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Video Racing Games May Spur Risky Driving

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the get-out-of-my-way dept.

PC Games (Games) 428

kiwimate writes "A study concludes that people who play car racing games may be more likely to take risks and drive aggressively when driving in real life. According to the article, "The study appeared in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, published by the American Psychological Association"." Just because after I play Grand Theft Auto I want to ram other cars does not mean I'm a worse driver. Honest.

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428 comments

huh? (-1, Redundant)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402053)

GTA was a car racing game? i dont think they are talking about video game violence here. I think they are thingking og games like need for speed, burnout and riiiiidge race, yes its ridge racer everybody.

Re:huh? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402131)

Definitely not GTA, GTA has the shittiest racing system ever included in a game. The checkpoints are retarded. If GTA made people go out and act like GTA then it would lead to lots of intentional rammings (not to mention murder, carjacking, burglary, and all-around thuggery.) I think that this is quite plausible; however, it's not the law. I actually drive SLOWER than I did before I became a Gran Turismo junkie, but it really taught me to follow a line, to preload, etc etc. I think a lot more about what the suspension is doing, for example, when I make a turn than I did before.

Ridge Racer (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402193)

Apparently this study was spurned from interviews in Portland, Oregon. [youtube.com] I don't think they've mastered the art of drifting through corners.

Re:Ridge Racer (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402467)

Apparently this study was spurned from interviews in Portland, Oregon. [youtube.com] I don't think they've mastered the art of drifting through corners.
I think you meant "spawned" instead of "spurned".

I'm cognizant of how I feel after playing hours of Burnout 3, but I haven't felt compelled to cause major pileups, run people off the road, or drift around corners. I've never found myself racing under an Interstate overpass thinking, "Checkpoint!"

However, I have felt the urge to jockey for the most favored position at the next red light after playing hours of Tetris. But then that's just common sense: no one wants to get stuck in the lane behind a slowly accelerating long piece... er, I mean truck.

Re:Ridge Racer (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402505)

Who needs a game to breed 'agressive driving'?

Hell...I've been driving that way WAY before they ever came out with racing video games....that's the fun of having a 2 seat sports car, or muscle cars with powerful engines.

I'd dare say the radar detector is more of a driving force than the video game. I don't even look at the speedometer till I hear the Valentine One [valentine1.com] go off....

My sorta story (3, Funny)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402061)

After playing GTA; Vice City, I saw a parking lot full of police cars, and I thought to myself, that would be worth it.

I never did.

Now I broke the ice, everyone else can post there coming-out story.

Re:My sorta story (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402137)

Well, there was that time I patronized a hooker, then immediately afterward bludgeoned her to death, and plucked the money I paid her from where it was floating in the air several inches above her slowly vanishing corpse... wait, that was years before GTA came out. Never mind.

Re:My sorta story (5, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402469)

Look, this is ridiculous.

If people thought playing computer games would affect your actions in real life, then all those hours of PacMan would have had us running around in darkened rooms listening to repetitive music munching on pills.

Oh wait....

It's all about GTA (5, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402165)

I played GTA pretty seriously for awhile. The sense of freedom was amazing.

When I first played (and when my wife first played), we tried to obey the traffic laws and stay in the proper lane. After realizing how pointless that was, we were driving on sidewalks, ignoring pedestrians, and laughing with glee when running red lights.

Your brain is very good at unlearning old skills and relearning new ones. The catch is that when doing very similar things, it's easy for one set of skills to bleed into another. Switching from throwing a whiffle ball to a softball requires a period of adjustment. Driving like an insane maniac to a law abiding citizen requires a degree of concentration.

The vast majority of people will likely use caution, focus, and not have any problem at all. Some folks, however, may have difficulty making the switch. Ban all driving games? That seems a bit silly. Banning cell phones or music in cars would likely have a more concrete effect.

Arrg! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402065)

This is a pretty stupid assertion.

Wouldn't the people most likely to enjoy this genre be predisposed to this behaviour?

Why don't these "researchers" understand the importance of self-selection?!?

Re:Arrg! (3, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402341)

Why don't these "researchers" understand the importance of self-selection?!?

Silly consumer. The purpose of studies is to support your hypothesis, not find facts!

