Sim racing is moving out of the living room and into the big time
The global coronavirus pandemic has been wreaking havoc on all kinds of events, be they concerts, trade shows, car debuts and of course sports.
That happens to include Motorsports where events like the Daytona 500 or the Indy 500 can attract hundreds of thousands of people on race day.
Those people are attempting to deal with their addictions to speed.
No, not that kind of speed by turning to some racing, even professional drivers and the racing has so far proven to be pretty popular.
So I talked to road shows editor in chief and resident sim racing expert, Tim Stevens, to see what it's all about and why it's finally stepping out of the home office and into the limelight.
What is sim racing?
And how does it differ from more casual racing games like Gran Turismo or Forza and which Sims are the most popular right now?
It's getting a little hard to define and to draw that line because again, like for some Motorsports today is actually more realistic than the most hardcore driving Sims that were around.
You know 10 or 15 years ago, but certainly driving Sims right now with the game to kind of take it up another level kick it up a notch when it comes to the realism skill thing.
So, you know, games that don't rely on things like Bumper Car physics or they don't have you know, damage turned off by default games that really expect a lot of the drivers and so when it comes to what kind of things you can expect right now.
Really love big things is licenced cars, real competition with real cars you'd see racing on the track in the real world, and online racing against really strong fields of competitors.
Those are some of the big thing, that really differentiate the proper driving simulators.
Like iracing like r factor from your grand Christmas forces out there.
Right now really iracing isn't the one that's getting all the buzz.
It's probably the most exciting eSports series going on in the Motorsports world right now.
Not necessarily the most realistic physics engine but certainly is very, very good.
In terms of the content they have available, and certainly the number of people who are out there racing in the series, it is the top line.
Cool, so you've been simracing for a number of years now, off and on, I guess and what drew you to it initially and what do you think is causing the massive surge in interest right now?
I mean, beyond the lack of physical motor sport being available.
I've been sim racing for about 20 years now believe it or not, so this is something that I've been enjoying for a long time and it's pretty great to see so many other people starting to get into it.
For me it was just a desire to go racing but not really having the budget at the time or or certainly the time to go racing too, you know.
Everyone thinks it's really expensive to go buy a race car, and it certainly is, but it also takes up a lot of time to get to the track, to do all the prep you need to do, and everything else.
Whereas if you're sim racing you can pretty much show up in your socks on Sunday morning, hop in a race in five minutes Price was long as you want to and then go make breakfast afterwards.
So it's certainly much easier and lower cost and easy way to get into things.
But right now, of course, the big draw for for sim racing is that people can't go out and do what they want to do track days or shut down racing series.
are on hold and so it's very difficult to get out there actually Get your kicks if you do have a bit of a speed addiction.
So that's why a lot of people are getting into it.
And ultimately I think it really shows that at the core most sports is about cool cars doing cool things, but Really it's about a competition and whether people aren't driving real cars or fake cars, the competition is still really good.
So as somebody with 20 years of this under their belt, what should people be looking at as an affordable way to get into sim racing?
I mean, let's let's talk iracing in particular, because obviously, it's going to differ from From game to game, and if the cost of entry is too high because you know computers are still expensive, where should they go to watch the races or follow the results from something like a NASCAR?
The good news for Iracing is at its core is actually pretty old engine racing itself, launched.
Way back in 2008 so it system demands are relatively low.
You don't need a cutting edge system, you don't need something that you would want to be running HalfLife Alex on or something like that you don't need a brand new graphics card, something that's five or six years old will probably still run Run I racing reasonably well so, you could probably get into a new gaming PC for under $1,000 if you were really pinching pennies, or you could even look to pick up an older use system and even safe some more money beyond that.
You will want to spend probably a couple hundred dollars on a decent wheel and pedal setup.
You're probably looking at about 300 bucks there for something like the Logitech G 920.
And that might be your biggest single expense, but you do need a PC it will run on Bandcamp in the Mac but this is a PC only Sim.
But if that's too much or simply you don't really feel like getting in there and crashing the wall yourself.
You can definitely consume eye racing and a lot of different ways.
from a personal standpoint, you can go right to the site and click on a lot of professional races are screaming all the time you can watch them live.
Or now you can actually go on Fox and watch the esports NASCAR series from iracing broadcasts like a real race which is pretty shocking to see but pretty awesome too.
Yeah, that's pretty wild.
And I guess finally wrapping things up.
Do you think that this shift to sim racing?
I mean, if its popularity manages to hold out if it's not just a, my god, what do we do?
Sort of thing.
Do you think that it will affect the kind of racing that we see when or If things go back to normal, do you think maybe wIll series like F1, for example, end up changing the rules to make things more closely marry what they can do in the simulation?
So, closer racing, that kind of thing?
Yeah, it's really interesting to think about what the implications of this, I think it's making people think about the importance of competition rather than the hardware which I think is great.
We haven't seen some stuff like that like in form of the E, for example, there's the fan booth stuff where people can get a faster car based on how many likes they get on Twitter, for example.
And so that kind of stuff is definitely inspired by eSports.
So that that transition is starting to happen already.
I don't wanna really see that in front of the one but I think the biggest implication The biggest change, we'll see Will be more attention paid to these eSports systems and probably more opportunities for drivers to go into these series.
So they sim racing and eSports in general will become a more direct feeder series into professional Motorsports.
We've already seen some of that stuff.
New sounds a lot of stuff in Gran Turismo, for example, and some of that stuff's already happening, but certainly it's pretty limited.
I think we'll see.
Simulated racing becoming much [UNKNOWN] and I think that will have the most direct impact on motor sports going forward.
And that's something that I think would be great to see.
That's it for this episode of Road Shows Autocomplete.
I've been Kyle Hyatt.
You've Been excellent.
And I'd asked you to not only hit the subscribe notification buttons if you dig what we're doing here but chime in in the comment section and let us know what you want us to cover next.
Until then, wash your hands, stay away from each other and stay healthy.
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