Study: Driving games lead to real-life speeding

British driving institution finds that a third of young drivers are likely to rev it up more after playing racing games.

Violent games have been accused of influencing criminal behavior in the youth of today, but now games may be accused of influencing something else--putting the pedal to the metal.

What's a beach doing on this street?

A study by British driving institution BSM has found that young drivers are more apt to speed and drive recklessly after playing a racing game, reports the BBC. A survey showed that more than a third of 1,000 subjects polled are more likely to push the gas a little harder after playing a racing game, and 27 percent of drivers aged 16 to 24 "admitted more risk-taking on the road after a gaming session."

However, some of those polled also believe frequently playing driving games can improve their on-the-road performance. About 40 percent are convinced that playing games benefits reaction time and reflexes.

This isn't the first time racing games have come into question with reckless driving. Just over a year ago, a copy of Electronic Arts' street-racing game Need for Speed was found in the car of a driver who killed a taxi driver while drag racing his friend.

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525 comments
jangofett
jangofett

i played all kinds of racing games and never got influenced nether has my little cousin.

Alexk999
Alexk999

I played Carmageddon all the time and didn't want to go out and run over everyone in my path :-)

MrPMPisBeefy
MrPMPisBeefy

I like how the minority automatically means everyone. Polls are always inaccurate and mis-leading. 1/3 reported to be more agressive. That means 2/3 of the people were not affected. More people felt their reaction time and reflexes were improved but that didn't fit BSM's agenda so it was noted at the end but not mentioned in the headlines. Go figure.

TTDog
TTDog

Coming soon, a study that says all the people who play NASCAR games all find it impossible to understand that you can also turn right, Gran Turismo drivers get the urge to take a corner and then stop and ask if they did it well enough to pass the test, and NFS drivers refuse to drive any vehicle that hasn't been pimped to the max.

Juthan
Juthan

If someone is dumb enough to play a game and be influenced enough by it to go out and attempt it on the open roads, then I'll be sure to slow down to point and laugh when their car is wrapped around a pole. One less idiot on the roads. Oh well...

demonoid42
demonoid42

Dude, my g/f plays Harvest Moon all the time; I best be gettin' myself a farm.

Endrance
Endrance

Definitely something wrong with that cat...

weeeoops1520
weeeoops1520

lmao, the cat pic alone is freaking funny as hell!!!

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

lol, is that Toonces the Cat in the pic?

notm3
notm3

Time to spout the same crap that should be concentrated on ... "The responsibility should lie with the parents to explain to their children that driving on the roads the same way you do in games in unacceptable and wrong" .... And anyone over 20 should already know better

matrixman2k
matrixman2k

There are these unemployed lot with nothing else to research upon, and so here we have another statistic - with lots more to follow, of course...

ChitoKiryoku
ChitoKiryoku

What I find amazing is that most of the comments here are 'what a load of crap', quite a few are the opposite 'gee, isn't that obvious?' and a few actually think about it rationally. Regardless, the poll at gamefaqs still shows that of all those who voted, who can drive, and pay attention to their speed after playing games, over half of those does speed (after playing games) http://www.gamefaqs.com/poll/index.html?poll=2681

bamf03
bamf03

I thought these driving games were based from real-life speeding not the other way around?

megamega777
megamega777

where I live, one third already speeds :P 1/6 out of the third, have a console 1/50 have a game that has any involement in cars 1/1000 is influce to speed because the game tells them to

Modx22
Modx22

I flipped my car 17 times because of need for speed most wanted

Eclipse83Lives
Eclipse83Lives

I dont think it is so much like the NASCAR games or whatever. A lot of us have raced something growing up. And a lot of us don't fly on the streets. Despite what we drive "LS1 01 TRANS AM :P" Got rid of the Eclipse a while back. I like NFSU as a series. But I think it has to do more with this un-real world of street racing. And in the teen world these days its kinda a stupid in thing to do. Which I cant see why they just don't take it to the local strip but?? Teens, what are you going to do. Thats not to say that their is not these huge underground race scenes in the big cites, because their are. Their was in Miami when I grew up their in the 80s even. But its two things. One the media is on top of everything now. So everyday life is now news. You know,, like the fact That we now Know you can die if you eat to healthy, that kinda of BS. But also the games like NFSU, although fun. Are kinda ridiculous in their story telling, and also pushing junk cars that just cant do the things in real life, you do in the game. Which is part of what makes the game fun. But is also why youll get a few stupid kids "not all, or most" but a few that will transfer this over to the real streets. I dont know why their is that group of teens that feel they have to prove all the time. But, its one of those things, you just have to take as a part in the change of life now a days. Its one of those things thats hard for me to explain. And more so because I know all sides to it. Ive been in Motocross since 5. Ive raced a tun. And I step on the Trans Am here and their on the streets. But I don't go fast that often. The line between stupidity and the need to prove something is a hard one to understand. And teens are kinda ignorant when it comes to that, and girls, and being popular, or whatever. All that plays into it. Their just not "I guess exspierancend would be the word." But they just are not smart when those little flames spark inside them. Not sure how to control the testosterone yet lol. Or something along those lines.