Re:Arrg! (5, Informative)

jonin (471268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402351)

The study did show some causation. They used subjects that were both video game players and non video game players. They had them either play a racing game or non racing game. Those who played the racing game showed more agressive behavior (in a formal driving simulator) regardless of their video gaming history.

Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402067)

And who, according to insurance companies, is the riskiest group? Teenage boys.

Next study! People who date teenage girls are risky drivers!

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (2, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402143)

It's a trick. Since a third of all console owners are adults [slashdot.org] now the auto insurance I'm required to have by state law can happily up my premiums because I own a console.

One part I don't miss about being a stupid teenager is the insurance premiums.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (4, Funny)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402173)

>Next study! People who date teenage girls are risky drivers!

"Damn! There go my insurance rates!" -- Moe, age 40.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402195)

And who, according to insurance companies, is the riskiest group? Teenage boys.

I still find myself wanting to take turns faster and change lanes as if no one was really there (no signaling, etc) after playing a few games of Gran Turismo and I'm 28.

Generally I have more control over this impulse than a 16 to 19 year old might have but still the impulse is there. As the numbers of individuals that still play video games continues to increase into the 20/30 age range it *could* have an effect on the driving styles of those individuals past the "teenage boy risky group" you mention.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (2, Interesting)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402383)

I still find myself wanting to take turns faster and change lanes as if no one was really there (no signaling, etc) after playing a few games of Gran Turismo and I'm 28.

After playing SOE's PlanetSide [sony.com] for a while, I was driving through a parking lot one day and reflexively swerved to avoid driving over an oil stain (a dark spot on an otherwise mostly clean parking lot).

In Planetside, mines are not visible until you are close to them. If you are driving at full speed, you usually cannot stop fast enough to avoid them. The best you can do is to not drive right over them, which reduces the damage.

In the parking lot, I came around a row of cars and there was this dark spot that looked like a mine. It took me a while to stop laughing, and later that night my entire outfit was laughing at me when I told them about it.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (4, Interesting)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402215)

Ironically, the fact that I am really into race sims (not GTA, but Gran Turismo et al) probably is what saved me in my first accident. I was rear-ended in the right rear at freeway speeds and sent into a spin. If I hadn't already had the muscle memory to recover from spins, I would have probably caused other collisions as opposed to being able to recover. I only ended up doing roughly a 720.

I was judged "not at fault" in the accident, and praised for paying attention in driver's ed...

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (5, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402463)

I was judged "not at fault" in the accident, the body armor was unlocked at my hideout for completing a Unique Stunt

Fixed.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402537)

If I hadn't already had the muscle memory to recover from spins

Yes, your instinct to push the right analog thumbstick in the opposite direction and ride the B button surely came in handy in that moment.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402539)

2 full revolutions after being hit in the right rear is not "recovering" from anything. You got lucky. Glad you did, but don't think that all that extensive training in GT3 had anything to do with it.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (1)

JoelMeow (740794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402301)

Ok, so they did find a correlation:

The researchers first questioned 198 men and women. Those who played the games most often were more likely to report engaging in aggressive and risky driving and getting in auto accidents. Those who played these games less often reported driving more cautiously, the researchers said.

They then went on to test for causation:

The researchers then studied 68 men and found those who played even one racing game took more risks afterward in traffic situations on a computer simulator than those who played another type of game. Then the researchers had 83 men play either a racing game or another type of game, and found that those who played the racing game reported more thoughts and feelings associated with risk-taking than the others.

So while there are certainly correlations between teenage boys, game playing, and risky driving, this study is showing more than that. It actually is showing a difference in behavior as a result of playing racing games.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (4, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402407)

In a driving simulator though, if someone put me in one of those I'd feel no responsibility to drive sensibly since I would have no worries about killing people or dying like you have on real roads. In effect it's just a more boring driving game.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (3, Insightful)

nasch (598556) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402413)

The researchers then studied 68 men and found those who played even one racing game took more risks afterward in traffic situations on a computer simulator than those who played another type of game.
Not very compelling to me. They find correlation (which is useless without causation), then find that people who play a racing game then drive more aggressively in another car driving game. Yawn. I'm not saying they're definitely wrong, I'm saying they've failed to convince me. Until they can show causation with actual driving, or a correlation between "thoughts and feelings associated with risk-taking" and actual driving behavior, I don't think they're finished.

Re:Who plays racing games? Teenage boys? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402331)

Next study! People who date teenage girls are risky drivers!

