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Reckless driving attributed to racing games

Reckless driving attributed to racing games

"Aww, man! You mean those flamethrowers and body armor just raised my insurance?"

Fasten your four-point harnesses, racing fans; the video game industry is under siege again as a blame for real world actions. But this time it will likely be followed up by an industry willing to spend a boatload on worthwhile data - insurance companies. And recent studies have shown that racing games make worse drivers, enough so that they could start having an effect on your premiums.

The first study has been a while in the making, and even has been incorporated into Germany's driving license test. Those who lose their license for bad driving must pass a large test to get it back, which includes a video-game driving session. These results were being monitored (along with the drivers) to see the correlation between the bad driving and a video-game version of it.

A group of German psychologists headed the study, and the results were pretty interesting. Not all racing games are bad for you, but the way you drive in one is pretty indicative of how you drive Apparently, the drivers who engage in more 'crash and bang' styles of racing have similar tendencies away from the monitor glow - and the behaviour can escalate the more critical the situation is.

Another lower-grade survey study of 200 drivers showed that both men and women who said they enjoy and regularly play racing games also had a higher frequency of accidents. And though 200 people may not sound like a lot, the laws of statistics have illustrated that an extremely small sample size can be amazingly accurate - though details of how the study was conducted would certainly come into play. A third study illustrated that men who play racing games before a simulation of a critical traffic situation took much riskier actions. Again, neither study details nor links were included, and I've not been able to find the published research.

The studies all provide a cautionary note, particularly since racing games are one genre that often gets a low age-rating. Ten-year-olds everywhere are currently learning poor driving habits that could cause them to take more severe risks on the road. Millions have died, could your kid be next? Turn to FOX News at 11 for the full story.

Fortunately for us, these particular studies won't go unnoticed. The insurance industry is not about to leave a bona fide risk factor go undetermined, so odds are a few more official studies will be requested. If that's the case, we may get a real study one way or another as to whether some elements of virtual life really do point to real-world actions.

Do you have a thought on the studies? Tell us your opinions in our forums.

23 Comments

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FooSai 20th March 2007, 09:19 Quote
Quote:
Another lower-grade survey study of 200 drivers showed that both men and women who said they enjoy and regularly play racing games also had a higher frequency of accidents.


Yeah all the gamer's were probably young people who have had their license for about 6 months, while the people that don't play games will have been middle aged people with about 15-20 years of driving experience.

80% of my gaming used to be console racing games (till I found MMO's) and I haven't had a single accident in the 5 years I've been driving.
It's lies, all lies!!!!
Stickeh 20th March 2007, 09:24 Quote
Its true! I was sat in slow moving traffic on the motorway and i was eye-ing up my chances of weaving throu the traffic......but thats cus im in a car that could without causing any alarm... i *** my mini.
Lazarus Dark 20th March 2007, 10:26 Quote
Quote:
A third study illustrated that men who play racing games before a simulation of a critical traffic situation took much riskier actions.
So, they played a racing sim before playing a driving sim. And they drove more risky. Well, duh. How about some real world testing here, people. Of course I'm going to drive faster in a driving sim after playing a racing sim. Morons. This is where your insurance and tax dollars go. One of the many reasons I don't use insurance, its all a scam. I had insurance once, but when I actually needed to use it, they dropped my coverage and left me high and dry. No refund and no services rendered. So basically I was robbed. I could give a rats *** about the insurance companies and their fake research studies.
mad4it 20th March 2007, 10:41 Quote
the worest part about insurance companies is they are there as a "just incase" instance but all they bloody do all day is try and find more and more reason not to pay. Acts of god, oh wrong type of snow, you didnt check a nut on a huge car so your liable. So if for some fluke they will cover you you still have to pay some yourself then they only cover say $1k of the damage (including what you paid yourself).

The worest part is you by LAW have to have atleast 3rd party car insurance (which makes sense) but they only cover so much then the 3rd party has every right to sue the **** out of ya. My wife almost got sued even tho she had kidney damage was in hospital for a week or 2. the other person was practicly in and out and was actually speeding and ran a red light. but nooooo you can still sue.

