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Researchers say racing games may cause more accidents and more road rage

Several days ago, DailyTech reported that researchers at Britain's BSM driving institution conducted a study that revealed gamers who play driving games tend to drive faster in real life.

A new study by researchers at the Allianz Center for Technology in Germany and researchers at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians University now say that racing video games could be a contributing factor to people's bad driving habits (PDF) such as competitive behavior, recklessness and performing risky maneuvers. According to the report, people who play these games and drive cars are more likely to drive recklessly and get into accidents than people who don't play racing games.

The abstract from the report states "[The authors] found that the frequency of playing racing games was positively associated with competitive driving, obtrusive driving, and car accidents; a negative association with cautious driving was observed."

The researchers also indicated that because driving games are becoming more and more realistic, the games feel real and directly affect how gamers drive. "Driving actions in these games often include competitive and reckless driving, speeding and crashing into other cars or pedestrians, or performing risky stunts with the vehicle. In short, most actions in racing games imply a very high risk of having an accident or severe crash in a highly realistic virtual road traffic environment," said the researchers.

The research included 198 men and women, from those who played racing games often to those who did not. People who did play racing games often reported to have engaged in more aggressive driving more frequently than those who did not. Interestingly, the researchers indicated that racing games had a direct effect on risk taking behavior. The study showed that 68 men who played even one racing game took more risks in a driving simulator than those who played other types of games.

DailyTech previously reported that a study suggested that violent video games affect the brain, inhibiting players from demonstrating more self control and restraint. Recently, Germany declared that it would work towards banning all violent video games, while a university professor said that the current style of education in North America is outdated and books should be replaced by games.

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Skewed research?
By danskmacabre on 3/19/2007 5:58:04 AM , Rating: 5
.The study showed that 68 men who played even one racing game took more risks in a driving simulator than those who played other types of games.

Is this how they drew the conclusion?
I.E. got those who play driving games to drive in a driving simulator and see how they drove?

If so, then there's not much merit to this research.
A driving simulator has no risks, is basically the same as a computer game and this research should only really be worth considering if they actually checked how they drove in real life.

RE: Skewed research?
By DocDraken on 3/19/2007 6:29:11 AM , Rating: 5
A driving simulator has no risks, is basically the same as a computer game and this research should only really be worth considering if they actually checked how they drove in real life.

Exactly. But also, how do they know that they haven't gotten the causality reversed? The conclusion could very well be that people who drive recklessly have a higher tendency to play racing games. I find that far more likely than the other way around.

But no, instead they turn it around and say that people who play racing games are more likely to drive recklessly and from that try to conclude that racing games make you drive recklessly. A totally flawed argumentation and conclusion!

All they've done is link the two. They haven't determined *how* they are linked, that's just biased conjecture.

RE: Skewed research?
By FITCamaro on 3/19/2007 6:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
God forbid they put the blame where it belongs with kids who are bad drivers. On the parents.

RE: Skewed research?
By themadmilkman on 3/19/2007 8:48:02 AM , Rating: 2
It's kind of hard to blame bad driving on the parents, since the parents are usually not present. A kid can drive perfectly well when his parents are in the car, and then drive like a bat out of hell the rest of the time. Short of the kid getting in an accident and/or getting pulled over and ticketed, the parents can be perfectly attentive and STILL have no idea how their child drives.

RE: Skewed research?
By therealnickdanger on 3/19/2007 9:50:15 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, but kids who respect their parents (and fear the "boot to ass" application of discipline) and follow their rules are more likely to obey laws. There's a reason why kids with high marks can get insurance discounts.

The next few years will be interesting as more devices become available that allow parents to not only track where they drive, but how they drive.

RE: Skewed research?
By doctor sam adams on 3/19/2007 10:17:16 AM , Rating: 3
I think the point the first guy was making was that the parents themselves are bad drivers setting bad examples, and not that kids need to be more obedient to or controlled by their parents.

RE: Skewed research?
By othercents on 3/19/2007 10:33:51 AM , Rating: 5
We are all experts now. No longer can we blame the person who actually caused the accident. It is now the Parents fault, or a computer game made me do it. I shot my friend because I played too much Counter-Strike.

Our society has always been based around blaming others. Look at Adam and Eve in the bible when Adam ate the apple. God ask him and he blamed Eve and God. God asked Eve and she blamed the serpent. We need to take accountability for our own actions.


RE: Skewed research?
By FITCamaro on 3/20/2007 1:03:49 PM , Rating: 1
Actually no the other guy was right. Parents need to be parents more and friends less. Stop trying to bribe them with gifts to make them behave and whip out a belt and beat their a$$ instead. Giving kids gifts to make them behave after they misbehave only tells them to misbehave more.

I got spanked as a kid as I'm sure many of you did. Are you a socially inept person who lives in your parents basement because of it? No. Well, maybe a few of you are. What did it teach me? Not to do the thing that caused me to get spanked.

And yes, you don't know if your kid doesn't get any tickets or accidents. But wreckless drivers typically will get a ticket or get in an accident. The problem is once that happens, the parents don't take the license away because that would mean they would have to drive them around. So they just fix the car and let them continue.

