Apparently games like Gran Turismo and Grand Theft Auto make us more likely to crash, run red lights, try risky overtakes and suffer from road rage, according to research by Continental Tyres.
The research was quoted in UK free newspaper Metro, and unfortunately there’s no sign of the article, or any further information, on either the Metro or Continental Tyres website, but Continental Tyres ‘Safety Expert’ Tim Bailey was quoted as saying:
“Gamers take more risks than non gamers, possibly due to the lack of real consequences in the game,”
Obviously without more details, it’s impossible to say whether this is an important contribution to road safety, or a complete load of old cobblers. Certainly gaming has been known to have both positive and negative effects on gamers, but there has been a lot of debate about the exact nature of these effects, usually in regard to violence in videogames.
In addition, there’s no seperation apparent between Grand Theft Auto, which features arcade-style handling as part of the portrayal of the gangster lifestyle, and the racing simulator genre such as Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport and iRacing.
Not only would this mean a massive amount of the world’s population are crappier drivers due to the huge sales of the likes of Gran Turismo and GTA, but it might also have some pretty big implications for racers who unwind and learn new tracks in videogames, the amount spent by teams, training organisations and individuals on access to simulators, and the fact that pilots also use training simulators.
Probably the safest response is to stay indoors and ignore the fact so many accidents occur at home by only driving virtual vehicles.