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"Cause" and Effect and Cause (3/20)

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  • "Cause" and Effect and Cause (3/20)

    A study conducted by German researchers examing the effect of racing games "featuring realistic driving environments" claims to support the notion that such games ellicit reckless driving behavior in some people that play them. Further details about the study and how the data was compiled can be found by visiting the article sourced below.
    Source: Reuters [ more info ]

    I'll admit it, when I play Burnout, I do imagine hopping into a car and driving really fast. But, when I actually get in my car, I have no desire to drive at breakneck speeds, ignore traffic signs, or smash in to other drivers. The reason is simple: I'm not stupid. I do not lack the capacity to differentiate between a game world and the real world. In all honesty music that I'm listening to in my car has a more direct effect. It doesn't inspire me to take risks, but if I'm not paying attention my foot can get a little heavy when "The Sickness" comes on. But, for that very reason, I make use of this thing in my car called "cruise control".

    I guess my point here is to say that I don't disagree with the study, but there are far more causes than just racing games, most of them more dangerous. The way I see it, it's one more example of video games being scapegoated. I've seen more stupid stuff happen on the road because of cell phones than anything else. And, I get the same feeling from driving movies that I do from driving games. Fortunately, most driving movies suck ass. And getting headaches from the terrible acting drowns out any lingering imagery.

    Today's Pimpage: Brad is wearing a "War Against Work" shirt from Threadless.Com

  • #2
    I have to agree with you, I think the emphasis should be on SOME people. I believe these to be generally in the minority and for the most part relates to the teenage crowd who by the very nature of being teenagers believe they are invulnerable. This is not to say all teenagers are this way but I believe a large proportion are. The vast majority of these cases should be pointed to peer pressure and inattention due to distractions such as cell phones in the vehicle.

    That said, great comic Woody!


    • #3
      It used to be the same way with me and "kung-fu" movies. I'd come out of the theater all jazzed up and want to take someone on. Thank God I never did. Now I've grown up some more. Aging does more to weed out the stupid than anything else.


      • #4
        "Impact" for me is the key reference here.

        Certainly cruising about in my little Ford Focus is nothing like tearing across a track in a tricked out Porsche....

        But do I want to take that next turn just a little faster? Yeah. I'm not crazy so it's a controlled desire but you know what?

        The desire is there.

        Now when I hop out of my Ford Focus from Grand Turismo.... That's pretty darn similar....


        Maybe I'm the only one crazy enough to want a little more speed after tearing around a digital track.

        I don't think I'm alone out there though.


        • #5
          Nice, Woody is a Disturbed fan!

          I agree, though. If I've got some good hard rock at deafening levels, I'll drive faster than normal. Games don't effect me like that.

          I have been playing Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, & I'm thinking of smacking my annoying neighbors with a bullwhip. Does that mean anything?


          • #6
            Honestly, I think playing Gran Turismo in the years right before I became old enough to drive *helped* my driving skill. Or maybe it's just games in general that add to hand eye (and hand foot) coordination, but I know I've evaded several potential wrecks in my years on the road (people darting into your lane with no warning and such) that I wouldn't have if I had been a second slower or less alert.


            • #7
              After playing a racing game for a couple of hours and then getting into my car, I tend to be a little heavy with the foot. I catch myself doing this and force myself to slow down. It's just the temporary mind set that I was in. I do notice if I give myself a break between game and driving that I don't do this.


              • #8
                I think they may be missing the main contributions as to why people drive reckless.

                1. Lack of concentration due to - cell phones, children, other people in the car, or thiinking about is going on with their day.

                2. additude before getting behind the wheel - I live in a very tourist motivated state where they take grat pains to be super nice to everyone. Which means they have no place on where to relieve their pent up angers, accept behind the wheel. We are one of the highest states in traffic related insidents.

                3. driving under the influence

                I tend to get a bit annoyed when studys are conducted and it seems to pigeon whole the gaming comunity and say "gaming is at fault and causes blah...". I am not saying that some people dont take their gaming experience to the wrong level, but to say every gamer is more likely due to is just plain silly. Alot of people play video games so that they can let out any pent up stress, think similar to someone using a punching bag.

