Do Racing Games Affect Your Driving Skills
If you are a parent or a teen, you might be wondering whether today’s seemingly realistic driving video games can affect driving skills. There is no clear cut answer to this question yet people on both sides of the debate will attempt to convince you otherwise. Let’s delve into whether driving really impacts one’s driving skills.
A Driving Simulation?
It wasn’t long ago when kids, tweens and teens hung out at the local arcade and played driving simulators. Though most of these arcades no longer exist, those who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s will testify to the fact that arcade driving games with steering wheels and even pedals for the gas, brake and clutch were available to play for a mere 25 cents. Many of these people claim that access to such driving simulators at an early age helped them sharpen their driving skills. A study conducted at the University of Rochester shows that such fast action games really can improve one’s decision making skills in challenging circumstances. So there is some merit to the claims that racing games really do enhance one’s driving ability. The aforementioned study found that video games improve the speed that one can make a decision as well as the accuracy of that decision. The question is whether these decision-making skills can be fully transferred to the driving of real-world automobiles.
Interactive Practice versus Passive Learning
Most teens practice driving with a parent’s vehicle or one provided by the high school during driver’s education courses. Yet the time spent learning about driving is much greater than the amount of time actually spent practicing behind the wheel. Those who play video game driving simulators almost always testify that they learned more from the game than the time spent in the classroom. Even some online driving schools are beginning to get on board by adding driving simulators to their curriculum. These games pose real-world challenges to drivers in a fake digital environment to test their decision-making abilities. Prospective drivers tend to favor these simulators as they allow one to obtain experience without putting himself or others in harm’s way. The bottom line is that most of those who have practiced on racing games or driving simulators feel much more prepared for pressure-packed situations that will inevitably occur on the road.
There are Some Negatives to Practicing Driving with Racing Games
Racing games certainly pose a number of benefits to would-be drivers yet they are also flawed. There is no way to perfectly simulate real world driving scenarios without actually being on the road. An extensive driver’s education course taught by a patient and attentive instructor will always be better than practicing with racing games. The other major problem with racing games is the fact that many are extremely addictive. Time will fly once you start playing racing games. Video game addiction has hampered countless individuals’ pursuits of schoolwork, work and life in general. So don’t go overboard on the racing games thinking that they will turn you or your teen into an infallible driver. Use the opportunity to engage in racing games as a means of helping you do better on the actual road. It won’t take long for the results to manifest in the form of fewer close calls and less (if any) tickets.
Give Racing Games a Try
So don’t ban video games from your home, thinking that a lack of access will turn your kids into better people. The truth is that racing games and a number of other video games actually improve hand-eye coordination, decision making abilities and problem solving skills. If you find that racing games are too addictive, set a timer for half an hour or an hour and stop playing once it goes off. You might be surprised as to how much of a positive impact racing games really have on your reaction time and problem solving abilities when behind the wheel.