Putting Mouse to Metal: The Allure of Online Racing Games
From the days of drag racing to the birth of NASCAR, car racing always has attracted adrenaline junkies of all descriptions, both men and women alike. This ‘need for speed’ is in the blood of car lovers everywhere, that unmistakable exhilaration that comes from breezing past the competition as your favorite tune tests the limits of your speakers. But these days, you don’t even need a driver’s license to get that kind of rush. You can feed your competitive spirit online by playing racecar games.
Racing games have undergone a metamorphosis since their early inception, with games like Need for Speed. Changes in technology have moved racing games online, and the effects are dazzling. Players can customize their rides, choose their tracks, and even decide what kind of music they want to hear as they race. But one thing hasn’t changed over time: the potential for racing games to foster a healthy competitiveness among its players.
To encourage the competitive aspect of racecar games, most games offer a multi player option where upwards of 15 players (or more) from all corners of the world can race one another to the finish line.
There is a certain bravado in racing. The ability to push a machine (whether real or virtual) up to and past its limits, to leave competitors in the dust for little more than bragging rights, is akin to the schoolyard arm wrestling matches we all probably witnessed at one point or another. These games are competitive purely for the sake of competitiveness.
Games that allow players to “street race” are particularly appealing to younger players. Imagine being able to perform the most death defying car tricks, ones that seem to challenge the laws of physics, without the threat of damage to the car or to the driver! It’s no wonder young people are so passionate about this kind of game. They can enjoy all the adrenaline and thrill of growling engines, hairpin turns and screeching brakes all without even having to fasten a seatbelt.
What’s more, anyone who’s ever played a computer game alone knows that after a while of playing against the computer, the game loses some of its allure. There’s only so much a person can get from saying “I beat the computer again.” But when you add to the mix real human players, scattered across the globe, which bring to the table their own set of abilities, egos and reasons for playing, you have a real challenge. There’s something satisfying about getting behind the virtual wheel, putting mouse to metal and letting the pixels fly particularly when there’s another human ego to be squashed in the process.
Winning at a racecar game no longer means you have simply bested a computer. Now, when you cross the finish line, it’s quite likely you’ve gotten the better of someone who, when he sat down at his computer to play, thought for sure he was going to beat you. And what could be better than that?