from the real-talk dept
Normally, when we talk about any issue involving how realistic video games are becoming as an art form, those stories revolve around either the decrying of realistic violence within the games or occasionally governments attempting to use realistic game footage to pimp their own fictional military capabilities. But, while those stories often come off as silly, those examples and their like are not the only benchmarks for just how realistic gaming is becoming. Other examples involve games reaching a realism level high enough to open the door to real-life application.
Serving as a recent example of this is the latest from racing game giant Gran Turismo, which has achieved enough realism to earn it a partnership with Formula One Racing as a sort of proving ground for racers to get their license with the professional racing organization.
A new partnership with the FIA means that in-game progress can now count toward a racing license with the association. The partnership with the FIA somewhat mirrors the GT Academy, which allows some of the best Gran Turismoplayers to compete for the opportunity to drive a real race car.
Through the FIA partnership, game racers will be tracked on their ability and their "race track etiquette", which I assume is a way to ensure that drivers are performing not only well, but in a manner that would be safe for real-world drivers around them. In addition, there will be a sub-section of the game specifically designed in partnership with the FIA, where drivers can compete with one another and have their skills and driving behavior analyzed.
This isn't just a cool benchmark in gaming realism, either. It provides a nice example of how this kind of realism can benefit an industry like the racing industry in very real ways, both in terms of safety and cost.
Considering the astronomical costs of pursuing a career in motorsports, being able to knock certain aspects of it out in a video game—without the cost of wrecks, mechanical issues, parts and just buying a car—could open the opportunity for a wider array of competitors. Purchasing a gaming setup fit to race isn't cheap, but it's far cheaper than running real races.
Believe me, the moment that Major League Baseball teams start looking to the management of video game teams as a proving ground for hiring general managers and coaches, I'll have a whole new career path on my hands. More seriously, this type of thing won't eliminate the need for real-world racing experience to qualify for a license, but it likely will have a nice weeding-out effect for potential drivers.