Hey now! I'll have you know that I've had my driver's license for close to 30 years and I'm not a hazard. Not to other drivers at least...

have you watched how girls drive these days? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402421)

they are more equal to the boys these days than ever before.

and insurance companies are catching on quickly.

of note, in my area on the news when a boy crashes a car or dies behind the wheel it is usually just him or at most one other but girls seem to fill the car which makes their fatal crashes even more so troubling.

as for video games leading to it, if theres money to be had a lawyer will find it

Alternate equally cogent headline (4, Insightful)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402071)

People who play racing car games may be more likely to be seagulls.

Makes me careful (4, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402077)

Crashing constantly in GTA actually makes me more careful by fear of having as many accidents as in GTA

Re:Makes me careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402315)

Yeah, especially when you've just body-kitted and nitro'd a car. One ding and you need to find a respray shop.

blah blah correlation blah (1)

flynt (248848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402085)

Or are people who are more likely to like taking risks the one's that are playing racing video games more often?

Say it with me (2, Insightful)

sixteenvolt (202302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402095)

Say it with me: Correlation does not imply causation.

Re:Say it with me (2, Insightful)

jonin (471268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402393)

Say it with me: RTFA.

The article didn't just study if gamers were more likely to agressively drive. They also used individuals who were not games and had them play either a race car game or a control game. Those playing the race car game had more risky behavior in a more formal driving simulator than those who played the control game.

Granted not a perfect study, but there is some causation.

Re:Say it with me (1)

FriendOfBagu (770778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402605)

Say it with me: Correlation does not imply causation.

Did you RTFA? While it's light on detail, it does imply that the research found more than a correlation.

Then the researchers had 83 men play either a racing game or another type of game, and found that those who played the racing game reported more thoughts and feelings associated with risk-taking than the others.

Now, assuming that they split these 83 men into the two groups randomly (didn't let them choose their favourite type of game or something like that) then that does imply causation, because there is no way that their aggressive feelings (or some third factor) was responsible for them playing the game in the first place.

Now, whether the study was actually conducted correctly and whether these "thoughts and feelings associated with risk-taking" are significant are other matters entirely.

This just in! (1)

spazmolytic666 (549909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402097)

This just in! People who play Doom more likely to shoot classmates/co-workers!

PAH-LEASE, I call BS on this. Maybe people who would drive fast tent to play racing games, not the other way around.

In related news... (5, Insightful)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402103)

watching 'care bears' for an extended period of time will make you a more caring and sensitive person.

Any time i see the 'video games made me do it' excuse, I think that the appropriate sentence should be forced to watch 'Barney' for an entire month. Since the person is so easily influenced, this should work perfectly for rehabilitation.

Re:In related news... (1)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402151)

Soryy, but that would be cruel and unusual punishment, which isn't legal. However, it is a good idea for Guantanmo Bay! Is the Department of Homeland Security duly noted?

Or... (3, Insightful)

Cougem (734635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402105)

People who like to drive cars really bloody quickly and dangerously, surprisingly, also like to play computer games where they can drive cars really bloody quickly and dangerously. Other people on the otherhand, who are less interested in killing themselves in flashy cars, prefer other types of games. Sounds a bit like reverse causation? Really should be a cohort study.

I for one... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402111)

Routinely carjack cars and then drive them 90mph in the wrong lane looking for the biggest collision I can cause.

Hehehehe..

Most of my driving mistakes (no collisions :-) ) come from not being patient enough. They have nothing to do with speeding or aggressive driving.

Tom

Re:I for one... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402263)

Most of my driving mistakes (no collisions :-) ) come from not being patient enough. They have nothing to do with speeding or aggressive driving.

You don't think those two statements are slightly contradictory? :-)

I wish! (1)

Geoff (968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402123)

I wish real driving were like video games. I want a car you can total, push "X" and it's totally repaired and back on the road, and somehow you emerged from the fiery wreck fully conscious and without a scratch.

Not just games (4, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402129)

I've seen this after movies too. I remember well seeing "Gone in 60 seconds" (when it came out, long ago) and then watching all the idiots do burn-outs from the theatre and go peeling out. The funny thing was that apparently the cops were aware of this too, so they had some cars strategically placed after the shows ended.

Of course one could still bring up the cause->effect arguement, as it's unclear as to whether or not people drive like idiots due to game/movie influence, or people who drive like idiots like those types of games/movies.

