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Night Driver FTW (5, Interesting)

plover (150551) | about 4 years ago | (#31760418)

I still credit the training I received for playing long hours of Night Driver [wikipedia.org] with saving my life in 1981. I was cresting a hill late at night on a two-lane country road when I was suddenly faced with an oncoming car in my lane. Using the exact same right-left swerve that I practiced so many times in the video game, I avoided a head-on collision by hitting the shoulder just in time, and got off the shoulder before sliding down the ditch.

The real question should be "Would I have still missed him had I not played so much Night Driver?" There's no way to answer that, of course, but for now I'll stick with the "my anecdotal evidence runs counter to your theory" attitude.

Re:Night Driver FTW (5, Funny)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | about 4 years ago | (#31761048)

I used to play a lot of Rad Racer as a kid. While taking my first driving lesson the driving instructor chided me for turning the wheel left and back to center then right and back to center in order to keep the car going the way I wanted it to. She immediately grabbed the wheel and strongly suggested the car would go the way I pointed it, at which point I realized a wheel doesn't behave the way an NES d-pad does.

True story.

Re:Night Driver FTW (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | about 4 years ago | (#31761632)

I used to play a lot of Rad Racer as a kid.

I played way too much Excite Bike. Unfortunately I don't own a motorcycle. Also, the DOT frowns on placing large ramps on the road.

Re:Night Driver FTW (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31761436)

When I was younger one of my favourite games to play was Road Rash. [wikipedia.org] and it saved MY Life back in 2005. I was riding along one evening when I was suddenly found riding along another motorcyclist. My natural instinct was to whip out my 5 foot chain, beat him with it senselessly until he wiped out into a traffic sign, and continue along at breakneck speeds, only to stop for some hookers and booze.

The real question should be "Is there any chance Jack Thompson is going to read this post?". There's no way to answer that, but for now I'll stick with the "By God I sure hope not" attitude.

Re:Night Driver FTW (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 4 years ago | (#31761452)

You're funny, but the video does not lead to the conclusion that game skills don't apply. An interesting experiment, but real life is not sitting in a dark cabin looking at an overhead monitor. We would have to compare driving skills of gamers and non-gamers, with similar experiences (accounting for country road drivers vs. city drivers), in order to even come close to such a conclusion.

Flight sims used to be very unrealistic, but they were still used and effective at giving people practice in uncommon situations. They have improved of course. Video game driving has probably taught a lot of people about bad weather conditions, where you would never experiment with your tangible car.

This is not science, it's not a conclusion, it's simply entertainment.

Re:Night Driver FTW (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761466)

Agreed. I lost control of my vehicle once after an ugly incident with a slick road surface, a set of railroad tracks, and a couple over-corrections. Bad situation that you can argue was more likely because of my experience with so many "Need For Speed" style games, but it could have happened to anyone.

Having been in this situation in virtual environments before, I didn't panic even when I went off into the median, spinning around as I went. I didn't flip my vehicle by doing too much, and I didn't continue into oncoming traffic by freezing up. Instead, I guided the vehicle into a position where I had my rear wheels on pavement again (Thank you random turning lane!), and was able to use the regained traction to stop. Without my experience through gaming, I wouldn't be here to type this now.

WTF? (4, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 4 years ago | (#31760436)

What? When I play my racing games I'm in my seat with a G25 steering wheel playing "games" like iRacing.

And yes, the skills translate very well into real life. But don't take it from me, take it from the pros.

Many real life racers, including Justin Wilson, Alex Gurney, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Martin Truex Jr., AJ Allmendinger, Scott Speed and Jacques Villeneuve have subscribed to the service and given positive comments especially about the accuracy of the track modeling which makes the simulator useful as a tool for learning tracks.[15]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRacing.com [wikipedia.org]

Re:WTF? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31760564)

Your quote refers to learning the tracks not learning to operate a vehicle.

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 4 years ago | (#31761210)

Actually, they're the same thing.

The learning of the track without the vehicle simulation is called a map.

If the skills didn't translate between the two, doing the in-game version wouldn't be useful at all.

Note that professional race car drivers up against the best gamers almost always win in Gran Turismo "shoot-outs" despite not being hard core gamers themselves; their in-car skills translate to in-game as well.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761222)

And anyway racing in a circuit with other professional pilots and driving on the road with other drivers as inept as me/you (and more or less clueless pedestrains too)are two very different things...

