You may think that all of those driving games that you play on your games console are all just a bit of fun, but what if those games that place you at the controls of a car can actually have some bearing on how well you drive when you get behind the wheel of a real vehicle? While many use such games as a way to unwind after a stressful day they could be influencing your behaviour in the real world without you noting it. Gaming, whether online or not has often received bad press, especially when done to excess, and there have been studies that have shown that the types of games that are played can have an effect on the behaviour of the individual especially when it comes to violent games. But what they fail to promote is the beneficial effect that some of these games can have. Similar but less publicised studies have shown that there is a correlation between how someone drives their car in the virtual world and how they operate their vehicle in the real world.
These studies were not all relating to racing games of course, there are actually some games on the market that are aimed especially at improving the skills of the driver. But one thing that all of these games have in common is that they all obey the laws of physics, so that driver error results in consequences ranging from losing control of the car to writing the vehicle off. Through this the player is educated as to how their mistakes result in different consequences.
The act of simply playing the game works towards improving the players visual and co-ordination skills as reactions need to be fast to avoid a disaster in the game. Statistics have shown that those drivers who regularly play driving or racing games in their leisure time have a 30% greater ability to process any visual information that they are presented with, they are also shown to be more aware of the environment they are in which all bodes well when it comes to scanning the road ahead for potential hazards.
Reaction and Response Time
Gamers are known for having good hand-eye co-ordination skills, which is something that they have developed over time, as they know that in order to do well in whatever kind of game they are playing they either need to move fast, think ahead or dodge whatever foe they are up against, otherwise the game would be over before it got started. This increased level of co-ordination has influence over a number of everyday activities making certain types of task easier to perform, including driving. Gamers’ reflexes tend to be that little but faster and their response time a little bit quicker, giving them the advantage when it comes to avoiding obstacles in the road for example. The playing of driving games however, should not be done to excess as this could lead to someone driving tired which as everyone knows has a negative effect on response times.