Sure if you're a bad driver your kid probably will be too. But my parents are great drivers and my brother is not. They were way too lax with him. So now at the age of 21 he's totaled two cars (in one month), had numerous tickets, is driving on a restricted license (to and from work only), and is paying $500 a month in insurance.

RE: Skewed research?
By treesloth on 3/19/2007 11:17:56 AM , Rating: 2
But also, how do they know that they haven't gotten the causality reversed? The conclusion could very well be that people who drive recklessly have a higher tendency to play racing games.


A part of the study is to have a control group that isn't playing the racing game. They would be as similar as possible in all other respects. If the causality were reversed, the results in the driving simulator would be much more similar for both groups.

...instead they turn it around and say that people who play racing games are more likely to drive recklessly and from that try to conclude that racing games make you drive recklessly

No, the study doesn't say that. Anandtech says that, and it's inaccurate. The study simply says that there appears to be a connection, but does not say what that connection is. The study said, "People who play car racing video games may be more prone to drive recklessly and get into accidents". Consider this result from a study of car accidents:

97% of drivers involved in car accidents had eaten french fries in the month before the accident.

That statement says only what it says. A reporter might look at it and say, incorrectly, that french fries cause car accidents. That's what Anandtech did-- their headline does not follow from the information in article. However, having said that, I do believe that there are people that

RE: Skewed research?
By kkwst2 on 3/19/2007 4:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
OK, but the paper doesn't prove that their groups are similar. Usually in scientific research, you have a table with the relevant demographics of your experimental and control groups so that the readers can judge for themselves whether the groups are the same.

I'm less familiar with experimental psychology, but not including this data makes the conclusions hard to interpret at best, intentionally misleading at worst.

RE: Skewed research?
By kkwst2 on 3/19/2007 4:12:15 PM , Rating: 2
Or how about the possibility that they're both correlated with another variable - age. I see nowhere in the paper where they've tried to control for age.

Younger people tend to play video games. They also tend to be crappy drivers for many reasons, mostly lack of experience.

I'm always amazed at the lack of science involved in most social "research".

RE: Skewed research?
By therealnickdanger on 3/19/2007 7:08:22 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing I can conclude from facts presented so far is that people who play racing videogames have a tendancy to drive aggressively and take more risks in driving simulators (aka "big videogames).

RE: Skewed research?
By derdon on 3/19/2007 7:34:46 AM , Rating: 2
Oh come on, just try it out for yourself. Do you really question this study!?
I've had that experience a lot of times after playing fast paced games. I drove speedier than I normally would.

RE: Skewed research?
By therealnickdanger on 3/19/2007 7:57:56 AM , Rating: 1
OK, so you admittedly have a problem with discerning games from the real world. Media affects judgement to a degree, I don't think anyone disputes that, but we have to be realistic. If we look at the facts - at least in the USA - traffic fatalities have been in steady decline over the past 30+ years while the number of drivers and miles traveled have increased dramatically. More people died on the road in the age before videogames.

At the end of the day, it's your own judgement (or lack thereof) that defines your actions.

RE: Skewed research?
By vortmax on 3/19/2007 9:49:11 AM , Rating: 2
The study isn't about traffic fatalites, but about accidents, bad driving habits, ets. Your argument is not so valid:

The abstract from the report states "[The authors] found that the frequency of playing racing games was positively associated with competitive driving, obtrusive driving, and car accidents; a negative association with cautious driving was observed."

Like the above poster stated, for the kids that are still under their parent's authority, the parents should be held responsible to a degree since they are letting their kids purchase and play these games. As for the adults, they are fully responsible for their actions.

RE: Skewed research?
By therealnickdanger on 3/19/2007 10:10:33 AM , Rating: 2
Not valid? Where do you think traffic fatality stats come from? How do you think crashes occur? You can't die in a crash without having a crash. My point was only that despite the invention of videogames, driving has never been safer for both adult and teen. These researchers want to correlate videogames with bad driving habits, but the evidence is shaky. Since they didn't actually monitor the real-world driving habits of these kids (installing black boxes without their knowledge), interview or observe parents and how they enforce teen driving behavior, analyze the extent of the driver education of each participant, monitor the games played and the hours spent playing, or take into account the level of police enforcement in the areas they drive, it is very difficult to expect any real "proof" of anything.

Here in Minnesota, one of our counties has taken the initiative by simply improving the educational standards of teen drivers in combination with some unique enforcement campaigns and incentives. The results have been astounding. Education and combined parental and police enforcement of that education is what will save drivers, not banning videogames.

RE: Skewed research?
By vortmax on 3/19/2007 10:27:13 AM , Rating: 2
They aren't stating anything about fatalites in the study, so in that context, the argument isn't relevant. It's not valid becuase the main reason traffic fatalities are lower now that in tha past is because of highly increased safety standards of vehicles (seatbelts, airbags, etc.).

It would be nice to see statistics of non-fatal accidents, road rage, etc. I bet they'd show that people are driving worse than ever now-a-days.

RE: Skewed research?
By derdon on 3/19/2007 12:38:23 PM , Rating: 1
Oh my god, I am having a problem and I dare say so... If more people would admit that games have this kind of influence, we wouldn't need shitty studies to confirm this. Just because everyone is such a closeted hate-gamer and never dares to admit playing violent games makes him feel more aggressive. Watching violent films makes me feel more aggressive, there I said it and I am sure I'd be more likely to hit someone if offended after watching a violent film than after not watching one. With games it's the same.

