Racing games are indeed worth it to play, especially if you are a kind of gamer that loves playing racing games. However, some people ask if racing games can improve their actual driving. Is it true or not? Do racing games improve your driving? Let’s find out!
Do racing games improve your driving? Racing games can actually help you become a better driver on the road by improving reaction times and teaching you what to do if things go wrong. However, this does not mean that you should apply everything you learn from racing games like drifting or beating the red light.
Let’s dive deeper into this article so that you can understand why racing games can improve your driving. Let’s go!
How Racing Games Improve Your Driving?
You may be the Horizon Superstar Champion after speeding through the British countryside in your customized car in Forza Horizon 4, but if you haven’t yet obtained a driver’s license and haven’t yet logged time behind a steering wheel that isn’t a Nintendo Switch accessory, should you still feel like the confident champion you are inside the game?
According to new research published in the journal Psychological Science, the answer is yes — and no. According to a study published in 2016, playing action-packed video games on a regular basis improved cognitive skills in a variety of areas, including multitasking.
Fast-paced games also improve coordination between muscle control and incoming visual information, which helps with reflex times in real-world driving situations.
When compared to those who played other types of video games, both action and racing games demonstrated improved visual-motor skills. Subjects in the experiment played Mario Kart, while the control group played Rollercoaster Tycoon III.
When both groups were tested on a driving simulator after each group played between five and ten hours per week for six weeks, the gamers who played the fast-paced kart racing game demonstrated improved hand-eye coordination for fast visual-motor control compared to the control group.
The game chosen was Mario Kart because it bears little resemblance to the driving simulator used in the experiment.
Which Racing Games Could Improve Your Driving?
While it may provide teens with a good reason to spend hours in front of screens because they can honestly tell their parents that racing games improve their driving skills, there is some bad news.
According to another study, excessive exposure to racing games that include driving in urban gaming environments may lead to more aggressive driving and encourage risk-taking in traffic situations.
The findings show that racing games on simulated racetracks, rather than those with scenarios like outrunning rogue cops on city streets, are the ones that improve driving without the drawbacks. The study cites games used in the research as those that require players to violate road rules and break traffic laws in significant ways in order to win, without naming brands or titles.
While it may appear unlikely that driving on sidewalks and ramping over parked police cars in a challenging racing game will lead to a gamer imitating those actions on real roads, study participants reported increased thoughts and feelings associated with risk-taking behaviors after playing these types of racing games.
What Other Driving Skills You Can Learn From Racing Games?
Professional race car drivers, for good reason, use some of today’s most realistic driving simulation games as practice. These games help to improve not only hand-eye coordination and reflexes, but also car control skills such as precision steering.
Some high-end simulators include manual transmissions, which improves ability for those who drive cars with a stick shift. Some of the best racing games also teach players defensive driving techniques that they can apply in real-world situations.
While nothing beats years of experience behind the wheel of a real vehicle, racing games can help you improve your driving skills before you ever visit the DMV or start your first engine.
Why Are Racing Games Hard While Actual Driving Is Easy?
Driving may be easier for you because you are driving at a much slower speed. The speeds attained in racing games are significantly higher than those attained in a normal car, particularly in corners. The car becomes more difficult to control at high speeds.
The lack of physical feedback when playing a game is another factor. When you move a car, you feel the g forces (however small) and changes in the road surface, and you take sensory input from more than just your eyes.
This gives you better control and a better sense of the car’s movement, which is especially useful when judging turns. When I first learned to drive, I had to practice in a simulator as part of the course, and I found it much more difficult to judge corners because there was no physical sensation of the car turning.
The other reason why racing games might be harder than the actual driving for you is because you don’t know the racing track. Each racing game has different tracks which you need to study before going into the race. Driving at high speed without knowing the racing track can be very difficult.
To conclude, racing games can actually help you improve your driving by improving reaction times and teaching you what to do if things go wrong. This is not to say that you should apply everything you’ve learned from racing games, such as drifting or beating the red light. Just apply the things that you learn from racing games that you think will not get you in trouble when driving in real life.