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Do Video Game Driving Skills Translate To Real Life?

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We’d all love to believe that whatever we do in a video game, we could do in real life. But how does that translate when it comes to playing driving games. Does time spent driving in games like drift hunters offer any real-world value? Can you become a better driver by playing video games?

Or, alternatively, does playing video games make you worse at driving? After all, you probably shouldn’t drive as you might in video games in real life.

Let’s look at the experiments that have been carried out into video games and driving to see whether there is any effect. 

Cognitive Skills and Video Games

There is a considerable amount of evidence already in existence that connects video games and a person’s ability to improve their cognitive skills. Studies show that older adults of around 60-85 could improve their multitasking ability after playing a game called NeuroRacer.

Another study, from the University of Rochester, found that players of action-based games had better decision-making skills and were better able to shut out distractions that occurred around them as they played. 

So, while it is true to say that video games can help you concentrate and multitask, are there any benefits to road users? Let’s find out. 

Video Games and Real Life Driving: An Experiment 

Researchers Maria Rita Ciceri and Daniele Ruscio of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan carried out an experiment that compared the driving skills of people who were gamers against people who were experienced drivers. The experiment’s aim was to whether a video game that is commercially available would be useful for training drivers to spot hazards faster. 

The study had an interest in the effect that video games have on people who are not already experienced as road users. The aim was to see whether gamers and drivers used the same kind of visual search techniques that drivers may use on the road. 

Previous experiments had found that newer drivers will always keep more of a narrow focus with their eyes and that they will also tend to look straight ahead of them, whereas a more experienced driver would scan further afield and spot hazards earlier. 

The skillset needed to scan the road and identify hazards is something that takes a long time to learn and develop. 

The researchers hypothesized that after hours of spending time playing driving games, video gamers would be able to develop the same set of visual search techniques needed to achieve the skill set of an experienced driver. 

To carry out this research, they found 40 male video gamers who each averaged around 10 to 15 hours playing realistic racing or driving games. Half of the gamers would have five years of experience at driving while the other half of the group had never driven a car before. 

All of the test subjects were sat down with a steering wheel and foot pedals. They were then told to follow a series of driving videos and to turn the wheel as though they were actually driving the vehicle. While playing the video a device would track and record each player’s eyes to see where they looked as the game progressed. 

The researchers wanted to see exactly how much attention the non-drivers paid to key safety areas and whether or not they used their mirrors to full use. 

The Results 

After the experiment was over, the outcome was that the drivers with no experience exhibited the same lack of visual search technique as those in the previous experiment who had no driving experience. 

The data from the eye-tracking device of the gamers that didn’t have driving experience in the real world revealed that they were focused on what was going on directly in front of them on the road rather than in the distance.  Opposite to this, the drivers with experience on the road had much more movement in their eyes. When they were behind the wheel, their eyes moved around meaning they were taking in more of the road. 

It is apparent that playing video games can in fact provide you with skills such as focus, the ability to multitask, and to ignore distractions there is no evidence that it makes you into a better driver. 

Unfortunately, if you want to be a better driver, you’ll have to put down your controller and head out and get behind the wheel of a real car. 

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Culture and Lifestyle

Spend All Your Time Online? Hobbies That’ll Get You More Hands On

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If you find yourself always online, it’s best to turn off the computer or phone and find something else to do. However, that’s a lot easier said than done! But if you’ve got a hands-on hobby in your back pocket, you’ll always have something fun and practical to turn to when you get bored. 

Staring at a screen all day isn’t healthy for you, and it’s good to find real ways to rest your eyes and get outside a bit more. As such, here are some ideas regarding the kinds of hobbies that’ll help you find enjoyment in things other than what’s going on online.

Woodworking 

If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a carpenter, this is the first step on your journey to putting huge items of furniture together for your own home. Get a bit of wood, get a carving knife, and see how you can manipulate the material to make something interesting. Take precautions and protect your hands, but have fun at the same time. And while you’ve not got a woodworking shop yet, even just a small set of tools can help you whittle your way to new cutlery, decorative figurines, and incredibly personal birthday and anniversary presents. 

Building Models

Miniatures are a very popular hobby, and all thanks to the time and love we have to put into making them. And when you’re a fan of building your own models, you can move into other item builds, such as attaching 80 lower receiver jigs to a rifle project of your own. But to get started, all you need is a set of models to crack open, snip off, and glue together. Once you’re done with this, you can start painting them and even put together your own playing team. It’s not just a one step hobby you can then display in a cabinet – there’s a lot of nuance to explore. 

Gardening and Landscaping

Gardening is a totally free hobby to pick up if you’ve already got a garden. You can take cuttings from bushes, trees, and plants that you see out and about and then try to cultivate the same greenery in your own garden. Indeed, it’s a great way to blow off steam as well as get your hands dirty, which is something a screen just won’t allow! But if you prefer cutting back in the garden, you can try out landscaping instead, which will help you to design the outdoor space you’ve always wanted to relax in. 