That's so blatantly obvious, but nobody dares to admit it for fear that the authorities might take away their violent movies and games. BOOHOO, but keep on crying and try to hide it.
All that you say is just blah. _You_ need to be realistic and drop that bullshit "more people died on the road blahblah" just because you can't admit it

RE: Skewed research?
By danskmacabre on 3/20/2007 4:40:13 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not trying to hide anything.
I'm just not affected in that way by video games.

Last night I played some Quake 2, followed by freelancer.
After that, I was quite calm and made a cup of tea and watched a movie.

I have a few different driving games on a console and PC and when I drive after laying these games, I simply donot feel any urges to drive fast.
It simply does not happen for me.

Justy because YOU might feel that way does not mean EVERYONE else therefore does.

RE: Skewed research?
By Johnmcl7 on 3/19/2007 8:05:19 AM , Rating: 2
To be honest I find it's the opposite - the more I play driving games, the less speedy I am on the road. When I was playing driving games fairly frequently, my own car was a 90bhp diesel Skoda Octavia...not played any decent driving games since Test Drive and I've ended up with a 150bhp Seat Toledo.


RE: Skewed research?
By derdon on 3/19/2007 12:40:56 PM , Rating: 3
What does HP say about driving habits? Right - Nothing.

RE: Skewed research?
By Johnmcl7 on 3/19/2007 1:00:34 PM , Rating: 1
Who/what is HP?


RE: Skewed research?
By Johnmcl7 on 3/19/2007 10:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the mod down - I can't work out what 'HP' has to do with my post, I didn't reference this nor did the post I was referring to.


RE: Skewed research?
By Fritzr on 3/20/2007 4:01:17 AM , Rating: 2
BHP==Brute Horse Power
HP==Horse Power

The initial reply referred to your progression in available power from 90 to 150 ... the bhp numbers refer to the engine's power production.

RE: Skewed research?
By Spoelie on 3/20/2007 6:13:02 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's quite right, I don't think it matters what brand of printer you have. A Canon user might think he "can" drive faster, but we need a study to prove that. Anyone?

RE: Skewed research?
By danskmacabre on 3/19/2007 8:17:15 AM , Rating: 3
I have played lots of Driving games.
I drive every day.
I donot get affected by driving games and drive just as safe when I did or Did not previously play driving games.

The same goes for when I play an FPS, I donot feel the urge to go on a killing rampage in shopping malls or wherever after a session of FPS gaming.

RE: Skewed research?
By FITCamaro on 3/19/2007 8:28:47 AM , Rating: 1
Then you probably drive like crap to start with and playing games just further brings out that behavior in you.

RE: Skewed research?
By gdillon on 3/19/2007 8:49:12 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, despite being a huge advocate for research about video games, I totally agree. Very funny methodology that uses a video game to test how video games affect people's non-virtual performance. :P ~g

RE: Skewed research?
By Lazarus Dark on 3/19/2007 9:12:01 AM , Rating: 2
ahhh, you beat me to it. I was about to say the exact same thing. "Our study shows that men who play virtual racing simulation games tend to drive more agressively in our virtual driving simulator." This is stupid. Who pays these people? Probably my damn taxes.

RE: Skewed research?
By KristopherKubicki on 3/19/2007 9:22:05 AM , Rating: 1
Not unless you are a German resident.

The research was likely granted anyway; which means it didn't even come from tax money, but likely a special interest group or lobby.

RE: Skewed research?
By CSMR on 3/19/2007 12:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
You are making hasty assumptions about this research. It is very careful in the conclusions it draws. Of course it gets exaggerated by news reports such as this one. But you can't fault the researchers for that.

RE: Skewed research?
By otispunkmeyer on 3/20/2007 4:52:19 AM , Rating: 2
well theres the problem. a simulator. when you know its not real and there are zero consequences of course you begin to do stuff you would normally think twice about.

ill drive at 270mph in TDU, pull massive drifts in PGR3 ... i can because 1) its virtual reality 2) the consequences of me getting wrong lead to....nothing, well possibly frustration of me or another XBL player.

road rage? im not sure, theres no rubber band AI in real life LOL. i think RR is probably more a result of our times...we're all busy people, places to go, people to meet, our time is very valuable and its annoying when others halt your progress.

By yacoub on 3/19/2007 6:02:00 AM , Rating: 2
They need to define these "risks" they claim these men took.

For all we know, taking "risks" means driving through a yellow light before it turns red (perfectly legal, btw), or driving a couple mph over the speed limit (also legal).

RE: bah
By masher2 on 3/19/2007 7:57:41 AM , Rating: 1
Just to correct a couple of errors, driving "a couple of miles" over the speed limit is not legal. And in many jurisdictions, neither is running a yellow light, as it technically means "stop if able to do so safely".

The fact that such minor infractions are rarely enforced doesn't make them legal.

RE: bah
By therealnickdanger on 3/19/2007 8:06:02 AM , Rating: 2
The fact that such minor infractions are rarely enforced doesn't make them legal.