Re:Not just games (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402225)

Plus, you do too many burnouts or 'high-speed' reversals, you wear out your tires, possibly hurt your suspension and/or loosen up the steering unless your car was designed/reinforced for heavier driving (police package cars). Your first big bill for repairs usually teaches the lesson.

Re:Not just games (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402321)

by high speed reversal, I mean putting it in reverse (from a stop) and accelerating quickly while turning the wheel for a more or less in-place u-turn- police use this when they're facing the wrong way when you blow by them ;)

Re:Not just games (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402581)

possibly hurt your suspension and/or loosen up the steering unless your car was designed/reinforced for heavier driving (police package cars)

ha ha ha. Guess what? Police package cars haven't been enhanced like that for something like twenty years. The police package basically includes heavier sway bars (SOMETIMES, not always) and the biggest alternator that has the same case as the stock alternator. That's it. The cops add pusher bars and various additional electronics. This makes the car heavier, but no performance work is done these days WHATSOEVER. The days of "interceptor" heads and the like are LONG OVER.

The suspension on cop cars is BONE STOCK.

The cops don't do super high speed chases any more. If the suspect is going so fast that you need a specially equipped car to follow them, they just don't bother. They either use a chopper, put out roadblocks, or write it off.

So true (1)

jamessnell (857336) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402145)

Yeah, after playing Burnout for a few hours at my friend's place, I had to REALLY concentrate to get out of the new driving techniques I learned. It was a great exercise in actively brining something I do rather unconsciously back in to the main focus of my mind.

Dunno about driving, but after playing Duke Nukem (2, Funny)

dlleigh (313922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402147)

... I kept peering around corners wanting to shoot fire extinguishers.

Not that I ever actually did it.

Of course, if I could've gotten my hands on that shrink ray gun thing...

News caters focus to political climate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402149)

Anyone else find it curious how almost overnight after the dems took congress cnn started spouting democrat issue/platform centric stories? I guess it's probably just a sign that the democrats taking back congress inspired this type of study to take place. But then again, what's with the sudden use of the words "assault weapon" in every gun related story?

Wait, I thought video games made you violent? (1)

Ynsats (922697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402153)

Sounds like another one of those studies that "show" that the virtual world of video games has a direct correlation to real world behavioral patterns. Just like the violent fighting and war simulation games, people have been driving like idiots for years before video games ever surfaced. Just ask your grandpa about his days as a hot rodder or hell, just pick up a Hot Rod magazine and flip to thier now monthly coverage of "Hot Rod History".

Aggressive driving and street racing have been part of all motoring cultures since the start. The first guy with a car was a neat idea and a novelty when it first hit the cart paths. Not until the second guy to get his car running did anything really take off. You know what the first thing that they did with those cars was? The took them to the beach and raced them to see who's car was faster!

Yeah, video games cause violence, aggressive driving and other degenrate bahvioral patterns. I suppose next we'll hear that Liesure Suit Larry has cause an entire generation of males to have a propensity towards visiting hookers?

Re:Wait, I thought video games made you violent? (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402251)

Night Driver and Pole Position made me a speed demon.

I felt like I was an astronaut after playing Lunar Lander.

so? (1)

stim (732091) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402161)

I don't see what the big deal is anyways. I've been playing racing games for years, and if there is one thing that i learned its that no matter how bad of a wreck you get in, you can always just start the track over.

This study is correct (1, Funny)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402169)

I can attest that the study is correct in its results.

My grandmother never played GTA, and she only drives in the city, always in 1st or 2nd gear at most. She never had any serious accident.

Its True (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402175)

This is the only "video games make you want to do things" studies I have ever agreed with but after playing racing games in which I always try to ram people off the road I admit that I want to try it more in real life. Now have I ever acted on this? No but I admit its there.

Is it like herbalism in WoW? (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402179)

Of course, I am reefering to when I see a flower on the side of the road I want to pick it, and add it to my inventory. I swear those little pink flowers look just like Mageroyal. and the bruiseweed looks like bachelor buttons...

No real plants were harvested for the making of this post.

This sounds vaugely familiar.... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402181)

... And I don't mean that it's a dupe. Didn't we hear this stuff about games like Grand Theft Auto? IIRC, those who wanted these games banned used the case of Devin Moore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devin_Moore) to illustrate this (it should be noted that he was represented by Jack Thompson)?