Bake Your Own Bread

Baking is one of the best hands-on hobbies out there. Why? Because you get to eat something when you’re finished. And baking bread is quite the artform, so you’ll need to really brush up on your skills here. Plus, a freshly baked loaf every morning is always something to look forward to – it’s just the cleaning that’s annoying! 

If you’re always online, it’s time to break the habit! Get out and remind yourself there are other things to enjoy.

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Not Prioritizing Yourself Enough? Here’s How You Can Change It!

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In today’s society, there’s this push to promote self-care. While society five or maybe ten years ago would see the term “self-care” as something selfish, fortunately now, mental health has become a larger concern. While toxic positivity is being pushed out, and the whole “put yourself first” mantra is slowly beginning to reign supreme, there’s one question to ask. How exactly can one put themselves first? Also, how can these self-care changes even boost your well-being? These are some helpful ways to achieve that!

Understand Your Life Goals, Values, and Purpose

When it comes to putting yourself first, it’s important to begin by thinking of your life goals, your values, and what type of purpose you want in your life. While society once deemed people as “selfish” for even considering this, it’s your life, and you’re entitled to live your life the way you want it. Is one of your life goals to travel? Then that’s great! Keep aiming for it!

Identify Your Wants and Needs

Everyone has their own wants and needs, everyone does. What are yours? While it’s important to put other people’s wants and needs in front of your own (such as if you’re a parent), just keep in mind that you don’t have to do this all the time. So think about it, what are some small ways you can put your own wants and needs ahead without it jeopardizing anyone else. Maybe it can be something small such as getting more sleep, or maybe even something huge such as changing careers. It’s entirely up to you to decide.

Take Time to Get Your Headspace Right

A great way to get yourself into the right headspace is through the beauty of travel. This is actually one of the biggest ways that people are treating themselves and putting themselves first. Changing up your environment and your routine through the power of travel can be one of the very best ways to get yourself feeling recharged and just completely breaking away from what may be stressing you out. Whether you opt into a long vacation, weekend trip, or a day trip, just allow yourself the chance to breathe, take a break, and recharge.

Treat Yourself

There’s nothing wrong at all with treating yourself to things. Whether you’re wanting to gift yourself a nice car you shopped with through edmunds, a fun vacation, or anything else. There isn’t anything wrong with gifting things to yourself as long as you have the disposable income to do it and if it’s in moderation.

Opt-Out of Social Media That’s Not Good for You

Social media is a double-edged sword. It can be a great tool for connecting with people and staying in touch with friends and an extension of our personal brand. However, many people are finding that social media is not the best tool for their mental health and well-being. If possible, try to opt-out of social media if you feel it’s not good for you. And instead, try to spend more time in nature or offline activities like hanging out with family and friends.

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Building A Social Support System: An Essential Key To A Life Of Wellness

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Everybody needs somebody, even if you believe you thrive better as a lone wolf or prefer being antisocial. While having a support system around you will help you get through life, it also offers far-reaching health benefits. These include helping you deal with loneliness and even improving your chances to beat unhealthy addictions. A strong social system can also be very helpful when going through stressful times, battling chronic illnesses, etc. But how can you build a healthy social support system around you, and what does it entail? 

It’s important to first understand what a social support system is. It comprises friends, family, loved ones, and peers that you can call or rely on, especially in times of need to provide support, respect, and care. Having a support system around you can provide wisdom and guidance through tough times. It can also provide strength and hope with a generous supply of understanding and compassion.

Although research has shown that building a social support system can help you through the tough times, the last thing you want to do is try developing one only when you feel stressed and need assistance. Creating a social support system is something you should do when you’re not under stress or in need. This way, you don’t end up relying on the wrong people.

Start by making a list of those already in your life, including friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. When you are done with this, go through your list and highlight or underline those who have been supportive in your life and how. Next, make it a point to contact these people to check on them and find out how they’re doing. However, it’s important to note that you can also include professionals in your support system. For instance, counselors, psychologists, teachers, coaches, and healthcare professionals who have assisted you in difficult times, whether in the classroom, the gym, or in treatment programs you’re undergoing or already went through. 

Creating a healthy social support system also requires you to identify the barriers that have prevented you from creating healthy and meaningful connections with people. For instance, are you antisocial? Are you dealing with depression, drug abuse, or alcohol addiction issues that make it impossible to keep loving people around you? Once you identify your roadblocks to healthy social connections, find ways of removing them. For example, if you’re addicted to drugs and alcohol, you can find help through inpatient treatment programs. 

Another great way to build a social support system is to explore and embrace shared interests. It is easier to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who understand your emotions and can empathize in ways that others may not. For example, parents of a child with special needs will find immense support from other parents who share the same or similar difficulties. A great way to build such connections is by joining groups, associations, or clubs that share your interests and ensuring that you maintain regular interaction with the members. 

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