No question there. The OP's point, though, is valid. What does this study define as "risky" driving? What some people consider "merging", others consider "cutting off". Some people can drink and drive better at 0.08 than some at 0.03. (I don't condone drinking and driving at all.) There are a lot of relative behaviors outside of the legal definitions.

RE: bah
By yacoub on 3/19/2007 9:20:43 AM , Rating: 3
My, what a post you made!

I didn't say "a couple of miles" so I'm not sure why you put that in quotes. I said a couple miles-per-hour and this is why cops do not pull people over for doing 57mph in a 55mph zone. Wind, road grade (that's slope), and speedometer deviation can all easily cause a car's speed to fluctuate by a couple mph. Generally there is a 5mph leeway above a posted speed limit just because of these factors. It would be ridiculous to see everyone closely watching their speedometer to make sure it never breaks even a hair above the posted limit. I can't imagine how many accidents that would cause.

And you aren't "running" a yellow light, though that's a funny twist of speech you used to make what I said sound illegal. You can "run" a red light, which is illegal, however, I was giving examples of things that aren't illegal so as to make a point.

Way to completely miss the point I was trying to make, just to argue semantics.

RE: bah
By Chernobyl68 on 3/19/2007 10:47:34 AM , Rating: 3
while most police don't bother ticketing for driving this little over the limit, it's certainly legal for them to do so. I've seen enforcement days where they pick a particular roadway and target anyone and everyone who is above the speed limit. usually they want to get it through people's head that certain roads have higher accident rates than others, and are trying to reduce fatal accidents by reducing driver's speed.
Speed doesn't cause accident's: bad driving behavior does. Speed increases the severity of injuries.

That being said, I also agree that using a driving simulator to represent what people's driving habits are like in real life is bogus. Also, so it using a "test car" on a "test track" (I've heard of studies doing this also, comparing cell phone usage and other factors)
Ask someone to drive an unfamiliar car, in an unfamiliar setting, and you will get "other than normal" driving behavior.

RE: bah
By peternelson on 3/19/2007 10:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
Many speedometers are set a bit low by the manufacturer.

Also if you think about it the tacho sensor operates using wheel revolutions to determine distance which is then computed per time units.

When I blow my types up more or let them down, the number of revolutions for a given speed will change.

Thus the car sensor cannot possibly be accurate.

Additionally means of measuring speed to support prosecutions need to be calibrated and some rely on an officer pressing a button which will have a small error associated with it.

A fairly correct method would be to use your GPS unit to report speed from motion vector of your changing position. GPS has some innacuracy in positional location, but is not bad for RELATIVE measurements.

Some GPS can log your journey to memory (for the trackback function).

If you drove using the GPS speed limit rather than your dashboard one, I feel that is reasonable defense. If you logged it you could produce that as supporting your case.

Recently in my town a speed camera was defective.

A lorry driver appealed the fine, and because it was a commercial vehicle required to have tachograph recording, he was able to produce his tacho chart demonstrating the speed measurement of the camera was erroneous and this was found to be the case, cancelling many other innocent people's fines.

I find the strictness of enforecement various depending on parts of the country (local forces). Technically you could be in trouble for going just 1mph over, but in practice, some head officers have stated that in practice they usually allow at least 3mph over.

Unless it is a measured point to point journey time or marks on the road to measure velocity past a camera from the photos, I don't see they could prove more accurately because you'd then have to ask how pumped up were the police car tyres?

It's often safer to go through an amber light than to stop particularly if there is some idiot too close behind you.

RE: bah
By Fritzr on 3/20/2007 4:08:10 AM , Rating: 2
"Running a yellow" can be done and can generate a ticket.

Generally you go through on a yellow light legally if you cross the pedestrian crosswalk while the light is yellow & run the light if you need to accelerate to cross that line. It is that extra effort to get across on the yellow that draws the ticket.

RE: bah
By treesloth on 3/19/2007 11:28:18 AM , Rating: 2
They need to define these "risks" they claim these men took.

I don't know how it was in this particular study, but a common way to measure this is not to define risks at all, but rather simply to compute relevant averages. For example, when changing lanes, what was the average g-exertion on the car? What were the average speed and distance clearance for passing maneuvers? There are lots of other examples. Higher averages in the game-playing group in comparison to the control group *may* indicate risk-taking following gameplay.

Anybody else think they drive better...
By slashbinslashbash on 3/19/2007 9:31:05 AM , Rating: 3
because of driving videogames? I'm of this opinion, myself.

Driving games teach you:
1) Handling characteristics of different cars
2) How to pay attention to the road and the other vehicles around you
3) The proper way to move through a turn
4) How to correct and control a spin or slide

Among other things. IMO I'm a much better driver because of Gran Turismo, Need for Speed and Project Gotham Racing. The original Project Gotham Racing for the Xbox, in particular. That game was so freakin' demanding. You had to get everything absolutely perfect to get some of the crazy Kudos requirements. To this day, it has instilled a sense of perfectionism in my driving. I am always competing with myself to see if I can drive a little better. (And no, "better" doesn't mean "faster" or "more agressively"! It's all about finesse and smoothness.)

My girlfriend sucks at driving games. She always gets turned around. She's just not paying attention to where she needs to go. I think this is strongly related to her poor driving in real life!

