A headline at the Telegraph’s web site caught my eye a few minutes ago. It read “Boy learned to drive from video games before stealing family car–
A nine-year-old Japanese schoolboy who learnt how to drive from playing video games has used his motoring skills to steal the family car and set off on a 1.8 mile journey to visit his grandmother.”
Now I know that this kind of news will certainly cause a stir in the video gamer sector. I myself cannot help but get a little bit riled up each time the media points to video games as the cause behind various violent or errant behavior. So, I won’t even go into that. What I want to focus on right now is whether or not you can actually learn skills such as driving by simply playing video games.
There are many arcade games which function as simulators. You actually hold a steering wheel in your hands and place your feet on pedals. There are even games which have real life gear shifts. In effect, it would seem that you are actually driving. I do not know how accurate the experience is as compared to the driving simulators that researchers use but I suppose it is a pretty close thing.
Now I will go out on a limb and say that yes, you can learn these skills by playing video games. Well, at least the rudimentary skills. As for the implications of this, I will not venture into that. Any thoughts?