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | about 4 years ago | (#31760660)

I would say it depends very much on the game in question. God help us if a bunch of kids learned their driving skills from Need for Speed Underground series....

Play Gran Turismo, inside cab view, with a steering wheel, pedals and a shifter, then were talking actual training.

Re:WTF? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#31760784)

"God help us if a bunch of kids learned their driving skills from Need for Speed Underground series...."

Wait - this is a trick post, right? I thought ALL kids learned to drive exactly as you describe!

Re:WTF? (2, Funny)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | about 4 years ago | (#31761440)

It seems that way, because they learn a defensive, safe driving technique at first, in order to pass the driving test. After that it degenerates into what you describe, or rather, them attempting to do aforementioned manoeuvres, and then end up crashing after physics gives them a reality-check bitch-slap.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31760890)

Gran Turismo? Uh, no. Just no.

Try iRacing, rFactor, GTR2, GTR Evolution, Live for Speed, etc. Those are actual simulations. Gram Turismo is not.

Re:WTF? (2, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | about 4 years ago | (#31761022)

Even without that there are certainly benefits. Tracking multiple objects, extrapolating the path of other cars, watching the road ahead.

Sure, driving thrid person in the real world is extremely hard. Lots of people find it harder to drive a car in a video game compared to real life, but there certainly are some basic skills that video games can teach.

If you want to find out if driving games make people better drivers you have to test the real world, first person driving skills of people who play games vs people who dont.

All this proves is that driving from the third person is difficult. No kidding, its a hack to get around the fact that in video games you cant turn your head to change your view.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

ehrichweiss (706417) | about 4 years ago | (#31761232)

What's somewhat worse about this "experiment" is that they didn't have a workable 3rd-person view. They wanted the drivers to navigate between the cones but didn't have enough of an angle to differentiate between them easily. I mean the camera view was mostly the truck, not the road; if it'd been about 10-20 ft higher, their results would have varied massively.

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

bami (1376931) | about 4 years ago | (#31761604)


I've noticed my gear changes to be much smoother since I started playing Life for Speed, to the point that a passenger in the back seat commented on the car having a "smooth automatic transmission" while I was driving stick.

Easy. (4, Informative)

fractalus (322043) | about 4 years ago | (#31760440)

Stop playing your driving games in third-person view.

Re:Easy. (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 4 years ago | (#31760490)

Amen, the first thing I do is toggle out of 3rd person view. And besides, these guys were pretty dorky about it. Too bad, because it looks like they had the exact right setup to test the theory, but they didn't allow any time to adjust to the perspective, which is NOT exactly like a video game. Let them drive the course a few times, and even these dorks could have done it as well as they would have in the game.

Re:Easy. (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 4 years ago | (#31761194)

Not only that, the position of the camera is wrong. Notice that in the shots of GTA4, the camera is high enough that you can see the ground a few meters in front of the car. With the rig they set up, there's a massive blind spot that stretches 20-30 meters in front of the vehicle.

If they wanted to really duplicate the average video game, they would have had to make the camera boom a couple meters longer... and turn the boom into a hydraulic actuated arm than can be raised, lowered, and swung around the vehicle.

But the whole thing is rather silly, as the reason third person perspective is used in driving games is to get back some of the field of view that's lost when you're limited to a small computer screen. The video is cute, but all it proves is that a poor implementation of a poor substitute for real-world perspective isn't a good way to drive through an obstacle course.

Re:Easy. (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | about 4 years ago | (#31761358)

Imagine how funny it would have been if their truck modifications included removing the steering wheel, gas, shifter, and brake and wiring an xbox 360 controller in their place.

In other news, car analogies are 100% on-topic here.

Re:Easy. (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#31760752)

yup, MS wireless force feedback wheel, forza 3, bonnet view (i find that in cab view restricts what you see much more then real life), and away i am

I have a fair feeling that my race-gaming does indeed translate to real-life driving-skills, such as spotting ideal-lines and such

Re:Easy. (1)

camg188 (932324) | about 4 years ago | (#31760822)

But then you wouldn't be able to admire the bad ass virtual vehicle that you're virtually driving.