I don't see hordes of psycho people running around with anti-social behavior that can directly be traced back to video games. If there are people out there who do have anti-social behavior, maybe it's due to the fact that they were kind of out there to begin with.

Just a thought.

Re:This sounds vaugely familiar.... (1)

theckhd (953212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402493)

I think Jack Thompson was representing the families of the victims in their civil suit against Take-Two Interactive, not the defendant in his criminal case. From the wikipedia article:

Jack Thompson was representing families in the suit as an out-of-state attorney on pro hac vice status.

In related news... (2, Insightful)

AVee (557523) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402185)

A study has shown that people who are generally behaving badly in trafic are more likely to enjoy games like GTA. Other research has shown that people who are using have had an X-Ray taken of a leg are more likely to have had a broken leg. This clearly shows the dangers of X-Ray imaging. Statistical Relation != Cause

This is unusual, but plausible (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402187)

I'm a keen driver, and a strong advocate of road safety, so I've looked at a fair bit of the research that's available. Most variables that have been found to affect driver attitude are based on something that is happening while they're actually in the car: things like tiredness, drink and drugs obviously have an effect, but so do things like the type (actually, speed) of music you're listening to. (Some groups of drivers also generally exercise better judgement regardless of the immediate circumstances: to find out who, take a look at what counts for/against you when your insurance premium is worked out!)

Then again, perception of speed is also affected by recent experience: think how slow it feels when you come off a high speed road into a town, even if you're doing the limit around town, and compare that with how that limit feels when you're just starting driving and already in town. That's perception rather than attitude and judgement, though.

So while the conclusions here seem plausible, they're also a bit unusual. I saw a story very similar to this a few days ago in the UK media. Anyone know if these are all the same thing, or there's a recent research trend generating several sets of results in quick succession?

Re:This is unusual, but plausible (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402429)

the type (actually, speed) of music you're listening to


I listen to NPR and drive 10 mph below the speed limit in the left lane. With my left blinker on. I'm not bothered by the honking from other drivers because Robert Siegel has a very soothing voice.

Re:This is unusual, but plausible (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402443)

Yes, I remember all those years ago when I first started driving and 45mph felt frighteningly fast. A couple of decades later it feels frightenly slow. In a couple more decades it'll feel frightenly fast again.

I always have to make a mental adjustment after playing driving games. Of course, I also have to make a mental adjustment after playing Katamari Darmacy. For a couple hours after playing I always have this urge to run into the other cars so I can roll them up. Strangely I have thus far been able to resist this urge...

It's True (1)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402191)

My 5 year old's driving skills have deteriorated precipitously since he started playing NFS at age 3. I expect him to be on par with everyone else on the road by age 17.

The bland world we could live in ,,, (3, Insightful)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402207)

We could live in a world without excitement. A world in which we are not stimulated or thrilled. A world in which we could only watch movies or play games approved by the Flanders family of the Simpsons. There will be unbalanced people who will be inspired by what they watch. So instead of collecting cat skulls, they pretend they're the hero of GTA. Or Manhunt. Or Barbie Horse Adventures.

Note that they found a correlation between driving fast and people who play racing games. Maybe people who like to drive fast can't drive as fast as they want, so they pop in a racing game simulater. As far as the shooter game comment, most young men are aggressive to one extent or another. If someone blows off some steam by playing Halo 3, I would prefer that to them blowing off someone's head in real life.

Cause and effect? (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402219)

What annoys me most about this sort of study is there very rarely seems to be any sort of effort made to determine cause-and-effect. ie isn't it unsurprising that people who enjoy driving are more likely to be bending the rules on the road? Who plays driving games... young men. Who is the most aggressive / risktaking demographic who will end up taking risks... young men.

Cause and effect are all the wrong way round here.

No Burnout? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402235)

I'm surprised there's no mention of the Burnout series where one of the core objectives is to go as fast as possible in a short amount of time to cause maximum damage. Some easily swayed sap with a total lack of common sense/inhibition might try to reproduce the multi-bus crasher in one of the later levels!

Actually if anyone is that much of a rube they shouldn't be allowed to even be by themselves without supervision. Once again, the line between reality and video games is very simple and easy to teach to those with a head on their shoulders.

