One of the trickiest aspects of learning how to drive would be applying everything in the real world. After all, it’s easy to learn the technicalities of driving… but not so much if you’re going to have to actually drive a car. Imagine having a steering wheel, a set of pedals, and a shift stick all waiting for you to make a move. And knowing how much cars can cost can really make driving overwhelming. Thing is, driving can be very easy once you’ve gotten used to how everything “flows.” And if you’re still nervous, you might want to train yourself with some racing games.
Wait, racing games? How can racing games help you drive a car if you’re using a different controller? That question makes sense, but racing games teach you one fundamental element important to driving: hand-eye coordination. And this article will help you understand exactly how you can take advantage of racing games for hand-eye coordination training.
Focus and memory become intertwined.
Perhaps one of the best ways racing games can benefit hand-eye coordination lies with its ability to help you develop your focus and memory. Being able to familiarize yourself with a diverse set of game mechanics, and then eventually being able to use them to perform complicated stunts and maneuvers on the fly, can be a good way for you to develop and apply your memorization and focus skills. In racing games, you commit your car’s controls to memory, and you slowly familiarize yourself to your car’s strengths and weaknesses in order to know how to adjust to matches. It’s these on-the-fly adjustments, which you can perform thanks to a combination of focus and hand-eye coordination, which can be a huge advantage for you.
- In fact, video games themselves can help us improve our focus… even just after an hour of playing. As per a study, video games – and in this case, racing games – can help us train our visual selective attention. This pertains to our ability to focus on relevant visual information, and improves our way of using your brains more efficiently.
- If you’re afraid of handling your car because of not being able to pay attention to everything, you might be surprised that you might be quicker in training your visual selective attention to important parts of the car and the environment around you.
Your body should become an extension of your mind.
Reaction time is perhaps one of the most important traits you can learn with good hand-eye coordination. It’s this same skill that ensures both your eyes and your hands know how to react in certain situations without much difficulty. And it’s tricky to achieve this without some practice on your end. Racing games can help you develop this skill by ensuring you have some degree of instinct applied to game mechanics. This means, you can more or less predict what movements to make when certain situations in games happen – such as tight turns and drifts. This can greatly help you know exactly what to do when situations arise during repairs.
- When we say hand-eye coordination, we literally pertain to the part of the brain that processes visual-motor information. Scientifically, playing video games can be a kind of sensorimotor task or one that uses the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the left frontal eye field. These are parts of the brain that help us process visual-motor information and relate to higher-order thinking like self-control and decision-making.
- As such, when we play racing games, we constantly train our brain to be able to respond to external stimuli much faster. It’s thanks to these parts of the brain that we’re able to respond to traffic in games, or even going through tight corners. This can be applied in real life, where you experience with video games can improve the way you’re reacting to external situations outside the car.
Nimble fingers mean finer driving.
One of the most important benefits of good hand-eye coordination is the mastery of nimble movements. If you’re a mechanic, a lot of car components tend to be small or require a certain degree of finesse, and some mechanical tools do need a particular degree of mastery for you to perform with them much more efficiently. In terms of driving cars, you need to know exactly where and how much to adjust your car’s specs for optimal performance. Racing games can help in this regard by ensuring you know which buttons to press and how you should adjust them to get advantage in races. In the real world, this also lets you fine-tune your driving performance to avoid accidents and other mishaps.
- If surgeons can benefit from video games, you can do, too. In fact, studies have shown that surgeons who did “video game warmups” before surgery performed faster and made fewer mistakes. That’s because video games, and in our case racing games, do constantly force us to pay attention to timing and the intensity of our movement with the joystick.
- If you’re looking to work as a mechanic, your racing game knowledge may help as you understand that tightening or loosening certain parts to certain degree can be the difference between a damaged car and a perfectly-functioning one. This is in the same way games like Madalin Stunt Cars 2 show that tiny changes in movement can actually make awesome or terrible stunts.
Routine doesn’t mean less quality.
Another essential benefit of improving your hand-eye coordination is its capacity to help you be more familiar with tasks you have to do to the point of it being a “routine.” This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, but rather this is muscle memory in action.
- When you get familiar with a particular routine, especially for driving, you’ll slowly develop methods and techniques to make your driving become more efficient. The best part here is that you’ll actually be able to use your hand-eye coordination to be familiar with the road and your car’s innate characteristics.
- Racing games can help in this regard by motivating you to “memorize” hints, tips, and tricks on road shortcuts and game mechanics in order to win much faster or much easier. When applied in real-life, this means developing a routine in such a way that adjusting to things become much easier because you don’t have to pay attention as much to everything.
Driving Training: It’s All in the Eyes… And Hands
If there’s anything we can get from the above, it’s that hand-eye coordination can greatly help boost and improve our driving capabilities. This helps us to be more attentive to things on the road, and to take action when necessary. Thing is, if we’re still afraid to drive, how can we learn this, right? However! Even if we learn this through video games, multiplayer games, and racing games, it’s important to pay close attention to how these games help us achieve synergy with both our eyesight and our motor movements. This helps us be more alert to obstacles, be more keen with our surroundings, and be able to react much faster to things that happen all around us.
What do you think about this method of training hand-eye coordination? Do you like this approach? Let us know in the comments!