There are a lot of racing challenges that just scream ‘please, make me a real thing’. Some do it because they would actually make sense in the real world, others because it would be utterly hilarious to watch people attempt them in a universe governed by physics and mortality.
It goes without saying that if you do decide to try and recreate any of the following digital races, that you should send us a video, or at the very least a picture of the gory aftermath. By which I mean, please don’t try and recreate any of the following digital races. It would be a bad idea.
With that warning ringing resoundingly in your ears and eyes, let’s take a look at the ten videogame driving events they should hold in real life.
Outrun should be a right of passage for any Ferrari owner who wants to try and woo a potential sexual partner. Said partner will be given a bucket of heart shaped tokens, and lavish them upon their intended when they perform particularly exquisite feats of driving skill. Similarly, they should also be taught the correct way to pout and frown when the driving is less than impressive. In the real world though, the age of the driving participants would likely be old enough to push this idea into the ‘creepy’ category.
Metropolis Street Racer
This one is so easy to do, it’s a wonder no one has yet. Block off parts of famous cities around the world, preferably as close as possible to some well recognised landmarks, fill the tracksides with some excited fans, then let anyone with a shiny enough car have a race around them. Apart from the legal difficulties involved in closing down most of central London, and moving certain landmarks so they’re closer than they are now, I don’t see why we can’t have a go at this over the weekend.
An early eighties coin-op from Taito, Change Lanes introduced fuel into the equations of early racing games. Rather than having to stop, or anything silly like that, you just had to drive through fuel cells to replenish your gas tank. Creating this sort of technology in the real world would make long trips far more interesting, as you try and smash other cars out of the way to get that extra drop of fuel you need to make it home. Let’s make petrol stations a thing of the past, and replace them with multiple car pile ups.
Let’s be honest, F1 nowadays is a bit dull. It’s all pit stops and processions and people starting at the front of the grid winning the race. Virtua Racer answered that problem by having a really wide track. Overtaking is much easier if you’ve got an enormous runway to help you slide past your opponents. We should also get Virt McPolygon, the digital human who could be attached to a separate screen in linked arcade cabinets, to commentate, if only because he’s called Virt McPolygon.
Another game with enough of a footing in the real world that translating it would be remarkably simple. Tearing around Chicago, weaving through traffic, taking whichever corner you fancy, there are no obvious reasons why this would lead to untimely death or massive lawsuits. Throwing a Beetle around the windy city while being pursued by a truck would likely be a lot more frightening in real life though.
Mario Kart 7
Sure, you can already go carting in real life, but the carts aren’t weaponised, and few people have the tenacity to grow a luxurious enough moustache to pass as Mario, let alone the facial-hair arranging skills to pull off a Wario. Let’s build some tracks surrounded by bottomless drops, create missiles in the shape of shells and carts that transform into aeroplanes when the situation dictates. We should probably figure out human respawn points while we’re at it. Once these small hurdles have been gracefully navigated, we’ll be on our way to wacky, Nintendo themed racing in to time at all.
Micro Machines Tanks
This one’s going to be difficult to get right. Our two options are shrinking ourselves down, and building miniature working tanks with which to race across various household obstacle courses, or building giant sized replicas of a kitchen, a garden, and a living room, and trashing them in full sized war machines. Either way, we’ll need some boffins on the job as soon as possible. Boffins, if you’re reading this, you have your newest task. Keep us posted. In the meantime, the rest of us will practise our aim, and work out how to accurately translate top down controls to a real world situation.
Be honest, if there was one item on this list that came true, you’d want it to be this one. Cars are cool, but sleek hovercrafts that race through the neon-lit racescapes of the far future are even cooler. We’ll need reliable anti-grav technology, headphones that are strong enough to pump techno into the racers brains above the din of said technology, and an architect with a few years spare time to build us the perfect cities to weave our tracks through. Alternatively, we could just hurry up and get time travel invented, because if the rest of humanity is anything like me, they’ll have real life Wipeout up and running as soon as possible.
Driver San Francisco
A much overlooked gem from last year, Driver San Francisco‘s ridiculous hook was the way it enabled you to leap between the brains of different people spread out across the city. Bored of driving your battered, L reg piece of crap? Why not transfer your consciousness into that guy with the fancy looking sports car over there? The implementation of this spiritual process will make driving a level playing field. It no longer matters what you can afford, just how quick you are at mind-fighting. Psycho-communism in action.
A dangerous reality show where almost everything explodes, and the best drivers in the world compete to stay alive? That’s the kind of Saturday night prime time show that everyone would watch. Planes crashing, bridges collapsing, air strikes being called in, and all with the push a button on the steering wheel. You could even vote for which driver stayed in, and which got fired out a cannon into the sun. People would finally be telling the truth when they described a televisual experience as “worth the license fee on its own”.