Today's hilarious captcha: bloody

Lies. (2, Insightful)

Ikyaat (764422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402239)

I'm a better driver after I play video games. I learned 90% of what I know about cars from Gran Turismo 3. I can see the lines of a turn, can apply the use of braking and acceleration better, and I am better at avoiding other drivers and retaining awareness of my surroundings. I think bad drivers should play more racing simulators and stop doing so many studies.

Slashdot gets onto my balls with "news" again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402255)

Do you want the terrorists to win by not playing Video Racing Games (that) May Spur Risky Driving?

What will your children see in your sad eyes when you tell them that you failed to protect them from Video Racing Games (that) May Spur Risky Driving?

Terrorists don't play Video Racing Games (that) May Spur Risky Driving and that's how they will destroy your country: With superior driving skills.

There! These games will be banned now for the sake of free^H^H^H^Hsecurity and the children.

Next news puh-leeezeee...

Duh. (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402267)

It's nice to have some empirical backing for this, but it's kinda obvious that learning to drive in an imaginary world with no physical trauma and unrealistic laws of physics introduces some habits that aren't conducive to safe driving in the real world.

Correlation != Causation (1)

Nonsanity (531204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402275)

People that like football are more likely to buy and play football video games. ...And maybe people that get a kick out of driving fast and dangerous also like to play games that let them do the same thing for fun. Sheesh. Jumping to conclusions is one thing, but these days jumping to causation is a far more widespread.

5 year old and car racing game (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402289)

My cousin bought a simple car racing game targeted for very small kids. His son, a five year old, has never done any games other than Reader Rabbit before. First time he tried it, he eagerly took the control, shot off from the starting point crashed straight into some building and the screen showed a completely wrecked car. The boy started crying, "I broke the car!". Small children are enthused by very mundane things. That boy would play for hours with his video game console's "select language" menu item and repeately power down and power up to watch the booting prompts and flash screens.

True (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402307)

True. I played a good few hours of Colin McRae rally, and then went out for a drive in my Scooby. I suddenly realised that I was driving as I had been, in front of my PC with steering-wheel and pedals, except it was on the quiet evening roads of $country. Quite scary really, although I was ultra-tuned, and alert.

Drive a diesel car now. With no turbo. And a bit of a misfire.

Not to troll... (1)

wolfemi1 (765089) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402311)

...but I can see how this would be the case. By the way, is there any comparative study about driving after racing go-karts or using bumper cars?

FTFA: Gamers take risks in games! Shocking! (2, Insightful)

Lightwarrior (73124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402313)

"The researchers then studied 68 men and found those who played even one racing game took more risks afterward in traffic situations on a computer simulator than those who played another type of game."

Oh man - you mean, after playing a game where you're rewarded for driving recklessly, the same gamers drove a little recklessly IN ANOTHER GAME?

SHOCKING.

The end conclusion is totally nonsensical.

"The question of age restrictions, legally or voluntary, should be discussed not only for "shooter" games but also for [racing] games, which have an impact on traffic safety," Kubitzki said.

The research didn't prove that. Correlation != Causality. Why do so many researchers have a problem with this?

What a Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402323)

What a joke............. I was an idiot drag racing moron when I was kid and there was no racing video games to speak of. It's called being a teenager. All this is; is another excuse bad parents can use about its not my fault that I suck ass at raising my kids and blame a video game instead.

total BS (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402329)

What constitutes as bad driving? Driving over the speed limit? hell, nearly everyone does that! Switching lanes without a turn signal or, worse yet, just switching lanes like a madman? That's been happening long before videogames. How about the older lady in the giant SUV that doesnt know the meaning of "right of way?" I'm sure she's never played a videogame in her life.

Bad drivers make for bad drivers, not videogames. You might be a little desensitized if you play racing sims or games that reward reckless driving, but even real race car drivers suffer the same desensitizing and thats more serious. Experiencing 200mph IRL is not the same as experiencing 200mph in a videogame. Those guys feel that driving on the freeway is a crawl.

What constitutes good driving? (2, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402619)

For most people "good driving" means "The particular way I drive." Drive slow? Slow drivers are good drivers. Drive fast? Fast drivers are good drivers. Drive carefully? Careful drivers are good drivers. Drive recklessly? "Daring" drivers are good drivers.

Nearly everyone thinks they are a better than average driver. They aren't.