                Becides us gamers sitting behind our gaming machines is a grat place to be, that way were not on the road adding to the chaos. (sits back and happily plays her favorite MMO)

                (please pardon any and all spelling errors)


                • #9
                  Does that mean that, after all those hours of playing GTA and having that sadistic pleasure of running people over just for fun's sake (even if the roads are clear I tend to prefer using the walkways), I am supposed to be more prone to run people over? And at high speeds to boot because I don't care about how much I smash my car as long as I can put the pedal to the metal?

                  It's a wonder I've been driving for over three years without ever running anyone over. And respecting the crosswalk more often than most drivers I see out there...
                  Blame violence on video games? What are you, stupid?!


                  • #10
                    Hi everyone.
                    Long time reader, first time poster.
                    Love your comics Woody all great stuff.

                    Well I hate to be cynical on my first post but I think governments should thank the gaming industry. Being that racing games seem to help out with a little thing called Natural Selection (and no im not talking about the game).

                    Im sorry but if your dumb enough to get in a car and start doing the things you did in Need For Speed or Burnout or any other racing game. I have no pitty for what may happen to you in the end.

                    In my view its just natural selection doing what it does best. Remember there are no more saber tooth tigers to eat the dumb ppl and the warning labels on products are making it more and more difficult for someone to mistakenly drink a jug of bleach because they thought it was the milk.

                    I do feel sorry for anyone who may have been a victim or lost someone in an automotive accident at no fault of their own.

                    Anyway again sorry for the harshness on this.
                    keep up the great work Woody


                    • #11
                      Hmmmm... I can't say I disagree with the findings... On more then one occasion I've caught my foot pressing the gas down a little further with each passing car after playing racing games. But like you said, I'm not being stupid about it. I have no need to cause myself or anyone else harm.

                      I also don't think it's limited to just "Car" racing games. Any of the racing type games can cause unintentional-gas-peddle-to-the-floorboard driving. My father would play an Indy Car racing game on the Xbox, and his driving changed noticeably when he had played it recently same affect would occur after he played the Star Wars pod racing.

                      Needless to say, when he got his Rally car Racing for the Xbox, we were all a bit afraid to ride with him...
                      “Perhaps.” Tiger growled, “But we will fight to the last.”

                      Snippet from Among the Forgotten


                      • #12
                        Chicken and the egg syndrome going on. I saw one study that violent people are more likely be attracted to violent games, but the games themselves do not cause violence. Could it be that folks that like to race their cars in rl, like racing games?

                        Don't get me started on multi-tasking in a vehicle. Sometimes I would love to get some of these folks with implanted cell phones to take a ride on a motorcycle just to see how stupid and deadly their actions are.


                        • #13
                          Its Fruitcake studies like this that give me a chuckle. I love Driving/Flying games & and Sims.. Besides Atari and the average Arcade machine, Driving and Flight games where the first real computer games that hooked me.

                          And after about 20 years video games, I've only been in one fender bender.

                          Any "study" that has the term "Experimental Psychology" associated with it falls into the realm of what I have heard referred to as "Nebulous Quasi-Science" .. their not "completelly making it up as they go, but its not really something you can say is fact, or even measure"


                          • #14
                            When I used to play GTA3 I would refuse to drive anywhere. I was honestly afraid that the temptation to street-pizza a pedestrian would be far too great for my fragile little psyche to handle. Also I was afraid to learn how to drive after seeing my performance in any game that involved driving (which usually involved slamming into walls, going way too fast, and slamming into walls, killing everyone aboard). When my parents pestered me about it I simply stated "I've seen how I can drive, it's in the best interest of anyone wishing to remain alive that I not be allowed on the streets in the operation of anything larger than a tri-cycle."

                            I FULLY believe that driving games affect how I drive. I don't particularly enjoy racing, nor do I play racing games, but if I happen to be playing a game that involves driving (GTA3) I tend to want to apply what I've learned in the video game to real life (Hrm.. I COULD drive on two wheels, tilted to the side, to get passed this traffic....). I never do of course, but the urge is fascinating. In so much as these are the only types of games that influence me in any way outside the game.

                            But of course now if I ever get into a wreck I can say "Video games made me do it, officer"

                            Love that line.


                            • #15
                              I think the violent people violent games thing is probably more appropriate. I know I love driving fast and I enjoy racing games, but I don't think that the game effects the way I operate a motor vehicle. Heck I only put one rocket launcher and one sub machine gun on my car after playing twistd metal 2, and I didn't use it more than twice. I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I only used it once.