Thank you so much for sharing how you got into this amazing hobby of loving cars. One of the things that struck me in this article is how you lived out your car related dreams in a virtual space. I share that in common with you! As a Millennial growing up with video games is something our generations have in common. I was able to experience the very tail end of Arcades with the big screens and the driving simulations. Crusin' USA was one of my absolute favorites at a local dive my parents loved to grab pizza at. Not "real life" in any way. Every time we went I had to play at least 5 games. As some might tell you "Video Games are not like Real Life", and they miss the point. Studies have shown our brains are perfectly capable of disseminating from fact and fiction of these artificial worlds. Video games provide a great escape for some who might not be able. Whether that’s puzzle games, interactive stories, or sports games. One of the reasons I got into the hobby of cars and firearms were video games. Yes its not like reality (especially firearms), however its a great place to start with a fairly low jumping off point. I don't agree that people's love of cars is somehow not as great as if they did it in real life, or that an experience in a car game can’t be as valuable as the real thing. Especially if it lights a fire for your passions. I never had a great car when I was in high school. I never participated in Karting to become a driving ledged. I had games like Gran Turismo and the original Forza games to show me what an absolute joy cars could be. Then when I was older and getting ready for my first racing school with Skip Barber at Sebring International Raceway, you know what I did? I played the heck out of Forza 3 on Sebring with a Spec Miata for hours and hours. Sure it didn't compare to actually turning a wheel in anger at the track, but it truly gave me an advantage over the driver that had no experience at the track. I had sightlines and breaking zones already picked out in my head. With slight modification for grip, suspension, and g forces, I was able to get some truly fast times. I was even competing with some people who had been racing for years! To this day living in the Midwest, when cold weather comes I find myself enjoying the time on my simulator or Xbox. Testing and tuning cars. Seeing if there is such a thing as too much power. And yes, even living out a make-believe fantasy of driving an AE86 up and down a mountain pass with my little cup of water. Keep enjoying games. Hopefully soon you will be able to get out and enjoy the real thing! Also, don't be afraid to ask for help. And don't feel embarrassed if you don't know everything there is to know about this hobby, just get out and enjoy it. If you have passion, others will see that and help you along the way. Thanks for an awesome read. Keep at it!
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