I was playing a video game with my kids over the weekend and it got me thinking about a subject that I'd not considered before.
Is driving a video game car anything like the real thing? It's clear that there are differences, particularly in terms of the controls. The handling of the cars may also be different. It seems to me that the steering feels lighter in most racing games.
There's also the whole issue of hazards. In truck video games, these are often harmless. In real life, you certainly know about it if you were to drive into a brick wall. It's little more than an inconvenience in many video games.
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But what about the vehicles that you get to drive? The reality is that most of us probably won't have the opportunity to drive a monster truck or a Formula 1 racing car in real life. But we can experience the thrill of driving these vehicles thanks to this form of entertainment.
Of course, the kids will soon find that most road cars aren't as fast as the cars in the games. It's lucky that this should be the case!
As my children grow older, I'll be interested to see what happens when they learn to drive. Will they find that it's really easy to learn, as a result of their video game experiences? Will these give them an advantage when compared to previous generations?
This may be the case, although the alternative may be that they'll see that the reality is very different from the virtual worlds that they have been used to until now. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.