RE: Anybody else think they drive better...
By Vysion on 3/19/2007 10:03:50 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed you said it perfectly, however, the researchers and the financial supporters of the researchers do not play racing games to understand this.

I drive very safely in real life, and while playing racing games I strive for the same perfection. I want to win, but I don't want to crash or spin out. My friends that I feel are reckless drivers, when I see them play racing games they also drive recklessly in them. Have the researchers made this correlation?

By otispunkmeyer on 3/20/2007 5:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
ill agree here too

although your looking at a 3d image on a 2D screen i do feel like playing racing games, and playing them properly forces you to focus hard on whats around you and whats ahead of you, it heightens your awareness to your surroundings.

now its not perfect because no game is a perfect simulation of life, and you dont get much feedback from a vibrating pad like you would a wheel, pedals and seat from a real car but its better than nothing at all.

car control is another one i think playing racing sims is good for. again its not totally realistic and with the controllers, devoid of feel, but what it does give you is an find out what speeds and corners dont mix, and you understand (like a theory kind of) better what to do when it goes wrong instead of doing a double footed tackle on the brake pedal.

however the gaming does take the risk away, meaning you will try more lairy things because the consequences are pretty much nothing.

now if you then take that mentality with you into a real car then you honestly shouldnt have a license. if you cant distinguish between fake and real then there is something wrong with you.

i've driven for 4 years now, and yeah i've driven abit recklessly at times (mostly on quiet country lanes) but what 17 year old male doesnt? especially if they are petrol heads. getting your license is a great sense of added freedom and you wanna test that freedom out and get a rush from going a little too fast. its stupid to do, i know but when your just starting you want to try these things out.

4 years on i have calmed right down, i have had the thrills i know what its about, i know the public road isnt the place to do it. i have never had a crash or any ticket and i have played racers for a long long time (papyrus indy car racing 2 and Network Q rally were my first)

now even if those games didnt exist, i dont think id of been any different behind the wheel of my car. i love cars, always have, i like the thrill of a fast car and driving fast..... that love has not come from games at all, infact games let me indulge in that love much safer and cheaper

By Hare on 3/19/2007 7:52:30 AM , Rating: 2
Video racing games may spur risky driving: study
People who play car racing video games may be more prone to drive recklessly and get into accidents, according to a study that adds to evidence that video games can influence the behavior of some players.

Researchers say racing games cause more accidents and more road rage

RE: Really?
By PrinceGaz on 3/19/2007 8:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, it's interesting that DT reports the story somewhat differently to Reuters. Nowhere in the Reuters story were the researchers reported as saying that playing games influenced people's behaviour, only that they games may be a factor involved (in the degree of risk taken when driving, in this case). That seems a perfectly reasonable conclusion, having read the original story on Reuters (which included some further details DT omitted).

Subtle alterations like this can totally change the way the story reads, and how people respond to it. I can only assume the changes DT made were deliberate, in order to draw more attention and generate a negative reaction to it.

RE: Really?
By KristopherKubicki on 3/19/2007 8:44:59 AM , Rating: 1
Our article is discussing two differnet studies, one of which we also published on last week. Since that was apparently not clear, I have changed much of the wording.

RE: Really?
By KristopherKubicki on 3/19/2007 8:54:35 AM , Rating: 1
Additionally, I believe the Reuters report tones down the report a bit more than the researchers.

Repeat after me, everyone
By Chris Peredun on 3/19/2007 7:53:48 AM , Rating: 4
Correlation does not prove causation.

RE: Repeat after me, everyone
By DocDraken on 3/19/2007 9:44:13 AM , Rating: 2
But unfortunately it doesn't keep the media and general public from thinking it does again and again.

From my experience...
By shilala on 3/19/2007 8:14:35 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a 40 year old guy who likes racing games.
If I'm sitting on my couch playing Carbon on 360 for three or four hours and jump in the car, I DEFINATELY drive less carefully and take more risks.
Granted, it's only until I realize it, but I've noticed it and even commented on it to my girlfriend.
If I'm away from the game for a couple hours, it doesn't happen.
The excitement from the game carries over into the real world, just as if you're playing a really good shooter.
It may only last for a short time, but it's a real situation.
Maybe I'm willing to admit it because I'm not an 18 year old kid who drives like an 18 year old kid in the first place. And to qualify that statement, I WAS an 18 year old kid who drove like an 18 year old kid in a 4 barrel 440 Dodge Dart.
I, too, question the methodology of the study. Put kids on a game, take them off the game and put them in another game and then assume that's the real world? Duh.
Put em in a car and count bodies. That be a far more realistic sampling, imho.

RE: From my experience...
By danskmacabre on 3/19/2007 8:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
It is interesting that most have stated they are not affected and yourself and 1 other person say yes, you are.

However, in your case, you say it is temporary.

I'm pretty sure they meant in the study that they meant it has long term effects (meaning they ALWAYS drive dangerously), not short term (for a few minutes after a game or whatever), as in your case.

Personally, (as stated elsewhere in this thread) I am not affected.

RE: From my experience...
By mconsonni on 3/26/2007 5:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
though, isnt that a similar phenomenon to driving for 2 hours on the highway at 70mph and then carrying over your lead foot once you are back on normal streets?

