QotW: How have video games affected your passion for cars?

Today, September 12, is National Video Game Day. For many car enthusiasts, especially of Japanese machines, the cultural reach of video games has been instrumental to the hobby. Whether you’re into cars we’d otherwise never see on the streets, the world of highway and touge battles, the physics and traditions of customization, or building a dream garage, games have offered those opportunities

How have video games affected your passion for cars?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which JNC looks best in black?

The Toyota Century got the most votes this week, with Sedanlover, HE HE, and エーイダン giving valid reasons why you should always bet on black when it comes to O.G. executive limousine/yakuza sled. R100guy brilliantly pointed us to the hidden-in-plain-sight answer that was another famous Toyota, Marty McFly’s pickup. Robin got points for picking a deep cut that only true Honda-heads or JDM freaks would know. speedie‘s choice of an A60 Toyota Celica Supra was ultimately quite close in theme to the winner.

That winner was StarCruiser, whose excellent prose and plot pacing had us on the edges of our seats. The answer reads like the opening of a thrilling suspense novel. If it were expanded into a full book we’d definitely read it:

While all it’s Japanese contemporaries definitely look great in black; the Starions look especially stunning in black; a brutish street warrior among finely sculpted precision instruments.

Picture this: You’re cruising down the highway, you had a good night and you’re just heading home. Checking your mirrors, you catch a glimpse of something creeping up on you. You hear the turbine spooling up behind you. The illumination of the roadway only allows you to catch a glimpse every so often. It’s a turbo-wedge, but which one? Supra? 300ZX? RX7?

The mystery car pulls into the next lane and starts his overtake; midrange RPMs noisily growling, turbo whirling into a blow-off. Then, the upshift. You watch as this murderous looking spaceship shoot past you. It’s Tetris like taillamps dimly glowing that let you make out it’s widened shape. What is it?


“What the fuck is that?”

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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7 Responses to QotW: How have video games affected your passion for cars?

  1. Michael K. says:

    Gran Turismo definitely changed my life. I had no idea there were so many JDM cars out there, and I didn’t know there were Skylines before the R32. Then there were all the weird little turbo kei cars and stuff like the Legnum VR-4. It swayed this Euro fanboy to Japanese cars in a major way.

  2. kyushanerd says:

    My passion for cars came to be when I first watched Jalopy (The Roadtrip game in the Eastern block). Since then I became intersted in soviet and east german mashines. Then later I moved along to the japanese cars via the honda city AA. Gosh Iam so glad I became a part of this great commuity. Cheers.

  3. f31roger says:

    Racing Lagoon.

    1999, I was going to Vancouver BC (I lived in Seattle at the time) on weekends to see their car scene (mainly Hondas and street racing).

    I felt as I was in another world as I would check out their local shops and talk to many of the people at the time. Richmond BC was where a lot of the shops were and evening meet ups before heading out to Delta for some street racing.

    My ex girlfriend lived in Surrey, so I’d stay the night at her place. One of those Saturday mornings, I went to Aberdeen and Yaohan shopping centres in Richmond. I saw this cool cover with Racing Lagoon. It was RPG racing game… weird.

    I fell in love with it because there was some story that happened 10yrs ago and everything was pretty much at night. It really added to the mystic of night racing in Yokohama during that time.

    Once you start playing the game.. you can customize your car to have awd, rwd and mid engine…

    But you also raced wild Hiace vans, VIP cars… it was super interesting.

    That game piqued my interest in “night time” car life.

  4. HE HE says:

    I have played quite a few games, like Baja: Edge Of Control with the Tacoma slaying the outback, or Gran Turismo 5 with the sick Legnum VR-4, or the Offroad-spec Outlander, or GRID, with the touge tracks along with all the JDM heroes. It’s a lot of fun ripping through a track in a Skyline or Supra, fighting the other drivers for the win.
    But my favorite of the games that inspired me to get into cars is… the one and only Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012). I know this game gets a lot of hate because “oH, tHe FiRsT mOsT wAnTeD iS sO mUcH bEtTeR!” and all that. The thing is, I’ve never played the ’05 Most Wanted, so yea. It may be a cheap game and has no “fun” customization, it’s what brought me into cars, besides HotWheels.
    I remember playing NFSMW at my cousin’s house (He’s also a car head) in my preschool times. This was also how the Evo became my favorite car. I didn’t care about driving the Koenigseggs or the Lambos, I really cared about the Evo. Later on, I got my own MW as a gift. I played that game to the limit, and you could only do so much without the DLC. Doing stuff I can’t do in real life, like drifting, street racing, making large jumps, and the most notable being to take out the police is exactly the stuff I’d wanna do in real life, but then I’d be wanted by the police.
    It might not work anymore, (not my fault) but that game was so inspiring to me growing up. I don’t know why people my age never played it, or the people who have hate it, it’s such an enjoyable game. Maybe I’m just weird. Sure, there might be some “better” games based on criteria, but I don’t care about that. MW is always going to be my favorite of the bunch, no competition.

  5. Tofu Delivery says:

    I played so many of them I don’t work on my real car 🙁

  6. Nigel says:

    Two for me that changed the way I look at cars in general where “Battle Gear 2” and “Racing Jam” the second one I have only seen in the arcade. Racing Jam had a gymkana mode and you could adjust suspension settings before playing. You could drive anything from a EG6 to a S13 and Cyborg ZR.

  7. Taylor C. says:

    Video games were DEFINITELY one major source of fuel to my car passion. My first racing game was Nintendo’s Rad Racer, and that Ferrari made some pretty cool 8-bit engine sounds. My Nintendo collection was very meager, as it was already a stretch for my parents to buy us the system, so I had Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, the Power Pad, and Rad Racer. I think I played Rad Racer more than the others. Passing the other cars, weaving in the traffic, it was definitely addictive.
    Into middle school, we had a (then) new 386DX PC, and I got a copy of Turbo Outrun. This time, a drop top Ferrari going across the country, which made for more diverse graphics and scenery.
    Then things got pretty realistic, when I got a copy of Road & Track’s Need for Speed. Real engine sounds, killer graphics (at that time), and some manual shifting included in the options.
    There was a short lull as my driving games got a stale while I got my driver’s license, was reading more tuning magazines, and going to car shows.
    When college came, I played Grand Theft Auto, and it was fun stealing cars and driving all over the place.
    The Gran Turismo fever took over when I got my hands on my friends PS1. All the yummy JDM cars, the realism, seeing how the cars corned and leaned so hard that the tires just blended into the fenders / quarter panels in Polyphony’s first release, it was awesome. Even Tokyo Highway Battle couldn’t match it. I remember it was GT3, and the long endurance races that’d last over 2 hours. My housemates and I would do the rubberband trick and attach them to the joysticks so that we’d have “cruise control.” I did not get much opportunity to play GT5, 6, or Sport, as we only had a PS2. However, I bought a used Logitech force feedback, and the kids and I continued to have a blast on GT4.
    With a Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 8 was definitely something to play. Even though it’s the opposite end of realism, it still provided good entertainment.

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