Bad drivers have certainly been around long before video games. Hell, I'm sure there were Roman charioteers who yelled at other charioteers, "Learn to drive, ya moron!" That does not in any way imply that video games do not contribute to reckless driving. RTFA, the experiment was well designed.

Here lies the silly. (1)

Aaron_Pike (528044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402335)

When I was a teenager with a license, there was only one driving game that I played regularly. It was Car Wars [sjgames.com]. I remember catching myself driving shall we say somewhat incautiously after a game of Car Wars, perhaps because my mind was still on the game (it probably didn't hurt that I had Ministry [ministrymusic.org] blasting in the stereo, too).

So evidently, it's actually imagination (or loud music) that causes incautious driving. We should enact bans immediately.

Simulation (1)

mindwar23 (964732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402337)

In racing (and crashing) games, there is an element of simulation. So having taken risks in the sim, is a player more likely to take similar risks in real life? Maybe. And after countless simulated crashes, maybe these drivers are more qualified than others to take risks on the road (not that it's any safer)... This is true of a lot of games: simulation and mastery of complex situations can lead to altering one's behavior in rl, potentially in both positive and negative ways. Now can we fault the makers of the game for any of these alterations? I don't think so...

Look! A bird! A plane! (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402347)

Somewhere high above the planet's surface, Jack Thompson's parachute opens, and he begins his slow descent in another mission to save the world from video game-inspired horror. God speed, you American hero!

The key word is "may" (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402349)

I quote:

"A study concludes that people who play car racing games may be more likely to take risks and drive aggressively when driving in real life."

Well yeah, people who play tennis MAY be more likely to molest small children but that's a pretty big may. Research that needs to resort to "may" often suggests that it's actually rather inconclusive but would like to make itself sound important anyway so that sites like Slashdot post it.

Just to emphasise this, FTA:

"The researchers then studied 68 men and found those who played even one racing game took more risks afterward in traffic situations on a computer simulator than those who played another type of game."

Gee, imagine that, people who play computer games understand that there are no consequences of driving recklessly in a computer simulator (aka just another game).

That's all? (1)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402359)

After I play GTA, I want to go up to stopped cars, open the driver door, punch the driver in the head, drag them out of their car, steal it and drive off.

And I can't even drive.

Makes me a better driver (1)

mastershake82 (948396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402361)

Being an avid Burnout 3 and Burnout Revenge player, I'd say playing these games increases my reflexes to unexpected terrain pop-up in real life.

One time, after playing Burnout Revenge for about 6 consecutive hours, I went to go get some energy drink from the grocery store. Of course I found the secret shortcut through my neighborhood and behind the store, when out of nowhere a semi-truck was reversing from the store's loading dock right in front of me. My instinctual Burnout skills kicked in a swerved and avoided him and made it to the store safe and sound.

Granted, had I not been playing Burnout Revenge for the past 6 hours I probably wouldn't have been going 90mph behind a grocery store, but that's besides the point.

Mario Kart (1)

kidtexas (525194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402363)

I always had this problem after a marathon session of Super Mario Kart or Mario Kart 64. I was all over the road, and a power slide couldn't save you...

Gran Turismo? (1)

Erich (151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402371)

My driving skills have improved since doing all the training that Gran Turismo makes you do.

I can drive faster, but also much better, and I'm much more aware of what my car is and is not capable of.

Of course, I recognize that my car and the roads are more variable and probably less ideal than most of the simulations, and the ramifications of mistakes are much higher. So I leave bigger margins. I guess other people maybe don't have that viewpoint. Maybe they would have been reckless drivers anyway.

NFSHP (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402375)

I'm not going to say much, but I will tell you it was about the same time Need For Speed Hot Pursuit was still new that I found out a 1985 Honda Accord could survive city dumpsters & 1-2 feet of air under the tires.

Anyone remember Road Rash? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402385)

As a long time motorcyclist, and big fan of the game Road Rash, I can certainly tell you I was tempted to take more risks after a multi-player race fest at the office. I usually disciplined myself to wait 15-20 minutes after playing before heading home. Some of the "default driving decisions" were changed after playing the game for a while. They all reverted back eventually, but hoping on the bike right after playing for an hour was NOT a good idea.

