I’d like to claim that I’m not a nerd but this brief synopsis of playing racing games may prove otherwise. You see I may be 24, and I may still play video games, but video games are where my love of cars started and where it turned into an unhealthy obsession. I give them a lot of credit for getting to this passion I now have. I should hate them for how many hours they have pulled away from doing some productive task like mailing in more boxtops or breeding a new form of pokemon, yet I don’t. I’ll just continue (trying) to not thinking about the hundreds upon hundreds of hours I have most likely spent staring at a screen creating no long term gain other than zapping my already paltry vision.
In 1994 Papyrus released the first Nascar Racing. The Jeff Gordan garbage can in my room meant I always played as numero 24, because he was awesome. I didn’t know why he was awesome, I just knew that he was. Forgive me for not remembering more, I was six after all. I have since went back and looked at the graphics, which was quite a surprise. I swear they looked no where near that bad back then. The images must not show up quite right on HD screens, yea that's it.
Four years later (1998 for those who can’t add) I found the first game that I would pour hours into. Need For Speed 3 Hot Pursuit let me drive exotic cars on country roads and escape from police. What more could you ask for? You want a Lamborghini Diablo? You got it. This may or may not be the reason the Diablo remains my most beloved Lamborghini to date. Seriously, I have never gotten all the Countach love that many of my esteemed collgues have, but the Diablo always did it for me. I'm expecting you to rail me in the comments, especially once I say the Countach looks like some 80's spaceship dreamed up by a five year old but I am getting away from the point.
The very next year I vividly remember entering the local Sam's Club and for once food samples were not the only thing on the menu. My dad grabbed a copy of Test Drive and inquired about my interest of buying it. Of course I wanted it, but I also wanted more. I went and searched through the games finding a double pack, housing Test Drive 6 and Test Drive Off Road 3. Test Drive 6 had me once again running from cops, this time through Rome in my Dodge Viper. I’ve wanted a Viper ever since. I swear I don’t have a small penis, it's rather average thank you. I also feel in love with the soundtrack that included Tongue Tied from Eve 6 and Cars by Fear Factory/Gary Newman. Just like the Viper my love of Eve 6 has stayed with me all these years. Just this past April they released a new album after having been broken up for almost a decade. Yet after most fans had long forgotten, I couldn't wait to relive that sound. Test Drive Off Road 3 brought along with it, you guessed it off-roading and more importantly the Dodge T-Rex 6x6 truck. It's named after a dinosaur and has six wheels, all recieving power. If that doesn't get you all hot and bothered, then you're dead to me.
In 2002 I found my way back to the Need For Speed franchise with Hot Pursuit 2. The Viper was of course my car of choice but the Cobra R and Murcielago held a place in my heart much the same. Can you believe the Lamborghini Murcielago was made that long ago? When I wasn’t busy in "Be the Cop" mode, I was racing away from the cops. Oh yea did I mention not only did they lay down spike stripes but helicopters would drop exploding barrels in front of you. Why don’t I ever see that on COPS?
I still fire up Hot Pursuit 1 and 2 from time to time, but sadly I know they will never bring me the joy they once used to. Once upon a time, in a land ignorant to real world stresses and adult desires, all it took was a video game.