If insurance companys covered EVERYTHING as they bloody well should then they can use retarded crap like this to screw nut jobs out of an extra $100 a year. But the current state they are they can piss of if they think im checking the "play video games" checkbox in 6 months when my insurance renewal comes up.
djDEATH 20th March 2007, 10:42 Quote
sorry, but i dont agree.

The games tested were Need For Speed Carbon, Burnout and Midnight racer.

If they had tested soem simulation driving games i might be more convinced. Playing GTR-2 on a widescreen with a steering wheel is INCREDIBLY realistic, as is Test Drive Unlimited with the steering wheel, and Colin McRae 2005, and a host of others.

Need For Speed is about as realistic as farting smoke. You hit a wall at 150Mph, and the resulting speed in another direction is 145Mph. How do they work that one out? That game definitely encourages bad driving, whereas decent simulators really encourage smooth lines and accurate throttle/brake control. Something that most people on the roads could do with learning.

Is burnout a driving game? I thought it was "hold down a button till you crash into something thus getting extra points."



edit:

surely whats more worrying is when after playing San Andreas for a few weeks you see an Ice Cream van and think - yeah, i could steal that and ram raid the shops down the road....
airchie 20th March 2007, 11:06 Quote
First up, there's a little typo in 3rd paragraph.
Quote:
...is pretty indicative of how you drive Apparently, the drivers who...
Needs a full stop.

I can see some logic in this.
After watching gone in 60 secs or fast & furious I felt the urge to drive faster on the way home.
I did drive faster on the way home, but not to the point of driving like it was stolen.
I still didn't take any extra risks other than the increased speed.

Seriously though, even if insurance companies all fund massive research and find out that you are more likely to drive like a demolition derby driver after playing games, what can they do?

And if it''s linked to games I'm pretty sure it should be linked to films too.
it was in my case above...
will. 20th March 2007, 12:06 Quote
Do they not possibly think that magazines and films that fuel the cheap fast car culture (ie max power and the fast and the furious) might have more of an influence on these kev's.... I can see how need for speed might have a similar influence, but I'm pretty sure that there are more people buying Max Power than plaing NFS.
mikeuk2004 20th March 2007, 12:11 Quote
I love these studies. I play Gotham Racing, Saints Row and Gears of War etc so I must be a bad ass driver getting high on drugs and kill every mother F****R I see while robbing and stealing everything I see.

In the real world I dont drive, dont do drugs and do not steel and have never killed anything unless you can call me a killer for killing bumble bees at school when i was little.

So is the increase of suicide rates because of the amount of people who have thrown themselves off buildings thinking they can fly like superman after playing that bad game of a game if you can call it a game, superman.

I play crap on Pro Evo Soccer but in reality im a really good player in the real world.
r4tch3t 20th March 2007, 12:30 Quote
Right..... So these people who play games, they spend less time driving right? They only drive to work or to the store to stock up on caffeine. Seriously, all the people I know who are bad drivers (won't go in a car with them) never play games, they are to busy driving. The best driver I know plays games frequently.
mmorgue 20th March 2007, 13:10 Quote
So, effectively what's happened is the "researchers" have given yet another scapegoat for typical human stupidity and anti-social behaviours.

The 10 car accident you just caused because you "assumed" someone cut you up so you exacted indiscriminate revenge upon...? Not *your* fault. It's the racing games you play! Don't sue/blame the guy driving, it's not his/her fault -- sue Sony, Atari, THQ, etc.. They made the games that you play and they have conditioned you to be a reckless idiot on the roads. Yup. Sounds about right

Why is the gaming industry so readily picked on when a human perpetrates a crime that could have "some" link? Why aren't gun, knife and car manufacturors sued when somenoe is shot, knifed or run over? If you're going to take the blame of the crime out of the perpetrator and place it into the supposed supplier(s) of the "conditioning" stimulus (product), then the same should apply throughout.
cyrilthefish 20th March 2007, 13:32 Quote
Hmm... people that play fast racing games have more accidents...

does this mean:

A- people that drive dangerously in real life are also attracted to games where they can drive dangerously

B - driving games make people drive dangerously

Common sense is on option A, But B makes for much more interesting headlines and fits with the 'blame all life's problems on games' bandwagon, so we'll go with B :(
airchie 20th March 2007, 13:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrilthefish
Common sense is on option A, But B makes for much more interesting headlines and fits with the 'blame all life's problems on games' bandwagon, so we'll go with B :(
QFT!!
Darth Joules 20th March 2007, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrilthefish
Common sense is on option A, But B makes for much more interesting headlines and fits with the 'blame all life's problems on games' bandwagon, so we'll go with B :(

QFT! There are an awful lot of stupid, reckless drivers in th UK. I used to work for the Police so I should know. I would think that if you surveyed them all you'll find most of them don't play driving games.

