Texting and driving is a huge problem. It causes accidents with people hurt and killed all for the sake of responding to a message quickly. There is not a single reason to text and drive, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it anyway. SMS Racing has turned it all into a game that shows how dangerous it is to text behind the wheel.
The VR Gear game has the same basic premise of every other racing game on the planet. You drive a car through the streets as fast as you can manage and try to beat the other guys. Instead of only driving your car and keeping things shiny side up, SMS Racing makes you respond to text messages while you drive.
Random messages appear on the phone that virtual you is holding in one hand and you have 10 seconds to respond. Responses are predetermined and brief, with letters displayed on the screen so you simply tap the letter of the response you want to send.
Should you decide to ignore a message or not respond quickly enough, then you will lose a friend, just like in the real world. Once you’ve lost three friends, it’s game over. Isn’t that why people are so quick to text when they’re driving a real car? No one wants to send the impression that they’re ignoring a vital message from a friend. Hey, if someone sends you a cute cat video, then you are legally obligated to send back a smiley emoticon or at least a heart or risk being unfriended forever.
While you respond to the in-game message, your view completely leaves the road so you can stare at your phone. There’s no way of knowing what the road will look like when you finally pay attention to driving again. It’s just like the real world!
There is also a handy icon that pops up over other cars when they’re texting and driving, which sadly isn’t something that exists in the real world. That’s a feature I’d like to see in real cars. Instead of looking for the guy swerving like a drunken sailor, a little bubble floating above the car would be a nice warning to steer clear.
You can download the game for free and get your fix of driving while texting, but without the risk of actually killing yourself or anyone else. It’s a tongue-in-cheek game that points to a very real problem.
Don’t text and drive.