Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Nascars Don't Play Well With Video Games

So the Sprint Cup has started Preseason at Daytona.  They're showing off new 2013 cars like these:

I like race cars, but when they overshine them, it sucks (see Daytona USA 2001).  The cars look a bit off to me, like they were designed nice and tight for circuit racing (which is strange since this is NASCAR, not Australian V8 Supercars).  But the new 2013 cars are going hella fast at Daytona and everyone seems to like them.  Everytime NASCAR changes their car designs, there's a few "boohoo, it sucks" complaints but let's get racing cause I can't wait for NASCAR again, geez.

I thought the 2011 cars looked cool...I just hope the designers aren't trying to turn NASCAR into F-Zero, I'd have nightmares if real-life drivers wore tights and appeared in Nintendo fighting games.

So I was casually watching Speed footage of the "Preseason" and everyone was standing around in the garage.  The topic started to sway towards video games.  Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (whom I will never have pity on ever again for being an "Enemy of Sega" and beating Danica Patrick in that big Sega race Nov. 2012) was playing Words with Friends on the iPhone (Zynga, GAAAAYYYY).  And Juan Pablo Montoya (who had yet to test the 2013's car capabilities versus 2013's jet dryers) was playing CSR Racing on the iPad, a popular drag racing game with a NFS/FnF style. I saw this game dad was playing it and some Trials/Linerider dirtbike game (with engines that sound like BB guns) on his iPhone.

After this clip that I'm sure no one saw, the camera goes over to Bobby Labonte for a brief interview.  He's asked "what kind of game would you give for Darrell Waltrip to play?" to which Bobby replies, "A fishing game."  And then Darrell Waltrip comes on to say "Shoot, I don't play no video games or fish, what'chu kids talkin bout there with those fancy electronic devices."  Then they go on to talk about Kyle Busch's car and the video game discussion is over.  In other words, no progress was made between race drivers and race games.  Gamers and gearheads still continue to look at the other side's stuff and think "what the f*** is that s*** they're messin with."

Ya know what would be great?  If we could get Daytona USA, OutRun, or even freakin Super Sprint in the hands of one of these race car drivers.  You'd THINK that race car drivers would appreciate race car video games, don't you? Especially hardcore balls-out racing games that bring the blue skies and that sense of speed RIGHT TO YOU with no firesuit required. Surely a legit race car driver can truly say THAT'S A GODDANG GREAT RACING GAME THERE my programmer friend. I GOTTA GET BALLIN ON THAT NEW SUPER SPRINT GAME.  Speaking of race car drivers in games...


But this leads me to my next point and it's a pretty crappy observation I made from a decade of browsing countless Internet chats/forums.  I think there's a dichotomy between the two types of racing games--the sims and the Mario Karts.  On one hand, you got diehard auto racing fans are only seen playing the sims like iRacing, NASCAR: The Game, and F1 by Codemasters.  On the other hand, you got plain old gamers who'll get into Mario Kart, Burnout, Need for Speed but they have no interest in real life racing (the "NASCAR is rednecks turning left for 5 hours" crowd).  Almost like the other insults their intelligence.  "Arcade racers makes a mockery of the sport," versus "Racing sims are too boring."  Take your pick.

Why can't we have both?  In Sega Racing Games?  I almost think Sega is caught in limbo there.  Like Sega takes real life cars & settings and run with it--they embellish real life, look here.  Oops, can't have that apparently.  You talk about the "Sega Racing Nation" and it's a place run on niche cult classic fuel--like NASCAR fans won't list Daytona USA as being "one of them" while  mainstream gamers just can't be arsed into playing something requiring practice & determination like OutRun 2.

It's probably why Danica Patrick's Sega All-Stars Racing campaign bombed--because we have a REAL LIFE DRIVER (appealing to racing sims people) trying to sell an ARCADE RACING GAME (played by gaming nerds who have no idea who Danica is).  It's like trying to advertise motorized scooters on Disney Channel.  Herp derp, we still love you Danica & Sumo Digital.

Seriously though, if I ever meet a real life race aficionado (someone who sticks a Dale Sr. "3" on their rear windshield or something) who's obsessed with crap like Mario Kart (or better yet, SEGA ALL-STARS RACING), I'll flip my s***.  Ok guys, we're all gonna be real life NASCAR/F1/Indy/Rally/Le Mans/V8/Touring as well as arcade racing fans now.  Problem solved, goodnite.

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