Same old responses
By INeedCache on 3/19/2007 9:03:48 AM , Rating: 2
Every time a study like this comes out, a whole bunch of folks start screaming just like many of you here. I will not blame any of the world's ills on video games. However, to blindly assume that aggressive video games have no adverse consequences on one's actions, ever, is being just a bit too naive, don't you think? After my 17 year old son plays certain games, he comes away much more aggressive, mouthy, and belligerent. Like it or not, it's real. I'm not attempting to validate this particular study, but merely to say that all of these responses about video games having no adverse affects are, based on my observations of my son and his friends, garbage. And no one should dare blame all parents blindly for how their children drive when alone. My children were taught how to drive properly and to obey the law. If they choose to drive otherwise when I'm not with them, that responsibility rests with them, not me. Parents can be at fault for some of their children's bad behavior, but not all.

RE: Same old responses
By SilthDraeth on 3/19/2007 10:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
Cache. I believe most of the posters here are under the impression that video games do alter your mindset, for how long is the real question. The reason people act differently immediately following game play can easily be attributed to adrenaline, or any other mind altering chemicals the brain releases when one gets excited.

My brother and I used to kick the crud out of each other while playing Battle Toads, yet we never fought when the game wasn't involved. It had nothing to do with Battle Toads' simulated violence. It had to do with the fact that you had to cooperate, and if things got messed up then we would get mad at each other and start fighting.

Games are not a necessity, but a form of entertainment to engage in, and rightly so, they alter our mindsets, they would be a failure as a form of entertainment if they did nothing to our brains.

What most people are crying foul about is, the study is drawing conclusions about how someone drives in real life by how they drive in a simulator(aka video game), after playing a video game.

so true
By Randum on 3/19/2007 9:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
I have two instances in my life I definitely agreed:
After playing GTA3 over and over, I felt much more confident backing my car up, no problem. Really weird, but I attribute the game to this.

Playing NFS all week last week. I was on the highway and found myself all of a suddent accerating onto an on ramp in an attempt to drift my way down, and I stopped myself. I was driving on auto pilot and didnt realize it til i was approaching a tirn at a speed way too fast...

RE: so true
By noxipoo on 3/19/2007 12:38:28 PM , Rating: 2
so you driving like a dumb ass somehow validates this research for everyone else.

This study is invalid
By GrandMareg on 3/19/2007 4:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
Direct quote from the pdf:
First of all, in an attempt to
replicate previous correlative findings, we asked young drivers
questions on their road traffic behaviors (need to impress other
people, competitive driving, cautious driving, accidents) as well as
how often they played current car racing games such as Burnout,
Midnight Racer (Rockstar Games), or Need for Speed, which are
among the most popular and frequently played video racing games
worldwide (Study 1). Because correlative studies cannot determine
cause and effect, we directly manipulated whether participants
played one of three racing games or one of three neutral (nonracing)
games; the dependent variable was the accessibility of cognitions
(risk-related terms and ideas) and affect (arousal, excitement)
that were supposed to be associated with increased risktaking
tendencies in road traffic (Study 2). Finally, to more closely
observe risk taking in actual road traffic behavior, we again had
participants play either a racing game or a neutral game, and we
subsequently measured risk-taking behavior in critical road traffic
situations with a standardized and established computer-based
reaction time measure for risk taking in road traffic (Study 3).


You can't use a game to test for how people drive in real life after having people play a game.

If people as uneducated as I can spot flaws in their experiment then there is something wrong.

RE: This study is invalid
By sscilli on 3/19/2007 5:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
Driving Simulator . I realize that it may be impractical for them to get that many people to drive a real car, but this study is stupid. A simulator is no different than a game, it just has a fancy control interface. It's not surprising that the gamers treated it like a game.

By Kragoth on 3/19/2007 11:05:20 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, there are a few things I'd like to point out.

First, if you have a problem controlling your actions after you play a game then that is your fault, NOT the fault of the game. It's like saying you wake up from your sleep after dreaming about driving fast so you get in your car and drive fast. If you cannot differentiate reality from fiction/game/dreams you should either not play games or not drive. In the case of this occurring after a dream, get the right medication. I play lots of games, racing, FPS strategy and none of them affect the way I live my life. Why? Because I know that I am playing a GAME!

Second. There is a lot more evidence against drink driving being one of the major causes of fatal accidents then there is against racing games. So, why don't we focus our money and attention on technology and better policing of this problem.

Third. Lets look at reality.
Cigarettes are allowed and they kill people.
Alcohol is allowed and it leads to accidents.
Porn is allowed and it leads to all sorts of trouble
Getting sun burnt can lead to skin cancer but...look at the beaches.
Being overweight is bad for your health, but the government does not rebate gym membership.
Divorce negatively affects children.

I could go on for days.... but we all know the point. Most decisions come down to money and fame. Some research group is trying to get money by "proving" the relationship between games and reckless driving. So, maybe there is some angry parent blaming GTA or the likes for an accident and this is the result seeings as there doesn't seem to be any information about who is funding the research.

Ultimately though, we can all be sure of one thing. Each individual needs to be 100% accountable for their own actions. Anything else is just an excuse.

