don't die when you crash in a video game, it doesn't mean someone who started out in a driving simulator would't know the risks of crashing. Also, to get the best lap times in Gran Turismo, as in real driving, you can't drive too aggressively and slide off the road, bump rails, etc. Even if he had no fear of injury (which I think is a stupid assumption), he'd be avoiding wrecks to get the best time anyway.

Re:I wouldn't sponsor him (1)

techess (1322623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327200)

All I know is that after my friends watched me play Carmageddon they would never let me drive.

Re:I wouldn't sponsor him (2, Insightful)

Synn (6288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326946)

The brain knows the difference. I've met quite a few people that have done tandem skydives and felt fine, but froze up scared when they did their first non-tandem skydive where they knew they'd have to deal with everything themselves.

Re:I wouldn't sponsor him (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327086)

Having done a tandem skydive myself, I'm fairly certain I would never have gone through the door of that airplane without somebody strapped to my back pushing me. Rationally your brain knows the difference, but I still think it's a bad idea to get into your car and drive after playing a game like Excite Truck, where you are rewarded for crashing into other vehicles. Again, bad habits are a hard thing to break. I don't think this is an insurmountable problem, but I do think he's going to have to work really hard to retrain his mind.

Re:I wouldn't sponsor him (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327600)

The brain knows the difference. I've met quite a few people that have done tandem skydives and felt fine, but froze up scared when they did their first non-tandem skydive where they knew they'd have to deal with everything themselves.

I do flight testing. Let me tell you there is a HUGE difference between video games and real life.

And by Huge, I mean spending a god awful walking up and down a runway looking for potential FOD.

Re:I wouldn't sponsor him (1)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327030)

Racers who drive with a constant fear of crashing probably tend to crash more, or at the very least, don't get sponsorships. From experience, I can say that you cannot push a car to its limits worrying about crashing.
-N

Re:I wouldn't sponsor him (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327112)

I can say that you cannot push a car to its limits worrying about crashing.

But can you drive said car to its limits?

Or were you referring to pushcart driving/Cool Runnings? ;)

Re:I wouldn't sponsor him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30327204)

Why are we taking advice from the guy who came in last, and next to last in prosolo and solo2? j/k ;)

some gamers also drive cars (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327080)

Aged 22, he's probably also got 4 or 5 years experience of driving real cars on the road. He's probably picked up "his most basic driving habits" in that time in reall life. Maybe his advanced race track driving skills he's picked up from games rather than real life, but if he's not picked up the most basic skills by now driving his car round town and to the race track he'd have probably been in a wheelchair or prison by now...

Oh my science... (1)

dudeeh (877041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326642)

Hmm, I wonder whether I should join the terrorists or the counter terrorists? I don't mind shooting a few hostages, but planting a bomb and then just sitting there watching the count down, knife in hand...It's just not me.

On a more insightful note:
> But it was Ordonez' passion for virtual racing, particularly his love of Gran Turismo, that made him stand out from his peers
ye, gamers tend to have that effect...

ok, not really insightful, but at least I tried!

Right on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326682)

So my long hours of practice with Leisure Suit Larry may yet get me a slot as a real porn star?

This is the biggest news since... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326690)

...that kid who played leisure suit larry got laid.

this mean that I was right... (1)

Ingcuervo (1349561) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326760)

I will just keep on tetris, someday it will become my paid job

Applies elsewhere too? (1)

shogun (657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326788)

So if I want a job with NASA I just need to get really good at Eve?

Re:Applies elsewhere too? (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326874)

So if I want a job with NASA I just need to get really good at Eve?

Is Eve a simulation for aerospace engineering or scientific testing?

Re:Applies elsewhere too? (1)

shogun (657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327276)

Actually I thought it was a simulation of a free market economy. Maybe its better training for Wall Street (pirates and all).

Re:Applies elsewhere too? (2, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327006)

Yeah, I hear NASA has a real need for tritanium miners.

Racing Simulators (3, Interesting)

jzarling (600712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326870)

There are a number of racing simulators out there that (if the promo copy id to be believed) are supposed to help you with your skills.
I have thought about giving http://www.iracing.com/ [iracing.com] a try, but just haven't had the time off lately to justify getting a membership.

Hey it's not that hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326936)

People have been playing Mario for years, and there's lots of plumbers out there.

Watch out Roger Federer! (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326942)

They called me the Pong-master back in the day. See you at Wimbledon and then GET OFF MY LAWN!

It's never too early... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326944)

to start an ad campaign.

And I'm sure plenty of people became plumbers after playing Super Mario Brothers. This really isn't as novel as you think.

Given the economy... (1)

amazingxkcd (1682296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326952)

Hes lucky that he got a job racing (for now) since a lot of people are jobless, and he got the job by being a slacker.... such great motivation! I should join the CIA if i keep getting 10+ headshots a match on mw2....

Re:Given the economy... (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327274)

The kid was working on his MBA...

Slacker? Really?

Error in the summary! (3, Insightful)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326958)

>> but he lacked the suitable investment necessary to become a professional race driver and had virtually given up on racing

Actually, it seems that he had physically given up, and virtually taken up racing.

        -dZ.

