From gamer to racer: possible reality?

There is no doubt our parents weren’t so excited that their children most of time sit in front of the computer, because it is a waste of time and health, but was it true?

Road to success

Meet the 25-year-old Janna Mardenborough, whose silent dream has always been on the track. He managed to achieve it, though – in a very unusual way – thanks to computer races.

At the age of 8, Mardenborough first set foot on the go-kart track, but after three years he was forced to stop adventuring for financial reasons. The untamed teenager turned his attention to what occupied the next place in his heart: to computer races, specifically to Gran Tourismo. He spent a lot of time on the virtual racetrack.

In the middle of 2011, Mardenborough reported to the Gran Tourismo 5 web contest, where the prize was a virtual race and a real rally car. Teenager was in the top eight in Europe, having beaten 90,000 virtual players, and took the opportunity to showcase his skills on the real track.

After seven months, Mardenborough, who had never even been in the race, had been behind the wheel of a Dubai 24 Hour race car.

GT Academy

The idea itself at the GT Academy was born in 2008. It was a one-off project where the creator of GT – Sony – in cooperation with Nissan tried to answer the question of how the player can handle the real cast.

The 23-year-old Lucas OrdoƱez, the 23-year-old Spaniard, after intensive training, managed to do well enough that the program was extended in the hope that an untypical project would reveal more talents. That way, there was Mardenborough there.

The boy went to the GT Academy, preparing for the races, and after half a year he obtained a rider’s license (which usually takes three years). Now it’s on the real track, not virtual.

Race on the screen vs in reality

Although its creators care about how best the reality is, every racing game lacks the power of one thing: movement. The reaction of the car, the acceleration that pushes into the seat, pushes aside at the corner.

You might think that switching from the computer screen to the driver’s seat of a rally car will be a bit scary – at the end of the races you can not exclude a dangerous element that is not in the game – but for Janna it was natural because of the skills that are useful when driving. He learned in his bedroom.

Mardenborough is a bit like Cinderella, which instead of a glass slipper has a racetrack, and instead of a ball hit the rally. This story shows that what seems to be impossible seems to be in fact achievable – although the path that leads to it is not always obvious.

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