Can Racing Video Games Affect Your Driving Behavior?

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If you like playing racing-type video games, have you ever considered whether they might influence the way you drive? It’s likely not something many people consider, but it turns out there may be some kind of relationship between playing a racing game and your subsequent driving behavior.

Reuters recently reported on a study published in the academic journal Injury Prevention, where researchers at Mingming Deng of the School of Management at Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, China examined the potential connection between racing games and subsequent risk-taking behaviors.

The small scale study found that playing a more intense racing game resulted in higher risk-taking behavior as measured on the Vienna Risk-Taking Test. Another experiment found participants who had more adventurous personalities also took more risks subsequently.

It’s not time to ditch those video games yet, though. Reuters interviewed experts at other universities who pointed to a lack of a clear link between playing the racing games and actual on-the-road driving subsequently. One expert noted the lack of information obtained from the participants regarding their actual driving experience.

Additionally, the study used a computerized driving simulation after the video game playing, rather than a real-world driving scenario. Without accounting for these various factors, it’s not possible to say with any certainty that there is a clear link between playing a racing video game and a person’s subsequent driving behavior.

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