Just Shut Up And Drive

Many racing car games seem fun and thriving but really have an underlying message that says it is okay to engage in reckless driving. This is fine and dandy when playing a simple game because nobody in the real world drives in this careless manner. Or do they? Racing games that require you to drive as fast as possible to win each race could encourage road rage and unsafe driving in the real world. Just Shut Up And Drive is no exception. The goal of the game is to drive as fast as you can and beat your rivals. You must try to overtake other cars from a close distance or drive at a hi-speed for a long time to gain extra points, while also finishing the race before your time runs out to unlock the next track. Just Shut Up And Drive is an online racing game. To play, use the arrows on your computer keyboard. The up and down arrows allow the car to accelerate and brake, respectively. The side arrows allow the car to move left and right.

The game begins with a map of the places available for you to race but they must first be unlocked by completing the race on the track previous to that track. While you race the game will allow you to see how fast you are driving, your position in the race, the distance left to the finish line, and the time it takes to finish the race. These items are shown at the top of the screen as the game is being played. The game will also inform you when you crash into another car or pass a car, which you receive points for. When you complete a race, you will be shown a list of that lets you know how your points were tallied up.

The game does not have a variety of color. The car that the player drives is blue and all the rivals drive a red car. Each track has a different color theme, for example, the first track is Yellow Canyon. There is a yellow/orange color to the track with a few trees and houses. There is not a lot of scenery to the game either. As I said before, there are few trees and houses, and other tracks even lack those. This game does not have vibrant and interesting surroundings like other racing games, such as The Underground racing game. The audio for the game could also have been improved. The music is more upbeat, but I found myself annoyed with it over time. However, the sounds in the game do resemble the actual sound of cars at times. When the car makes a sharp turn, there are noises that indicate that the car is sliding or skidding across the ground. Also, when cars crash into each other, the sounds of actual cars colliding accompany it.

Though this game seems fun and innocent, is it really? Or does it in some way, shape, or form encourage road rage and unsafe driving. While playing games, many people really get involved and find themselves yelling at the game because something happened that they did not want to happen or that they did not expect. During a game, people become attached; they dedicate their time to the game, and will do whatever they can to win. It is also common for people to trash talk during a game, rather to a physical opponent or not. There is no need to censor you trash talking during a game, but when trash talking accelerates and becomes a part of everyday life, then a problem forms.

When people are in the real world are driving, what is stopping them from trashing talking to the other people driving on the road alongside them? This can easily be transformed into road rage, and road rage is not a good thing. If you exhibit road rage while driving in a game, you might easily exhibit that same road rage when driving to or from work. In addition, you might also exhibit the unsafe driving methods displayed in the game. While playing a racing game, there are rarely red lights, stop signs, and other traffic signals designed to keep people safe. During a game these things do not occur nor do they matter to the player. These cars drive at extremely fast speeds, run cars off the road, and many other dangerous actions. When people began driving on the road in real life, there are many dangerous things that can result from speeding, car accidents are a major one.

While most people are aware that they are just playing a game, isn’t it likely that the behaviors they display during the game can just as easily be transformed and displayed in the real world?

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2 comments
  1. This type of concern that I think a lot of people share with you. Jack Thompson made a career out of asking these kinds of questions and coming to fearful conclusions. These concerns are still presented in news reports fairly often. In my own experience, my parents wouldn’t let me play Mortal Kombat because they thought that the fighting in the game would lead to fighting in real life. If we are so easily lead to poor decisions in a virtual world, what is there to stop us from doing it in reality?

    This question is probably more relatable in terms of Shut Up and Drive than in terms of Mortal Kombat. No matter how many times I tried to shoot ice out of my hands at my friends in 1st grade, I was categorically unsuccessful. People can and do drive recklessly. The experience of road rage is one we share. Distilling that into a game may in fact be dangerous.

    But I think the thing that stops most people from committing things in real life that they do in video games is because people are able enough to differentiate between the two. What is actually stopping us is hard to make clear, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that there is something. We can’t fully cross the line into a virtual world in terms of physical interaction, and I believe that type of virtual interaction games are built on can’t cross fully back into reality. There is still a real difference between Shut Up and Drive and actually running a red light. There are real consequences in the real world as opposed to points. As long as people recognize these two value systems as distinct, I’d like to believe it’s not super likely for the two to overlap to a dangerous extent.

    I’ve been wrong before, though.

  2. springsteen1 said:

    Cool idea again. The same could be said of games like World/Warcraft, Halo, etc., shooter games, and even strategy games. A cool paper (which I may do) could compare motivations for creation of these types of games, and their results. BUT, I’d also like to cross-coordinate between these different ideas, analyzing intentions versus reflections of players/users, etc. In this way, I think that yes, there is HUGE affect, in my opinion, on perspective / ideals from these games.

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