Almost the Oblig. Guitar Hero Post (2, Interesting)

germansausage (682057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327010)

No, not the one where some guy sneers "Why don't you man up and get a real guitar instead of playing with a plastic toy."

I actually did start learning to play a real guitar after playing guitar hero. What inspired me was not the thought that a real guitar would be cool (I already knew that). What I learned from guitar hero was that even though I sucked horribly at it at first, after about three months of playing just about every night for a half hour, I was starting to get reasonably good at it. I am now practicing every night on a real guitar. I still suck horribly at it, but I now have the hope that with steady practice I will improve.

Re:Almost the Oblig. Guitar Hero Post (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327134)

I still suck horribly at it, but I now have the hope that with steady practice I will improve.

Powercords and palm mutes make everything sound better.
Anywhoo-what type of setup do you have?
Always perfered humbucker pickups the most.
Miss my Ibanez, ;_;

Re:Almost the Oblig. Guitar Hero Post (1)

gander666 (723553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327350)

Amplification and distortion also help make you sound awesome.

Re:Almost the Oblig. Guitar Hero Post (1)

germansausage (682057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327378)

Right now, my sister's samick dreadnought acoustic. With the action so high I can stick a cigarrete under the strings at the 5th fret (well, almost). But under the Christmas tree is going to be a metallic red HHS Strat. "It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine."

my son did this... (4, Interesting)

spywhere (824072) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327042)

...with an M1A1 Abrahms tank. He was a hard-core FPS gamer, and he joined the Army at 18. They tested him to see what his skills were, which included a turn in the Army's tank simulator.
As he tells it, he was in there a long time -- much longer than the recruits ahead of him had been. When he came out, the room was full of people, including officers, who were all staring at him.
He asked, "What's everybody looking at?
Someone replied, "A tanker, son... you just beat the highest score on that thing."

For his expertise, he was rewarded with an all-expense-paid trip to Baghdad in 2003...

Re:my son did this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30327216)

Did he get 'Ultra Kill'?

Re:my son did this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30327260)

He would have had to at least have gotten a Holy Shit!

Re:my son did this... (1)

forgot_my_username (1553781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327296)

WOW !!!
I hear Baghdad has lots of cool babes, and beaches.

what... oh .... never mind.

I hope your son is all right.
Honestly, that sucks.

See.,.. playing video games, can be hazardous!

Someone replied, "A tanker, son... you just beat the highest score on that thing." For his expertise, he was rewarded with an all-expense-paid trip to Baghdad in 2003...

Re:my son did this... (1)

Carbaholic (1327737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327340)

For his expertise, he was rewarded with an all-expense-paid trip to Baghdad in 2003...

I'd rather be a tanker than regular infantry any day of the week!

Re:my son did this... (2, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327500)

That's debatable. The problem with tanks is that they're giant moving targets. I once had a history teacher in 'nam who would talk about the perks and perils of being in a tank. On the plus side, you get AC on hot days and a CD player to listen to music. On the negative side, once you're in combat, people are firing anti-armor explosives at your ass, such that the tank becomes an instant-coffin. The baddies in the US's current war probably do not have the sophistication in chemistry to develop the right kinds of explosives to crack armor, like a full-fledged nation. However, I bet tanker's experience a similar level of danger as the foot soldiers, just that they have rockets whizzing over their head instead of bullets.

Re:my son did this... (4, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327574)

As he tells it, he was in there a long time -- much longer than the recruits ahead of him had been. When he came out, the room was full of people, including officers, who were all staring at him.
He asked, "What's everybody looking at?
Someone replied, "The Buggers, son... you just wiped out the Buggers."

this means nothing (1, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327578)

The US Armed forces have a history of loving "war games" and they're largely dog and pony shows. In more than one case, the US forces playing the "enemy" side, if they defeated the "friendly" side, had their capabilities reduced and the game re-run until the friendly side won. In one case, they finally had to strip the enemy commander of his radio communications. So he used runners- civil war technology. He still won.

The fact that the "simulator" actually had a high score leads me to strongly believe that it wasn't a real simulator. Video games have high scores. Simulators are there to provide an environment for evaluation (usually by a very experienced human, not a computer.) I suspect the game is merely designed to expose recruits to all the fun stuff (shooting the baddies) but none of the bad stuff (does the simulator include diesel smoke, deafening noise, etc?) and see how interested/driven they are. The more driven you seem to be, the less they have to grease the wheels to get you to sign up.

In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30327116)

Tecmo Bowl gamer becomes pro NFL player.

MS Flight Sim player becomes airline pilot.

CoD: Modern Warfare player joins Marines.

Super Mario player becomes mushroom farmer.

Who cares?

mod do2wn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30327344)

bought the farm.... knows fOr sure what wa5 at the same

Me too!! (2, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327562)

This totally reminds me of the time I was recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada!

Damage model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30327596)

Fortunately, he didn't go into racing with the misconception that you just bounce off of walls when you crash into them. Seriously though, I still can't believe that after all these years, Polyphony Digital has not implemented a damage model in one of the GT games. It's been in the Need for Speed series for years - dating back to Need for Speed: High Stakes.

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