Racing video games, more than a simulation, a great experience dizziness

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The kind of car simulation is often considered high. Yet the image of “Forza Horizon 3”, it offers fascinating sensations.

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They seem so fragile, under their funny cover. All these players, the haggard look, lost in virtual walks, a steering wheel pixels hands. They are there, survey imaginary roads, drool an air proud while they may not even permit . Exterior view, simulation car has an air of mystery in the eyes of those tires 3D indifferent.

So why are the motor simulations so popular? The two leading simulations of kind Gran Turismo and Forza (showing Tuesday, September 27 with the release of Forza Horizon 3 PC and Xbox One), have passed in accumulated nearly 100 million copies of all episodes. For its part, the series Mario Kart has climbed on the podium of the best sellers of the past four consoles from Nintendo, more than 80 million games sold in ten years. But if he is appreciated, gender is one of the most underrated.

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If, for a dozen years, the video game has a media recognition, and even university, growing, game car remain the poor relation of this discipline. “In Ludespace [un laboratoire d’études sur le jeu]the motorsports were one of the few categories that were correlated with socio-professional category – employee / worker – but I do not think have saw pass specialized research on this, which is too popular, “ grieves Mathieu Triclot, author of Philosophy of the video game and took the head of the” play studies ” . Little narrative, the play of car would it be less “noble” that genres as part of a literary or cinematographic heritage, such as role playing and action? It reserves, however, a real wealth of experience.

childish Pleasure

The mimesis the imitative impulse, and agon the drive of competition, two of the four bases of the game theorized in 1958 by Roger Caillois ( the Games and the men, ed. Gallimard), found in the car play a privileged expression. “For the real players of car games, the issue of simulation, precision and reflex is important” ensures Mathieu Triclot.

In this respect, the automotive simulation is the only sports simulation that mimics the control device of a real driver: Wheel and pedals exist as Accessories video game, even without the controller mimics the gesture of the steering, by turning to the left or right the control stick, or speeding or pushing a button slice of pressure sensitive, just like a pedal. “So that when I play FIFA I transfer the skill of the foot to the hand, and more with the program that automates some of this skill is that of the player Football continues the researcher. After all, jokes the philosopher, the video game is not he himself a Sports mechanics?

Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo have largely capitalized on the fineness of the reproduction of Car and their implementation almost erotic scene. Not without fall sometimes in the virile shot and accessorizing of women, for example in Outrun where the avatar of the player is constantly accompanied by a passive and dumb blond transient . But more often, the player finds especially in the video game fun near small cars. It is that of imitation, possession and collection – pride of win for his good grades, performance or cost savings, the new girl, the latest model, the most beautiful cars.

Epic Racing

But it also doubles as a strictly playful dimension, absent – ideally – driving into reality: the game of obstacles. “In the game mechanics, there is a very very basic brick: the management of the collision avoid not touch edge. That is why in the running game, there is also the question of accident, often very involved, very graphic “ resumed the philosopher. As in the dramatic series of Burnout today arrested or even humorous or futuristic series like Mario Kart WipEout and F-Zero where contacts, friction and interaction between competitors are just as important as driving, if not more.

In this regard, stresses Mathieu Triclot, the running game finally takes an adrenaline rush very close “Shoot’m up” space shooting games. Speed ​​and precision of execution, rule of danger, spectacular setting: the ships fighting in Star Wars are actually not that far apart, their aftertaste of adrenaline, epic races F-Zero X or déboulés to misinterpretation of Burnout .

pure Vertigo

For Alexis Blanchet, senior lecturer in film studies at the University Paris -III, you have bring these racing games of amusement theme parks. “In the giddy acceleration and displacement are compounded by the exceptional situation, the unusual situation in the life of every day: escape to prosecutors, roll at breakneck enjoy fun to ride in the landscapes of movie . “

Thus in Forza Horizon 3 the player immersed in the Australian outback with its majestic reliefs and lush vegetation, uses unexpected vehicles (helicopter, train, science fiction quad …). “This race simulation goes beyond the competitive framework, agonistic, classic race between vehicles, offer the player an experience rather thought as one might call piece of automotive bravery “ suggests Alexis Blanchet.

And remember that that experience much less in returns Sports in the movies, packed in: chases (James Bond) leakage (Drive) rides (road movie in general), spinners (Bullit) challenges (the Fury live ), accidents ( Crash Cronenberg) … that is to say the set pieces. In Philosophy of video games Mathieu Triclot compared the experience of the video game arcade racing towards the cliff of by Northwest.

“Wanted pure vertigo. But as in an arcade shooter is always in doses “ says Mathieu Triclot, the level of skill of the player increasing progressively, forcing each time the game raise its difficulty, in a permanent table tennis.

night Hypnosis

The car video game is also known do relaxation. Like the recent Forza Horizon 3 unanimously praised by critics, and has much more to the pleasure of driving free, car ride and a thrill of speed is going to rules and codes. Here, some sports package, but especially the pleasure of the unexpected.

And then there is the sense of control, pushed to feel they become one with his vehicle until lead without even think . The car game is so ordinary trance, like a long hypnotic sequence conduct rocked by the night lights. Nightdriver the Atari game, is the first propose this deep dive effect in the road” advanced Triclot Mathieu, who sees it an experience close to hypnosis.

This is to be imagine pleasure of the player who, in hill country, rolls and waddles without play heroes. “Make the road without thinking, this is the example of small everyday ordinary trance that gives Erikson, a psychiatrist quoted by François Roustang in his book What is hypnosis? (ed. Minuit, 1994) “ reminds Mathieu Triclot.

“There was already reflections on the train, rocking, etc. ; there is something very repetitive at the bright flicker. We can say as the video game it operates – the effect Nightdriver – with a device affinity between the cockpit and seating position in front of the screen.

So many reasons why, when one player is it’s boom-boom in his heart .

                  

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