Hey, look… I know I’m an old guy and not a gamer but, I do have an opinion of the “virtual racing” being used as a replacement for the “real thing” for us NASCAR fans. Well… maybe “replacement” is a little too strong of a word. Perhaps I should say it is a substitute until they can get back to the real thing.
I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking, “Oh, he’s just an old guy and doesn’t get the virtual world.” Believe me. I do get the virtual world and I do understand the draw it has on people of all ages, particularly those younger than me. Admittedly, I haven’t really gotten into the more recent world of virtual things but I did used to play some games back in the day. My kids and grandkids play a lot of games and I can tell you; things have really become more sophisticated in these times. (There I go, revealing my age again.)
Yeah, as I got older, I just got to the point I was too busy to play games and I also found them to be somewhat addicting. Running a business and raising a family and all of the extracurricular activities that go along with those, I could no longer stay up till all hours and go to work the next day and not pay a price for it. After a while, it was something I gave up because it was becoming a waste of time and energy without results. Yes, I know some people play games to unwind and take their mind off their day-to-day stresses and others do it because they want to and really love it. I’m just not one of those people and I do not judge those that are.
In those days – when I was much younger – we would always try to find the weaknesses in the game and try to take advantage of them to better our score or win over our opponents. There was always something you could use whether it be the timing of the shots or slower and poorer reactions of those you played against. Eventually, I replaced my gaming time with something else and lost interest in the games all together.
So, what is my real opinion of the Virtual Racing replacing regular NASCAR racing at the present time?
Well… I will say it is interesting – or, at least it was the first week it was aired on FOX Sports. I readily admit it is amazing how realistic the graphics are and how real the cars on the track look as the competitors “drive” them from their consoles. I also thought it was interesting they would want to include the usual voices “calling the race” as it progressed. They have done their best to make the Virtual Race as much like the Real racing and make it appear even more real to the viewers.
Now here is the problem with all of that, at least for me as a former driver and, presently, still a fan, (waiting for the real thing to return.) In reality, it is just a game. As real as they try to make it look and sound changes nothing about the fact it is a virtual game and nothing other than the driver’s ability to manage their virtual car through their console makes it anything else. I mean, give me a break! They even do the “crank it up” routine for those with their surround sound setups. (Personally, I don’t even like “crank it up” when they do it for real. By the way, I do have surround sound and it still isn’t one of my favorite things.)
Here is what I told my wife when I first heard they were planning to put it on TV. With everything being virtual, it doesn’t matter how fast or how hard they drive into the turn. They could even cause themselves to be launched into the stands by a dumb move and no one would get hurt, the fans and drivers are safe and the cars undamaged except for the rules that apply for wrecking virtually. As real as it may seem and as real as they try to make it appear, it is still a virtual presentation made for gamers. The ones that do better are the ones that have experience racing virtually and, at least from my view, have the more sophisticated consoles. Yes, the competition is real competition but it is a game, a very sophisticated one at that, but still a game.
It is my thinking, those that enjoy it most are the competitors and gamers that may want to get into it or already are. I just don’t relish the thought of watching someone else play a game. For me, the newness has worn off and it is pretty much like watching my kids play games at family gatherings and they take over the TV to play amongst themselves. The rest of us can watch or we can do something else. For me, well, I choose to do something else…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© April 4, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated