Texting while driving is super dangerous. It requires you to take both your eyes and hands off the wheel, so it's basically like occasionally blindfolding yourself while steering a massive hunk of metal that weighs several tons at high speeds, often through populated areas. Everybody knows they shouldn't do it, but when they hear that familiar "ping," some people just can't seem to wait.
Since racing games are often about navigating roads in the most dangerous way possible, that's exactly what SMS Racing asks you to do: text your friends while speeding towards the finish line. You spend the entire game driving with a smartphone in your hand, which I sincerely hope real people do not, and when you hear the chime of a text message, you have to read it and respond to it within 10 seconds. After all, you wouldn't want to be rude.
Originally released as a browser game, the tongue-in-cheek SMS Racing is headed to virtual reality platforms later this year, where it promises to "unleash the power of head-tracking technology and your musculoskeletal system to look at your phone or the road. But mostly the phone. There's nothing stopping you, except for anything you happen to drive into."
And boy, do you drive into a lot of things. I hope that the message people internalize from this game is not that texting while driving is fun, but rather that it is roughly as intelligent and safe as most of the things you do in racing games, like shooting motorists with missiles or driving off ramps at a hundred miles an hour.
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
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