The world of video games is one of the largest and most lucrative fields in programming. Games like “Grand Theft Auto 4” and “Need For Speed” have topped the list of the most played games on any console. Part of the appeal of these games is their realism when it comes to driving a car.
Could video game programmers use their talents to teach kids how to drive responsibly?
One argument against video games is they subconsciously teach our children the road is a place to have fun, when they should be focused on safety. The argument for video games is they give children an advantage because of the hand-eye coordination they learn at such an early age.
If programmers focus on the latter argument and the positive effects video games can have, they might be able to come up with games that promote safe driving habits while still entertaining the masses.
Focus – One of the issues young drivers face is the ability to focus on the road. With a video game that simulates different aspects of driving, a student could effectively gain confidence and learn to pay attention when they are in the driver’s seat.
Seat Belts – Another aspect that could be implemented is a way of making their seat belt a fail-safe in the game. For instance, the game cannot be started until the seat-belt has been fastened.
Speeding – Young drivers often feel a sense of immortality when they first get their license. By implementing a strategy to get driving speed down, programmers could use a point system in their game. When a driver goes over the speed limit they lose a point, which affects their overall score in the game.
Skids – Knowing how to recover from a skid is an excellent thing to have when you are just starting out on the road. Using a simulation to regain control of your vehicle could be life saving to a new driver.
Impaired Driving – When you try to explain what being impaired is like, it doesn’t seem to register with a lot of young drivers. With this in mind, a video game could simulate the way that driving while impaired really is. This way, young drivers can see how fast a vehicle can go out of control.
Avoidance – Most drivers will have to avoid some kind of accident, animal or inclement weather. With the advanced technology that has been developed over the last couple of years, video games have become increasingly better in the graphics arena. We now have high definition quality video games and this could be perfect for training young drivers on how to look down the road, avoid animals, and avoid serious accidents.
Weather – Teaching a student how to drive in the summer cannot teach them how to drive in a snowstorm. With a video game we can successfully imitate a blizzard or heavy rain and wind. This could completely revolutionize how new drivers are prepared for any kind of weather that could cause an accident.
Video games are getting more and more advanced as the years go on. Games that allow our children to crash cars, speed on the roads, and make a sport out of running people over could be better spent on teaching them the responsibility that comes with driving a car. With video games focusing more on driver safety, we might see less accidents and give new drivers the ability to avoid becoming a statistic.