kruegersc4
kruegersc4

I would think that it just depends on who you are and what driving game you're playing. You may become a better driver, or you may take more risks.

JonnyNemesis
JonnyNemesis

I'd call BS, but this happens to me all the time. One time after playing Vice City, I started to drive to class, and I passed a cop cruiser. The very first thought that went through my head was, "If I ram his right quarter-panel, I can get him to spin out, then jump out and jack his ride!" There were a couple other incidents involving the various Burnout games, but that was about when I decided no more driving type games before actual driving.

ert47
ert47

'When I drive in real life, I like to rack up points in my Burnout bar by near missing everything! But for some reason, I can't find the boost button in me Vauxhall Nova...' yeh... I sorta understand where they are coming from, but then not many people here will agree with teh comments because they love their games...

slyydevil
slyydevil

This is just BS!!! How about doing a poll on the NASCAR drivers and see if speeding on an oval has the same effect on their driving behaviors on the streets. I would think they're more prone to driving fast than some risk taking youngster. Better yet how about the many fans of NASCAR?

Blazer88
Blazer88

Junk science. The reality is that playing driving games does not make a person speed whne driving in real life,..that is individual choice. The polled group happens to incude the highest risk ages on the road as it is anyway and ones that would more likely to blame something else if they drive bad as oppossed to admitting that it tthey are at fault.

ApisBee
ApisBee

So, kids never ever received speeding citations prier to Pong? For this article to be true, there would had been zero speeding citations issued to kids before 1970. I picked on pong because it was the beginning. see http://www.pong-story.com/inventor.htm

ReaperXxxx
ReaperXxxx

I would put money on a bet that watching a racing movie such a The Fast and the Furious or Gone in 60 Seconds would be even more likely to lead to speeding or wreckless driving. The age group they studied are also the most likely to speed and take risks. These researchers need to get their acts together before releasing half-assed results like this. Way to be unprofessional, folks.

Flint247
Flint247

People only blaming video games when they know ANYTHING can be lethal is discriminating. I don't like it. Music, movies, tv shows, basketball, hockey, fights, anything can start stuff, not just video games.

Flint247
Flint247

This news is a lie. I would never speed because of games. that is just stupid

CaptainCrazy
CaptainCrazy

Yes I believe racing games can cause speeding in real life but only with people who are irresponsible, again the problem really doesn't lie with the game but with the individual persons character. Also remember, ever since cars were invented there were always people that liked to "push it to the limit".

manifestus
manifestus

In case I wasn't clear enough, this is like saying that eating ice cream causes murders. They are correlated, but so is warm weather and murder rates; summer and murder and so forth. To establish the relationship as CAUSAL you'd need some way of illustrating how those other instances wouldn't be related. At this stage you don't even know if it's just the fact that people who speed buy games like Need for Speed ... Again, stupid news item unless they issue a point in there referencing a lot of supporting literature.

Smoov_B
Smoov_B

I wonder what game(s) they used for the study. I've noticed that after playing a sim like Gran Turismo my driving would be improved and more focused, whereas after playing NFS I'd get a little more aggressive.

manifestus
manifestus

Correlation or causation? I love how people enjoy trying to tie the later into some jank story when at best you MIGHT have some results indicating the former. The survey also needs to inform us of what drivers they surveyed, the background of those individuals, the sampling technique, the statistical analysis, and supporting literature/further studies. Otherwise, this is basically an undergrad research project for Psych 100.

dougphisig
dougphisig

Only thing is drivers between 16-24 are more likely to speed than people older than that anyways who is to say that they weren't just as likely to speed without the help of the videogame don't know if this was factored into there study :P.