Re:Easy. (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 4 years ago | (#31761226)

I can't play a serious driving game in third person. Burnout Paradise on the other hand is all about watching your car get wrecked :)

What?! (5, Funny)

Chameleon Man (1304729) | about 4 years ago | (#31760454)

You mean banana peels DON'T make cars spin out?!

Re:What?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761320)

No, but I think the ole "banana in the tailpipe trick" still works :)

Re:What?! (1)

VJ42 (860241) | about 4 years ago | (#31761476)

You mean banana peels DON'T make cars spin out?!

Yep. Taking mushrooms to make you go faster is also a bad idea.

First sentence debunked: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31760464)

"When driving cars in videogames, you're often forced to see everything from a third-person perspective.

Most _good_ videogame race drivers opt for first person mode. Furthermore, in several expert modes on some games, first person is default and third person is disabled.

i beg to differ (5, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | about 4 years ago | (#31760468)

On the ride into work this morning, I drove over several pedestrians, flipped my car twice after hitting guardrails at the wrong angle, and took 5 minutes to get unstuck when I drove through the plate-glass window of a coffee shop. I'd say I've learned everything I need to know about driving from video games.

Re:i beg to differ (1)

tarius8105 (683929) | about 4 years ago | (#31760542)

I would play GTA4 and do head on collisions with motorcycles with a car...suffice to say in the first few days I would have the urge everytime I saw a motorcycle on oncoming traffic lane.

Re:i beg to differ (4, Funny)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#31760802)

i played a fair bit of PGR4 on the xbox, this game also have motorbikes as adversaries, but if you drive a car you can easily bash them into the guard rail, setting them back an easy 10 seconds.

Then one day i sat at the lights, and a motorbike stopped next to my, and "if i bash him as soon as the lights go green, at least i wont have to worry about him" flashed through my head....

What about this guy...? (4, Informative)

mayko (1630637) | about 4 years ago | (#31760470)

http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/12/04/1516204/Gran-Turismo-Gamer-Becomes-Pro-Race-Driver [slashdot.org]

Granted in his case the main thing that helped him was practicing consistency in hitting braking points and adherence to a proper racing line. I doubt the game actually improved his physical ability behind the wheel.

Re:What about this guy...? (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 years ago | (#31760590)

Speaking only for myself, I can say that Gran Turismo greatly improved my real-life driving skills. I learned about following a line, about preloading suspension, and just about how to generally handle a car. When I first got my Subaru Impreza I was already able to go fast because I knew how an AWD car behaved from playing that game. Some of the skills are clearly not applicable to street driving, but some equally clearly are.

As there's already been an article about how some well-ranked race drivers went to a track and posted better-than-average times, probably as a result of their experience, this article is -1, Troll. It's possible not to learn from playing driving games, but since pro race drivers use off-the-shelf video games to prepare for races, it's all a lot of shit.

Re:What about this guy...? (2, Insightful)

eth1 (94901) | about 4 years ago | (#31761044)

Speaking only for myself, I can say that Gran Turismo greatly improved my real-life driving skills. I learned about following a line, about preloading suspension, and just about how to generally handle a car. When I first got my Subaru Impreza I was already able to go fast because I knew how an AWD car behaved from playing that game. Some of the skills are clearly not applicable to street driving, but some equally clearly are.

Some skills like following a good line that you might not think applicable to street driving actually are. Just because you're following a racing line doesn't mean you have to be going at racing speeds. Those same lines (or slight modifications), when driven at a lower speed can reduce tire & break wear, and give you a bigger margin of safety if you happen to hit a road hazard that reduces grip (bump, pile of leaves, sand from last week's snow, etc.).

Re:What about this guy...? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 years ago | (#31761076)

As there's already been an article about how some well-ranked race drivers went to a track and posted better-than-average times, probably as a result of their experience, this article is -1, Troll. It's possible not to learn from playing driving games, but since pro race drivers use off-the-shelf video games to prepare for races, it's all a lot of shit.

If you watched the video, the tone of it isn't trollish at all, nor is it a scientific experiment. They're using a fake Houston Oilers football helmet and hitting each other with an inflatable baseball bat. It's just for the fun of trying an idea from video games in reality.

