Video games are an escape from reality for millions around the world, and for us sim racers, they are a chance to do something that we could never do in real life.
The thought of being addicted to them can sometimes feel ridiculous, but according to a recent survey, the negative impacts of gaming are on the rise.
Impacting everyday life
Racers, perhaps more than any other type of gamer, are used to scheduling life around video games rather than the other way around.
After all, your league race or open server race is at a specific time of day rather than whenever you are free. You’ve got to get your practice in or face finishing at the back and missing out on the sweet taste of victory.
But the impact that commitment can have on life is not always good. ExpressVPN’s study shows growing negative impacts on people's lives that may sound familiar to many.
The study shows that 30% of gamers think about video games all the time, while 47% have lied to loved ones about the time they spend gaming.
Neither of these is healthy behaviour, but it might be something you have found yourself doing without even thinking about it. After all, telling loved ones, we spent 15 hours lapping Silverstone to get ready for a race can often leave them with a baffled expression on their face!
The study revealed that more than one in five respondents stated they would like to spend less time playing video games, while 5% of Millennials said they feel addicted to gaming compared with 3% of Gen Z.”
“Addict” may feel like a strong word to use when it comes to gaming; after all, there is no chemical intake. However, we all feel the thrill of jumping behind the wheel and the adrenaline rush of wheel-to-wheel action or coming out on top in a race. And that feeling can be highly addictive.
Frustration and distraction
For many, racing and gaming are a distraction from the real world, an escape from work or responsibility, but also the chance to do things that can’t be done in day-to-day life.
Maintaining a healthy balance is always the key. Be it grinding entry criteria for PSGL or preparing for a big endurance race, not burning yourself out behind the wheel is vital for both your own performance and keeping frustrations low.
ExpressVPN’s study shows that 58% of gamers continue to play despite possible negative consequences, which is something that should be avoided.
Of course, there is another side to pouring so much time into gaming, and that is the social aspect of it. Ever since the lockdowns in 2020, people have turned to gaming as a way of staying connected to friends and family, which is a great use for our favourite medium.
Racing can be excellent for finding a new social circle, but as we’ve detailed, it can also be a serious commitment that makes massive demands of your time.
Keeping a good balance between virtual racing and real-world commitments is crucial to being a healthy racer and avoiding being part of that rising wave of unhealthy gaming behaviours.