Myriam_D
Myriam_D

Y'know what? We can't trust drivers. Anyone could have issues anywhere for any reason and BAM-something bad happens. My Mom totaled our last car because she works Night shifts and was too tired to come back safely-she ran in to a metal bin construction people were using and left partially on the road. Do YOU see a video game tie in there? Not like it matters either way, she was going pretty slowly when it happened. Let's ignore cars altogether. Stop using them, I'm serious. There are companies ready to lay out a network of cheap magnets under the road, which will be used to control driver-less electric buses, which you can have come to you and go EXACTLY where you want to go by using a cellphone subscription. No one will have accidents because the buses sense when something is in front of them and will either slow down or hit the brakes depending on how close the object is. The environmentalists will thank you for using electricity, Mothers Against Drunk Driving would bloody pay you to do it, and no one will ever have to blame a video game again. See, doesn't the world look a bit better now? ('Course, it won't happen for a while. Fate darn the Oil Companies...) Best to ya, Myriam.

mononokehime316
mononokehime316

The thing that makes me laugh is BSM has a video game style simulator. Its pretty primitive visually but its no difference to Gran Turismo to be honest as far as controls go. This is simply a PR exercise to get BSM's name in the newspapers here in the UK. Over here BSM are seen as a ripoff place that over charge for driving lessons. I love Outrun 1 and 2 but after playing it i dont feel like driving full speed in a tessarosa with a blonde next to me. Although if BSM are willing to provide both to do a test i will have a go.

lithus
lithus

Such BS. One could make the same argument that driving games make kids better drivers due to higher dexterity and reflexes. Wanna research something worth while...let's try, I dunno...uh CANCER!

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

It's true, I can remember playing Crazy Taxi and then being late to go somewhere and driving fast in my car. Espically with some Heavy Metal playing man Wooo hooo!!

tnugent7
tnugent7

Let's clarify this once and for all people: Science is about the proof of theories based on scientific results. You can't reference common knowledge in the scientific community, for something to have any weight at all it has to be tested. The reason they conducted this study was to examine the link and determine if this had scientific merit. For the love of God, drop the juvenile "Oh, I played Gears of War, now I feel like cutting subhumans in half with a chainsaw. Har Har" crap. There is a distinct difference between an easily emulated situation such as driving and outlandish situations that cannot possibly resonate with a healthy person's sense of reason. I don't see why you all can't accept that games are something with negative effects beyond an ever-expanding ass. Do you all have to deny the negative effects of binge drinking in order to get hammered?

Sharvie
Sharvie

The obvious answer to underlying problems... blame games. :|

WillT12345
WillT12345

Everyone wants cut and dry anwsers to why things happen. But people are much more complicated then that. If anything I would say games most of the time only trigger people to do these bad things, but I don't see a game as the solo or even main reason for someone doing something like racing or killing someone. (IE mental issues, family issues, money issues, who raised them, ect)

DarqFlare
DarqFlare

It might sound ludicrous, but it's probably right. I find myself wanting to speed a bit more after playing some Carbon anyway... I recognize the urge and squelch it, but nonetheless, I'm sure it happens. Sometimes I wish I could race around Vegas like I do in Carbon, let me tell ya...

Triton
Triton

Duh, how much money did they get for study. Whats next. 99% of the peple need a towel to dry off when they get out of the shower? Or maybe 9-10 people when are hungry, they get something to eat.

GTCzeero
GTCzeero

Really? Because after I play God of War I always feel the need to travel back in time to ancient Greece, find mythological creatures and destroy them. Why must everyone under the Sun use games as scapegoats?

puablo
puablo

What makes me laugh about this is that after I played GTA:SA, every time I got in the car I had this reflexive urge to speed, drive around other cars on the road, and run red lights at will. Of course, I also wanted a motorcycle so I could drive down the middle of the road. (I'm serious!)

johnnyv2003
johnnyv2003

playing LOTR games makes me wanna make a trek to Mt. Doom

Speer504
Speer504

omg, that's about as dumb as saying Doom drove those kids to shoot up Columbine. I love playing Gory games, as well as games that are fast paced and break laws. And at 28, I've never had a speeding ticket or tendencies to commit a horrible crime in my life. Although I do like scaring people into liking Burger King Burgers... If I ever get caught by the FIVE-O I hope they don't find the copy of Sneak King in my car!!!

SpeedMan72
SpeedMan72

iv played nfs games like sense iv been a little kid my dad says i drive better than my brother that doesnt play games that much. yeah that thing about the copy of nfs in that car it could have just been in there.

foxy42
foxy42

Omigod, here we go again.