Re:What about this guy...? (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | about 4 years ago | (#31761190)


You have no idea how insane you sound. You played a videogame (with shopping-cart physics as it's mechanical linchpin) and now you think you can drive? Puhleeeze. The nerve, Martin. The gall.

That's like a raw recruit playing Doom or COD and thinking he's an elite soldier.

Re:What about this guy...? (2, Insightful)

UninformedCoward (1738488) | about 4 years ago | (#31761482)

As an avid Impreza driver, I would love to agree w/ you on all of these points but the limiting factor in learning how a car actually handles from a game is feedback, particularly steering. Don't get me wrong, braking, lines, and shift points are all things you can learn from a game but I would disagree that you can learn exactly how your car will handle. As a great example, I was making a right turn into traffic and floored it. The car over steered and required a steering correction which was much more difficult than the initial turn. In your standard GT game, your controller, or steering wheel, would easily correct the over steer but in an actual car it will take much more force and you have the inertia from the turn throwing off your movements.

I think the big part of faster times from drivers who practice in games is that they learn the track, lines, braking, and shift points. They should know how their car handles from RL practice.

Side note - GT doesn't tell you that Impreza first gear and reverse are terrible.

Re:What about this guy...? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about 4 years ago | (#31761500)

Maybe someone should tell to the F1 teams to stop developing racing simulators, since video-games can't improve your driving skills.

Re:What about this guy...? (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | about 4 years ago | (#31760908)

http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/12/04/1516204/Gran-Turismo-Gamer-Becomes-Pro-Race-Driver [slashdot.org] Granted in his case the main thing that helped him was practicing consistency in hitting braking points and adherence to a proper racing line. I doubt the game actually improved his physical ability behind the wheel.

Okay, that's one guy. How many copies of the game have been sold?

Re:What about this guy...? (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 4 years ago | (#31761420)

I'm going to assume you're an unintentional troll. Read the story.

Now read it again. Which part of "it was a contest -- and he was the winner" don't you understand? Not every person who gets into Gran Turismo is going to be a race car driver, not even a significant fraction of them. However, the contest proved a point -- that being good at a simulator does in fact help you win real races in a real car.

PS this whole subject is stupid -- of course simulators work. Driving simulators are no different from aircraft or space module simulators, and we trust those for training all the time.

Re:What about this guy...? (2, Insightful)

stupid_is (716292) | about 4 years ago | (#31761518)

Possibly a better ratio than considering the number of real cars in the world vs number of highly skilled racing drivers :-)

Rather than.... (2, Informative)

Seakip18 (1106315) | about 4 years ago | (#31760476)

Jump through two articles to get to the source....here ya go [roosterteeth.com] C/O Rooster teeth, enjoying the riches gained from RvB I'm sure.

I enjoyed it, but this is idle/humor material.

Mythbusters! (2, Interesting)

RagManX (258563) | about 4 years ago | (#31760478)

Can't RTFA since work blocks Gizmodo (seriously? WTF?). However, my first thought after seeing the article summary was "You know, Grant drives this way in real life all the time on Mythbusters."

Re:Mythbusters! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#31760560)


It's because many of the pictures are cached on Gawker's central servers. For a VERY long time, it was blocked here at my office as well. I repeatedly submitted requests to have it unblocked, but to no avail. We finally got a new (much friendlier) head of IT about three months ago, and based on what he told me, it wasn't Gizmodo that was blocked but Gawker's main servers (likely because of Fleshbot utilizing the same server to host its images). He blocked the Fleshbot domain, but opened up the rest of Gawker's offerings.

Contact your IT department.

Myth confirmed (2, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 years ago | (#31760494)

Haven't the Mythbusters proven again and again that operating a vehicle from 'non standard' driving perspectives is quite difficult?

Re:Myth confirmed (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 4 years ago | (#31760702)

Haven't the Mythbusters proven again and again that operating a vehicle from 'non standard' driving perspectives is quite difficult?

Pretty much. If you've paid attention, you'll note that when they remotely control a vehicle they do it on closed tracks/areas and don't do any complicated maneuvering - normally they only travel in a straight line with them. Despite having steering control.

Re:Myth confirmed (1)

vlm (69642) | about 4 years ago | (#31760786)

If you're not a R/C car driver. It takes a few hours to make a good R/C car driver.

Some never figure out the steering reversal when going toward vs away from you.