People just need to get some backbone and learn to own up to their problems. So, if you have trouble playing games and then taking it out in real life, STOP playing games and grow up.

RE: Reality
By danskmacabre on 3/20/2007 2:49:15 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, great post here.
Since you have pretty much covered what I wanted to say, I don't need to comment more.

By shabby on 3/19/2007 6:07:33 AM , Rating: 2
What if these people were agressive drivers before they started playing racing games? Did the study maybe mention that? Of course not...

RE: ...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/19/2007 11:44:28 AM , Rating: 1
That was going to be my question...more like:
How many aggressive drivers or bad drivers buy driving video games verse not so addressive drivers or bad drivers? Maybe they tend to be bad drivers on both the video game and real life? Any ask these questions?

It baffles me..
By Merry on 3/19/2007 5:54:40 AM , Rating: 2 these people surveyed have any common sense? I love driving games, indeed they're the only type of games i own for my ps2, yet I don't drive like a loony. My license is worth far too much to me than that. If I want to go and race I go Karting or keep it in the virtual world, not on the road, primarily because I don't fancy getting distinctly dead. It perplexes me that other people haven't quite got the common sense to think the same </rant>

crappy "scientific" studies
By xsilver on 3/19/2007 6:00:00 AM , Rating: 2
lol - scientific studies are done on the most inane things nowadays.

personally im an old time video game player and not a single accident on the road. yes there are times where you are like "could use a rocket launcher to move the traffic along" but that's really just daydreaming because of nothing to do during heavy traffic.

In fact I think these studies are done on "kiddies" who don't know how to drive in the first place and on "race" car games like NFS.
Play GTR racing or an F1 sim for more than a few hours and I have no doubt you'll have a new appreciation for acceleration / braking /cornering techniques.

Possible alternate title?
By NesuD on 3/19/2007 6:08:33 AM , Rating: 2
More Studies Indicate Racing Games Cause Driving Accidents

Study indicates higher risk drivers more likely to play driving games.

Unless there is considerably more to this than indicated here this study is meaningless.

The buck stops here...
By frobizzle on 3/19/2007 6:27:49 AM , Rating: 2
...that was President Truman's famous comment about how (in that case) politicians love to "pass the buck" and not take responsibility for anything. Truman had all he could tolerate!
Things haven't changed much it seems. We have these purportedly scientific studies attempting to explain human behavior for things like violence and now bad driving habits. Decades ago, violent television shows were blamed for inciting violent behavior. Even the 3 Stooges shorts being aired on TV was considered a bad influence on children. The 3 Stooges??
People, wake up! It isn't video games creating the violence or games like GTA causing bad driving habits! Pornography does not a rapist make. People should take responsibility for their actions, plain and simple!
Without looking at this study in depth, I can still tell that it is totally bogus. Why? The number of subjects is 198. 198??? WTF! It's a good thing the drug companies have to have a much larger case study on new meds before they are even considered for approval by the FDA! The worst thing about this is that you will now see lawyers using this POS study defending their clients in accident cases and getting away with it! ("Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, my client did indeed run down that woman but it was not his fault! His judgement was severely clouded from playing GTA: San Andreas. It is not him that should be sued in this courtroom, it is the software companies for publishing such horrible games!")

Yeah right.
By Hyperlite on 3/19/2007 7:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
People who did play racing games often reported to have engaged in more aggressive driving more frequently than those who did not.

i stopped reading after the next sentence. So the results were determined based on how someone SAID they drove and by results in a simulator? Right, thats objective...

here is the most likely cause
By sprockkets on 3/19/2007 8:02:12 AM , Rating: 2
Why don't these people just test for testosterone levels?

Ive done my own research also.
By Mitch101 on 3/19/2007 9:21:46 AM , Rating: 2
I live in Nascar Central and the people around me Fail to use turn signals (BMW is optional to use them in any state) much like Nascar cars that dont have turn signals.

Which reminds me how do you spell Dic* with 3 letters. BMW

People around me also fail to purchase hands free items for their cell phones for some reason. Maybe because nascar drivers have communication devices as well so they think they should and can communicate while holding a phone and drive.

We also have some areas of visual interest like roads that run along some water ways giving the occasional moron a head turn as if they never saw a girl in a bikini some 1000+ feet away. Thats what the internet is for not for you to not pay attention when driving.

Im just going to list those 3. But because of those 3 an agressive driver has more chances of an accident because of his surroundings.

The comparison is drivers of an aggressive nature surrounded by those in an area of poor driving. Similar to those of a video game nature you also have to consider the surrounding performance of the drivers around them which this test would also have to measure. Your test results would differ based upon the area where the agressive driving takes place.

As a comparison Im a northern driver which requires agressive driving ability or you get no where. (NY and NJ). Im stuffed into Nascar central (NC) where people cant drive worth ****. This poor driving causes me to switch to an aggressive mode of driving so I can get somewhere. My agressive driving clashes with Nascar central because they are not calculated drivers and are actually very random in thier driving. But driving this way in the North would not be a problem because the drivers in the North know how to defensively drive with agressive drivers. People in Nascar central are like poorly programmed drones that drift lanes and get easily confused and are much more distracted on the road becuase they arent used to having to pay so much attention to the road like a northern driver. This is a recipe for disaster.

