Ever suffer from Grand Theft Impairment?

Grand Theft Impairment is a condition that affects some video gamers.  It’s defined by Urban Dictionary as “the 4-hour period of time that you cannot drive or function in society due to playing [Rockstar Games’] Grand Theft Auto.”  According to UD   you may end up having “the intention to steal a car, kill innocent people, and/or drive recklessly.”, much like the object of the game.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

I’ve experienced the same impairment spending way too much time flying in a combat flight sim, (Graphsim’s F/A-18 Korea) then attempting to drive a (real) car.  The sense of invincibility that come with surviving a virtual air crash disaster with a mere reset somehow stays with you in the real world – only there’s no reset for dealing with a real world auto accident, unfortunately.  Your driving behaviour is definitely affected.  You tend to take the corners wider, accelerate that little bit quicker, and reach for the seat ejector when things get irretrievably out of hand (OK, maybe not the last one.)  Same goes for a straight driving sim like Need for Speed:  Most Wanted; even though the possibilities for wreaking havoc seems to be restricted to law enforcement chase-cars or race opponents, the sense of invincibility stays with you just the same once you hit the real road.

Given that most male drivers under 25 are likely to have a bullet-proof view of life built in, I can’t imagine the further impact of GTI on their driving skills, but it could explain some of the horrendous stats on auto accidents we’ve experienced lately (despite the increased compulsory use of safety technologies in all recently-sold vehicles).  This is just crying out for a comprehensive cognitive study on gameplay and driving skills…

(image: newsimg.bbc.co.uk)

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1 Response to “Ever suffer from Grand Theft Impairment?”



  1. 1 Things I learned this week – #6 | dougbelshaw.com/blog Trackback on February 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm

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