Same deal with R/C aircraft, R/C boats. R/C robots are just unusual looking R/C cars, so same deal there.

But once you learn how to drive R/C, its not "difficult"

Games vs. Real Life (2, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 4 years ago | (#31760496)

Well, FPS's turn everyone into real-life Delta force operators, and makes them all experts on weapons and combat tactics. Certainly playing racing games will make you an excellent driver in real life too, right? Right?

Re:Games vs. Real Life (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | about 4 years ago | (#31761484)

I have embarrassing memories of showing off my "gun knowledge" after playing Goldeneye 64, and commenting on movies to my dad how SWAT type police officers tend to use D5K Deutsch'es, and Russian soldiers seem to exclusively use KF7 Soviet rifles...the shame...

Not really. (1)

KiwiGod (724799) | about 4 years ago | (#31760502)

Overhead view is always useless... and if you actually know how to drive... no, I don't mean what they teach you in driver's ed, overhead view is a hell of alot more difficult. iRacing and GranTourismo (last one I played was 3) if you're playing cockpit view, the basics to translate rather accurately. iRacing especially. Maybe not to street driving, but certainly accurate for learning lines and whatnot around a track.

Forced? No. (4, Interesting)

GPLDAN (732269) | about 4 years ago | (#31760508)

You were very rarely forced into 3rd person, it just gave you an advantage of situational awareness, wrt other cars and seeing into corners. And it was better, because the perspective of 1st person was so shit because of tech (640x480 and even 1024x768 does NOT cut it), and so now - take EA Need for Speed SHIFT or GT or Forza, those games give you working cockpits that still have enough resolution out the windscreen to see into corners and feel speed properly, and dirve in a more realistic manner.

The death of 3rd person is coming, the tech is now here to simulate proper driving - so we are doing something in real life that was anachronistic to begin with....

Misformulated argument, misformulated article (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | about 4 years ago | (#31760520)

In real simulation games you are forced to view the game through driver's view, which is LOWER than the field of view you would have in a real car, because 2d screen cannot accommodate a human's fov from a first person perspective.

so, argument is formulated wrong. its not 'videogame driving skills dont apply in real life', but, 'videogame driving skills in games that allow 3rd person view do not apply in real life'.

otherwise, all the simulators the military is using to train tank drivers, pilots, captains etc would mean bullshit.

Misformulated argument, pedantic comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761016)

Humor often uses misformulated arguments.

Interestingly, some skills remain sharp (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31760532)

While the participant's driving skills were impeded, their ability to hit prostitutes with bats remained sharp even in third person.

GTA saved my life one snowy night (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31760536)

Having practiced the art of driving by controlled sliding in video games for many years of my adolesence, I was able to retain control of the vehicle after coming off of a plowed and salted highway onto a completely unplowed off ramp. I should note, the off ramp merged back onto another highway. If it had ended in a stop I would've been screwed regardless.

As for this, give those drivers a playstation control or keyboard and mouse and see how they fair then. The third person view in GTA is not fixed directly behind you like it is on that truck and most people don't use a steering wheel in GTA. Their brains are overriding their GTA driving algorithims with real driving algorithims because of how they are seated and the implements they are using their hands.

Control no, Timing yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31760544)

Yea, while control of the car in a video game isn't quite the same as what you'd get from real life, there are other timing issues, such as manual shifting, that can benefit from video game based learning. When I was first learning to drive a stick, Gran Turismo was crucial in helping me figure out how to get the best acceleration while shifting. Not to mention, it was A LOT better for my car!

Credit where it is due: Roosterteeth did this (4, Informative)

millisa (151093) | about 4 years ago | (#31760568)

Rooster Teeth Shorts, Immersion (Pilot) [roosterteeth.com]

Not cool that Gizmodo didn't give them credit. These are the same guys that do the Red Vs Blue machinima.

Re:Credit where it is due: Roosterteeth did this (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 4 years ago | (#31760910)

As well as the Drunk Tank podcast, and some online comics. All in all the RoosterTeeth guys are pretty close to the funniest of the little internet entertainment companies that seem to have popped up.

Counterpoint. (1)

boneclinkz (1284458) | about 4 years ago | (#31760608)

While on the way to work this morning I was stuck behind a driver going five mph under. Luckily I had collected a gigantic turtle shell from the shoulder next to me. I launched it at the car in front of me, and it sent him careening off the road and into a side rail.

