Is Grand Theft Auto not exciting enough for you? For $54,000, you can strap yourself into a virtual rig that can emulate the feel of more than 1,000 different race cars and put you on real-life tracks projected on a high-resolution screen. It then subjects you to rocking, vibrations and a force-feedback steering wheel that so completely imitate real conditions that you might actually get injured, according to an article on the Web site of Popular Mechanics magazine.
Eric Limer writes that CXC Simulation, maker of the Motion Pro II racing simulator, found that the “most effective way to fool the brain into thinking it was experiencing race-like G-forces” was to target quick bursts of motion at the head and torso, where real drivers say they especially feel G-forces. When the Motion Pro II adds in the jostling and vibrating, the result is potentially dangerous. Limer quotes CXC founder and ex-racer Chris Considine: “If you hit the wall in an Indy car and don’t take your hands off the wheel, you’ll break your wrists. Our wheel is a one-to-one replication of that, but we don’t turn it up that high. It’s the first time we’ve been able to replicate racing forces so high that it introduces liability questions.”
The story is accompanied by a video, seen from behind the driver, showing the simulator’s cockpit rocking as the raceway speeds past on the wraparound screens. It’s enough to get your right foot itching to brake. As Limer writes: “The toys out there for pros are clearly totally insane. “