I can agree that Video Game Racing drivers probably do take more risks and cause more problems.

I would hope that they also do a test of poor drivers which leads others to drive more aggressively because they simply dont move causes my agressive driving. Not racing games.

Vice Versa
By Samus on 3/19/2007 10:36:30 AM , Rating: 2
The whole topic is flawed. These researchers are looking at the glass half empty.

People who drive fast and recklessly also play driving games, not the other way around.

People drove fast and recklessly long before videogames existed, and infact, considering the number of drivers today is exponentially higher than in the past, less and less people die in car accidents each year.

Sure, car's are getting safer, but major accidents NOT involving alcohol are on the decline.

Well, actually...
By Trippytiger on 3/19/2007 1:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
Games don't cause accidents, idiots do.

Wow, but it only takes a little.
By Trisped on 3/19/2007 8:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
As someone who is normally very safe, I can say that I have seen the correlation of driving games causing bad driving in me personally.

But the real point is that we have found a relation. Now we need to prove it one way of the other. What we as gamers need is a group of 200-2000 people in all walks of life, so who play games, some who don't, some who drive in a safe manner, those who take risks, those who drive short distances, those who drive long, those who drive everyday, those who only drive once in a while. Really, a good sample. Then half of those people are told to play a driving game for at least 30 min ever day (and record the exact number of minutes each day) while the other half is told to not play any driving games, even if they normally do.

With a test period of about a month or so you would be able to pick up some rather reliable results as to weather the games cause the risky driving or risky drivers are drawn to the games.

By peternelson on 3/19/2007 9:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
I see no causal link demonstrated at all.

What I do see is that they found a correlation between propensity to play racing games and for example speed.

Speed is not directly related to danger it depends on road conditions, the capability eg brakes of the vehicle, the user reaction time etc.

I find it unsurprising that for example little old grandmothers who own 3 wheeler cars do not drive fast. They are also unlikely to own games consoles. Pretty obvious. Their car could not go fast if they tried. However a senile old person may be dangerous eg because of failing eyesight, poor response time etc, and if they drive an older vehicle it will have less capable braking system eg no ABS.

It is a proven fact that video games INCREASE reaction time in gamers. The nintendo brain training game tends to show that those who are older and don't exercise their brain well have slow performance.

The authors do not highlight these factors and do not support claims of a causal link. This undermines their study in my opinion.

I don't believe any real drivers can't distinguish between reality and a game.

There are those foolish enough to take risks. Some of those may be young (ie inexperienced drivers who never had a crash yet to know the dangers) and that would correlate with console ownership because gamers tend to be youngish.

Beyond those I don't think this study is highly valuable to the debate. In particular I don't think my insurance premiums should go up just because I play video games. I would argue that the realistic experience actually adds to my driving hours experience.

It is for such reason that hours experience playing on flight simulators can be credited towards some types of pilot license.

There is a known correlation between years experience driving and propensity to accidents. The side effect of this is a younger driver is more likely to have accidents. Their youth will correlate somewhat with gaming.

Therefore the correlation they found is as predicted without necessitating any causal link whatsoever, except in extreme cases where petrol heads are road racing and pretending their real cars are a game. In which case they will likely lose their license soon enough when the police catch them.

Other dangerous behaviours might be going through a stop sign or red traffic light, changing lane without using mirror and/or indicating correctly etc.

Some people may be driving faster because they have high pressure jobs which require them to meet appointments punctually and handle stress. Those who don't play video games would unlikely choose such a high stress job.

Also there are other dangerous behaviours eg using a mobile phone while driving, or having a conversation/argument with the family while driving. Aside from any console user would have a mobile, it is often the older drivers who have children in the back misbehaving. This study needs revising with more factors considered because their conclusions are too simplistic.

pointless survey
By knowom on 3/19/2007 10:33:34 PM , Rating: 2
People who drive aggressively are more likely to play race games in the first place, but you can't blame video games for the aggressive driving behavior automatically that's just silly they need a more controlled study for it to hold much merit.

Games made me do it!
By Senju on 3/20/2007 12:12:00 AM , Rating: 2
This is sooooo stupid! There are so many things wrong with this report, I do not know where to start. First of all, this report is going to make someone want to sue a driving game company because he drove too fast and killed that kid. The game made me do it! The same as after watching a fast drive scene in a movie and blame it on the movie. It is just pointless. If the student is driving too fast, it is due to bad judgment. Anyway, they only interviewed 68? people? I do not think that will represent the thousands of gamers playing driving games. Anyway, most young drivers that are driving too fast will most likely be drinking more and playing games more and having sex too early or whatever. Their parents need to direct them in developing their judgment skills not blaming their environment. Blaming is such a easily thing to do. Taking responsibility of your actions will help you in all areas. :D

more logical
By mconsonni on 3/26/2007 5:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
It is more logical if reversed. These people who happen to drive recklessly and fast would logically enjoy playing driving games because it allows them more of a venue to express their fascinations.

Driving Fast existed before video games. So did violence.
Chicken or the egg.

What is to be said of people who drive fast who do not play games, or those who drive cautiously who do play.

By walk2k on 3/19/07, Rating: 0
Denial doesn't change the facts
By cornfedone on 3/19/07, Rating: -1
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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