I made it to work on time. Thanks, Mario Kart.

Simpsons Road Rage (2, Funny)

Aaron32 (891463) | about 4 years ago | (#31760656)

I find that the Simpsons Road Rage point system for pedestrians is very accurate.

It's what I base my vehicular homicide priorities on.

Oh noes! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 years ago | (#31760732)

Don't tell me that all the years I spent with military training in Operation: Flashpoint were just as pointless....

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Uthic (931553) | about 4 years ago | (#31761396)

Well I don't think playing OpFlash would be totally useless, weapon wise and aiming sure. But stuff like utilizing cover, simple infantry tactics work both in and out of the game.

What's up with the Houston Oilers helmet? (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 4 years ago | (#31760742)

That's soooo 20th century.

Next, let's have them do 80s-era race-car games with sky/overhead view!

Re:What's up with the Houston Oilers helmet? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 4 years ago | (#31761360)

Hel-looo? It's RETRO. Because so many people today are totally out of ideas, they go back to eras in which ideas existed, and steal them for modern-day use. Retro, my friend. Or alternatively, "vintage".

There is a reason for 3rd-person view in racing (1)

rxan (1424721) | about 4 years ago | (#31760774)

Third person view is implemented in vehicle games so you can see the extent of your car/plane/F-zero and not hit stuff. You could make a game where there was no third-person view, and you were forced to learn through practice with your full view inside the vehicle. But this would be hard to implement and not as fun.

While this does mean that the mechanics are going to be a bit different from "real" racing, it doesn't mean that there's nothing to be learned. There's going to be a learning curve to anything you have to control, virtual or real. As long as the physics are not generous like an arcade racer, I'd say it would still give racers a leg up.

yawn... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#31760790)

Beaten to the punch again! [hackaday.com]

That said. I think the lack of a decent field of view has much more to do with the difficulties. In a car, I can see just over 180. Most of that is motion sensitive. However, it's more sensitive than nothing at all!

I don't know about you guys (0, Redundant)

mandark1967 (630856) | about 4 years ago | (#31760804)

but everytime I run over a hooker and take the money of her bloody corpse, I definitely thank Rockstar games for making the GTA franchise!

What next, third-person walking doesn't translate? (1)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#31760834)

Next you'll be telling me that walking and fighting skills in third-person games don't apply in real-life when I'm walking. I think my walking and fighting skills have improved immeasurably due to third-person games.

Camera view not so good (1)

houghi (78078) | about 4 years ago | (#31760848)

When you look at the video driving and the real driving, with the real driving you do not see the front of the car. With the video, you do, although trough the back window.

Looks a bit like sailing a huge container ship. Makes me wonder how long it would take to learn to drive that way. because honestly it looks a lot like the first time I drove third person on a computer.

also GTA DWU (2, Interesting)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#31760888)

There's a video on youtube of a guy who tested real vs virtual drunk driving by playing GTA 4 sober while Nico was virtually drunk, then driving with Nico sober while himself being totally smashed. Unsurprisingly, the drunk Nico-sober player combo was much more accurate, while the opposite resulted in much more destruction and mayhem.

Daytona! (1)

russotto (537200) | about 4 years ago | (#31760932)

I don't know about the view, but the handling of the car in the old Daytona arcade game is freakishly similar to that of a Miata at about half the speed. This led to an interesting drive home; bad enough that I started driving the Miata like the Daytona car, worse that it actually worked.

I never liked it. (2, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 4 years ago | (#31760996)

Outside of Mario Kart type games I never liked that view and I've never used it. I never saw it's appeal given that it's difficult to position the car properly on the track or get a proper sense of distance. And that's not to mention you can't even see what's immediately in front of your car. About the only benefit I see is that you could spot another car hiding in your blind spot. It does allow for more of a spectacle when racing. Undoubtedly someone could get good with this view, but that doesn't make for the ideal camera position. Then again, I also never liked the dashboard crowding my view in games. In real life the dashboard isn't as intrusive in my field of vision as it is on the screen.

Re:I never liked it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761526)

I don't like first person view. I can only play racing games in 3rd person. I see its appeal.

