News Article

Mario Kart Wii Used As a Driving Education Simulator

Posted by Damien McFerran

Mirror, signal, red shell

Distractions can be a real killer on the roads; when you're driving the last thing you need is an unwanted phone call or pesky text-message.

With this in mind, we're happy to report that students at Vail Christian High School in Colorado are being educated in road-safety by simulating the act of driving via the incredibly-realistic setting of Mario Kart Wii. And before you ask, yes we are joking about the realism part.

In this demonstration, students drive around in Mario Kart whilst having to contend with a bombardment of phone calls and text messages. The aim of the lesson is to illustrate just how tricky it is to concentrate on something when you have so many distractions fighting for your attention.

We're certainly in favour of Nintendo products being used to make our roads safer; we just hope that when these kids do get their licenses, they don't expect to fight off other road users with heat-seeking shells.


From the web

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User Comments (33)



Philip_J_Reed said:

Playing too much Mario Kart and THEN getting in my actual car and driving causes me to have some pretty unsafe (and unrealistic) impulses.

This sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Anyway, I'm off to play Punch-Out!! so I can practice beating real people up who are five times my size.



thewiirocks said:

The analog for when we were kids was POLE POSITION. Remember swerving around cars at breakneck speeds, occasionally running into a billboard and exploding in a shower of car parts? Yeah, that was awesome.

(The other big game was San Francisco Rush. Nothing quite like driving under a truck, hitting the hidden ramp, and jumping a skyscraper.)

Thankfully, video game driving doesn't really translate to the real world. Despite crazy driving habits in video games, controlling a moving ton of metal was a slightly more daunting experience the first few times out. I don't know what anyone else remembers, but I recall not wanting to shift into third gear. Sort of a "this is fast enough for the moment".

Eventually you get the hang of the beastie and are whipping it into parking spaces backwards before you know it. Try THAT in Mario Kart.



thewiirocks said:

@VGP - I don't think the point is realism. The idea is to demonstrate that driving takes a great deal of concentration. Adding distractions to an intense video game demonstrates to the students the problem with using such distractions in a real vehicle.



Ricardo91 said:

Awesome! Now I can learn to drop banana peels on tailgaters and use bob-ombs to get out of 5:00 traffic! XD



SmaMan said:

Despite the fact that I've gotten 2 tickets in my first 2 years of driving (one I probably could've gone to court about) I don't think video games really affect my driving. I mean, I play GTA, but when I go driving I don't weave around traffic and treat my car like I could just jack another.



Chatham said:

@Chicken Brutus

I remember picking up my ex-GF in her neighborhood, then tearing off at 60 MPH in this residential neighborhood and drifting the corner to the main drag.

She turn to me and says, "What the F%&$ is WRONG with you!?!"

"I'VE BEEN PLAYING MARIO KART!!!" I responded, like a madman.



Philip_J_Reed said:

It's scary how easy it is to get in that frame of mind, isn't it?

This reminds me of that time I stayed up all night playing Ninja Turtles on the NES, then spent the next day eating pizza in the sewer.

...okay, that never happened. But it sure would have been horrible.



Big_A2 said:

I agree with thewiirocks. They're not acctually learning to drive with this course guys.



greyelephant said:

I remember when Mario Kart 64 came out and my wife, friend, and I played for about 4 hours staight. I was driving my friend home and remember thinking that I should slam into the car in front of me to make him spin out and lose a balloon. Good thing common sense kicked in well before I preformed the deed!



warioswoods said:

Talking on the cellphone while driving is one thing, but while playing Mario Kart? Blasphemy.



gamerboyshadow5 said:

I can only play Mario Kart with a nunchuck, so unless the decide to make cars with analog sticks instead of steering wheels, I won't be getting my license.




Errrrmmm, Mario Kart isn't on the Xbox360 and the driving games on the xbox are exclusional and hardcore anyway as well as generally poor value for money.....anyway, this whole Mario Kart simulation thing is a bit wierd. Its still more realistic than doing it using the fracking xbox360, hence the reason its been chosen



Cheesy said:

My friend actually became an awesome driver from Mario Kart Wii. He once escaped (Barely) a car crash and drove around a car that was doing 60 in a 35mph zone.

Yeah, MK Wii can do some wonders.



Caliko said:

NEXT SEMESTER Learn the dangers of playing poker, beating a tambourine or throwing pies while driving as we explore driving simulation ExciteBots.



Caliko said:

MAN!!!!!! That second video was WAAAY Funnier. It's late at night over here and people are asleep. I'm trying to hold my laughter but I can't!!
And I'm watching this with the sound OFF!!!



SmaMan said:

Wow, that guy's crazy... he must be kicked out of every bar, store, golf course, and street in town by now.



CanisWolfred said:

Crap, the game itself is enough of a distraction, I'd be just plain impossible with all those cellphones and ****.

By the way, I almost had a heart attack when I read the title, and was afraid one of there so-called students was gonna crash through my walls trying to avoid a bananna peel in the road. Serious, if you want a simulation, you play Forza, if you want a shell up your ***, you play Mario Kart. You can't use one for the other.

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