Video game saved me! (3, Insightful)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402403)

I don't know why GTA is always mentioned when somebody talks about games involving cars ...yes it's a driving game, but there's a big difference between driving a car to mow down people and driving a car to win a race. The former is just silly and uses the car as a vehicle (pun intended) to drive (pun intended also) a story or a plot. The latter is, depending on the game, a true test of how driving is supposed to be done, or not done.

True story, as it just happened a couple of months ago: For the first time in my life my car severely fishtailed on me and without ever having experienced it before in real life, I knew what to do in that I had slammed enough rally cars into the snow in various games like GT4 to know "oh, when the car goes like this, I should do that..." and I translated my controller movements into real turns of the wheel. And it worked! I got out of it and kept going.

In this case I feel like my time with GT4 made me a better driver because I recognized a situation I had never experienced in real life but had so many times in the game that I was able to "figure it out". I'm not even going to pretend I'm ready to take an Aston-Martin Vanquish out on the Nurenburg, but I get the difference between "real" driving and "fantasy ha-ha no big deal if I crash a $600k car into the wall at 200mph" type.

Frankly, if I really had a Vanquish, I'd be too nervous about getting it into an accident that I doubt I'd ever leave the garage.
 

I admit it... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402417)

after playing Vice City a long while I did start thinking differently in the car... not necessarily more recklessly, but I envisioned the same scene in the game as I was driving in... in a weird deja vu sort of way... I do think games desensitize people to simulated activities, driving situations, as well as others. People who are desensitized to activities look at activities more mundanely... dead people don't scare you so much when you see them in person after seeing them in movies a lot... so crazy ass driving may not be as scary after playing a lot of simulated gaming?

Why do you think nascar racers play games to learn tracks? Maybe all the recent collisions in nascar can be blamed on video games? Doubt it, but maybe?

Let me see... (2)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402431)

... they put people in a fairly realistic driving game where they were perfectly safe from harm and encouraged them to drive badly.

They then put them in another driving simulator where they were also perfectly safe and they drove worse than those who hadn't played the video game.

At not time did they put them in a situation where their driving may have had actual consequences to themselves or others, but they taught them it was fun and safe to drive recklessly in a video game and then put them in front of another video game? Why am I not suprised...?

Lessons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402461)

At least GTA taught me how to cushion the impact of my speeding car by hitting pedestrians.

I'm not supposed to toss shells while driving? (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402471)

If anything, video games have made me a better driver. On my way to work, I make sure to do more slide-boosts, more lane changes to avoid bananas, and throw more red shells than ever before. This has given me more time to work and less time to commute (Can anyone say PRODUCTIVITY?). While other drivers are running into explosive snow-men and having their items stolen by ghosts, I'm consistently finding myself at the front of the pack.

Traffic jam? I've found that spiked-blue shells can cut through the thickest traffic in mere seconds.

Some asshole riding my bumper? Let's see how he likes it when he's running into a trail of bananas.

Case and point: Video games have not negatively impacted my driving. Idiot researchers...

In a Related Story... (1)

errxn (108621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402479)

The study also found that people who frequently play car racing games are more likely to drive late-model Japanese subcompacts, and modify these vehicles with such embellishments as randomly placed stickers, ugly and near-useless bolt-on aftermarket spoilers, shorter suspension coils, chrome tailpipes, neon undercarriage lighting, and highly reflective aftermarket rims.

Interestingly, no actual performance gains are realized from such modifications.

I had a friend laughing when I was earning Kudos (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402535)

While on the cell phone trying to follow his directions to get to his house. The bastard could hear me, and was directing me into cul-de-sacs on purpose just so I could "score more points."

I have great friends!

Finally Vindicated (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402543)

You know, after playing Frogger for hours on end, I used to feel like going out and walking across five lanes of traffic and several alligator-infested rivers.

I feel MUCH better now, knowing it WAS the video game's fault.

Not very conclusive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402613)

Those who played more often also were riskier and had more accidents? Well, maybe people who drive risky and have more accidents are more likely to play driving games.

83 men play either a racing game or another type of game, and found that those who played the racing game reported more thoughts and feelings associated with risk-taking
Maybe these thoughts were like, "Shit, I better be careful when I drive and NOT take risks like these!!!"

What about taking risks on a computer simulator. Imagine that!

It's just a shame... (1)

DJNW (212838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402615)

that being a dangerous driving chav-type tends to cause the playing of GTA, not the other way round... Not that I'm thinking that they're looking at this problem from the wrong direction, or anything...
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