Spy Hunter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761008)

I contend that even an aerial view game, specifically Spy Hunter, aided my driving ability. I became skilled at making very subtle, controlled movements with that game, and it definitely translated to driving my parents' Fiero once I got my license.

Not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761020)

I make a high 6-figure income emulating Grand Theft Auto in real life.

Controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31761040)

I bet if they had a ps3 or xbox controller that would have worked better.

Need for Speed helped me once (1)

vlayceh (987295) | about 4 years ago | (#31761080)

I once lost control of my car in high speed sharp turn. I played a lot of Need for Speed these days and I learned to press gas in those situations. Instinctively, I pressed gas pedal, wheels got traction and I stayed on the road. If I pressed brake, like many people do, I would've ended in a ditch.

Daytona Racing FTW (1)

nomaan (685185) | about 4 years ago | (#31761140)

I will have to disagree. I took my first driving lesson at age ~23yrs. Before this, I had driven once with a stick shift and I wouldn't even call that a drive. Within a few minutes into my lesson, my instructor had me driving on a busy road because he thought I was lying to him about the fact that I hadn't driven before. I played Daytona Racing exclusively for years and I credit my basic driving skills to that.

But... (1)

undecim (1237470) | about 4 years ago | (#31761146)

Video games helped me out. How else would I have learned to get away from the police after running over pedestrians?

Acceleration (1)

dbet (1607261) | about 4 years ago | (#31761158)

It's not just the view angle, which can be changed and enhanced with multiple screens. But you can't replicate the feel of accelerating. It would take essentially anti-gravity technology.

Re:Acceleration (2, Informative)

DragonTHC (208439) | about 4 years ago | (#31761184)

have you never been on a gimballed ride? your mind can be tricked into feeling acceleration with simple motion.

Mario (1)

KingPin27 (1290730) | about 4 years ago | (#31761306)

I learned how to drive by playing uberous amounts of Mario Kart -- I always keep a wary eye out for Banana peels and green shells.....

Carmageddon (2, Funny)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 4 years ago | (#31761384)

I was playing Carmaggedon when I first got my license. I am pretty sure that skills do not transpose.

Directly, no, but I beg to differ (1)

carluva (963158) | about 4 years ago | (#31761422)

Even using the most realistic settings, most video racing games fail to physically equate to real-life driving—for instance:
  • Typical racing wheels allow 1/2 to 3/4 turn of the wheel, lock-to-lock; a typical passenger car has well over 3 turns lock-to-lock, and even a high-performance sports car has over 2.
  • Peripheral vision, which is very important in real-life driving, is completely lost in video games; many racing games do not even allow you to look in a different direction than you are going (e.g. turn your head to look left while continuing to drive straight), and those that do allow it require some button-press that is not the same as just turning your head.
  • Most non-visual sensory inputs to driving (slight variations in vibrations, etc.) are lost in video games.

So there's no doubt that there's little, if any, physical correlation of video game driving skills to real-life driving skills, even in the most realistic games. However, more abstract skills learned in video gaming, such as situational awareness and reaction times, certainly do apply to real-life driving, especially in high-pressure accident-avoidance situations, where the split-second reaction times honed by racing games are clearly advantageous. Clearly, that was outside the scope of this "study", but the conclusion stated by the title of this post is entirely erroneous.

did they have a control? (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 4 years ago | (#31761432)

I assumed both participants in the video had played grand theft auto. How do they know their experience with grand theft auto didn't contribute to them performing better than someone who had never been exposed to driving from 3rd person. It looks pretty hard, but for all i know, they might have been amazing for their first time driving a real car this way.

I don't think anyone questions that digital simulations can improve real world skills. Most of our airline pilots seem to gain valuable skills from a sim.

I also wonder how they would fare if they had an xbox/ps3 controller instead of the standard car interface.

Is Hollywood any better? (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | about 4 years ago | (#31761524)

If I paid attention to driving in the movies, you need to constantly sway the steering left and right in order to stay in a straight line, and every time you declutch and shift a gear you need to do an elaborate jump-cut to a close up of your foot on the pedal, and then your hand on the gearstick. Neither of those seem like particularly safe practices to me.

Still, at least I've taken their advice about caravans to heart - those things are death traps! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaiA9ksZGS0 [youtube.com] (5:30)

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