You put a powerful machine like a vehicle into the hands of an idiot you can expect trouble whether they drive fast or not.
webbyman 20th March 2007, 16:19 Quote
tbh I'm surprised this 'link' has only recently arisen...

Especially with the 'GTA makes you a murdering phyco' headlines

but the true matter is it's very hard to prove this is the case... aaaand in my opinion it probably makes some people slightly more reckless maybe linking all 'racing' gamers 2-3% worse.

On the other hand it's likely they play theses games in the first place as they enjoy the thought of 'razzing' a car round on a circuit.


edit:
...maybe it reduces reckless driving by allowing people to get the road rage out of their system and onto the game system
calking13 20th March 2007, 17:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Dark
This is where your insurance and tax dollars go. One of the many reasons I don't use insurance, its all a scam. I had insurance once, but when I actually needed to use it, they dropped my coverage and left me high and dry. No refund and no services rendered. So basically I was robbed. I could give a rats *** about the insurance companies and their fake research studies.

Well in some states it's the law to have car insurance, otherwise you risk getting your car impounded and/or your license suspended. Some people don't have a choice. I mean if it was up to me I won't have insurance when I get my license in a few months. But I don't exactly have a choice. So, I hope they research and study this very hard.
oddball walking 20th March 2007, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by webbyman
edit:
...maybe it reduces reckless driving by allowing people to get the road rage out of their system and onto the game system

Yep the same for me with shooters it re-leaves my murderess tendency's.


This is daft people know the difference between a game and the real world.
DXR_13KE 20th March 2007, 21:07 Quote
any day insurance companies will put a line in the contract that asks you if you have a console and if you play games, if you do then you will get a price rise, if you say that you don't have a console and that you don't play games then after an accident they would go "check out" your place to confer that information.


in sum, pretty stupid. :(
wafflesomd 21st March 2007, 00:09 Quote
I run over pedestrians, hoping that they will drop money, as to which I can use to buy a strip club.
Onyx 21st March 2007, 01:41 Quote
there have been a lot of stupid attacks on video games...this is by far the dumbest one ive ever seen.

its not true, after playing racing games, or watching racing movies i dont really have the desire to race with a real car in traffic....

its almost the same thing as when they said that playing gta made u wanna go out and steal cars....

video games are great because you can do things in them that you cant do in real life, and attacking them by accusing them of making people get into car accidents, or shooting someone does not even go one step further to fixing the problems that they are blaming games for...
Wolfe 21st March 2007, 07:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrilthefish
A- people that drive dangerously in real life are also attracted to games where they can drive dangerously.

B - driving games make people drive dangerously.


I tend to believe option A is more accurate: People wth risky driving habits are more attracted to racing games.


That does not change the fact that (apparently) Statistically, racing games and risky driving are linked.

It's an interesting connection. It's a perfectly valid (if slightly sleezy) thing for a car insurance company to ask.
boggsi 21st March 2007, 16:59 Quote
"And though 200 people may not sound like a lot, the laws of statistics have illustrated that an extremely small sample size can be amazingly accurate"

I don't like to pull readers up on their interpretations of things, but id certainly love to see those laws!
zoom314 23rd March 2007, 22:47 Quote
Somehow I just don't agree with that German study, I have Ford Racing for the PS/2 and I barely got around the circuit once as I kept running into things(Cars, rocks, trees, fences, etc), It must be the lack of a steering wheel. In real life I drive a Ford Mustang GT and I don't have any problems. :D
Gravemind123 23rd March 2007, 23:28 Quote
I haven't been pulled over the in the 8 months i've had my license, and I don't speed, but I'm one of the best of my friends at Need For Speed and the like.
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