ATV Television's Blog

The Latest News and Doug's Ramblings & Ravings.
Including Doug's "Here's what I think!" and "What were they thinking!"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Something to Learn About Something to Learn

I’ve been doing some investigating into racing simulators recently and it has given me a whole new perspective on what it feels like to know almost nothing (okay absolutely nothing) about a new interest. I’m finding out that trying to gather enough pertinent information is a struggle. Even any information is a struggle.

Basically, for simulator racing you need to find out about several different components, such as cockpit seats, steering wheel and pedals sets, the different gaming platforms, and finally which games are worth the money. A daunting task for several reasons.

You see, I learned a long time ago that all reviews are not created equal. Here’s a great example of this from my first editor at ATV Television. He had realized that now that he was involved in the ATV industry that he needed to pay more attention to ATVs. After buying a few magazines (there were no other TV shows, and only one internet site back then), he mentioned to me how amazed he was that we attended the same new model introduction as those magazine guys, we rode the same machines, and we sat around having drinks and talking after all the riding was done. But yet, when the reviews came out, their reviews were considerably different than ours. Until that revelation, he said he had treated all the articles and reviews that he read in the video and hunting magazines as gospel – always 100% correct. Now all of a sudden he didn’t know what to believe and what not too.

It’s almost as if there needs to be a review of the reviewers in order to find out which are the good ones!

And now, I find myself in that same position. After being in the off-road review business for almost 20 years I’ve grown accustomed to being able to screen the reviews to know which are valid, which are off base, and which are pure hyperbole.

But now I’m investigating an area where I know nothing – not of the product, nor of the reviewers of the products. So now I’m left with first, trying to find the product reviews I need, and second, trying to figure out how valid they are for me.

So what? Well, I can now better empathize with those of you struggling to find out more about what I take so for granted. So I promise to try to be more helpful in my information for those of you newest to our sport.

And I will try not to get involved in another industry simply because there’s a need ;-)


  1. I don't have time for gaming anymore, but Forza Motorsports for X-Box is the best racing simulation game I have ever played. It was built by and made for automotive addictionist like yourself!!! My favorite thing about the game was doing a sideways burnout at 120 mph in my supercharged ZO6 Corvette when I hit the throttle! It is ridiculously fun for someone who will never be able to do that in real life. It is as realistic as a simulator can get. I think they are up to Forza Motorsports 4 now for X-Box 360. Check it out.

  2. I haven't been on/in a simulator for a long time, and the last one was one of those professional ones, but I'm looking forward to trying a few out to see just how 'real' the home sims are nowadays.

    And of course you can count on me to let you know how it goes.....

  3. Here's a video that gave me a laugh, I thought you'd enjoy it.

    P.S. I know we can, thanks!

  4. Wow! What a great video!!!

    I think I'll have to put that on the blog tomorrow.......

    Thanks Dan.

  5. Forza 4 is indeed a great game, with the driving assists off I feel it gives a really good feel for how cars handle differently and gives you great satisfaction for finding that ragged edge.

    If you went in that direction a german company called Fanatec makes the best racing wheels and pedals for the Xbox 360 (compatible with PS3 and PC as well). It's a bit steep for the wheel + pedals, but if you wanna play you gotta pay ;) Luckily the buy-in just for an xbox and forza 4 is pretty reasonable compared to PC gaming.

    On the PC there are other titles that are supposed to be really sim-focused. There is iRacing, a subscription-based game, Live for Speed, a poor-man's racing sim, and probably many others. Richard burns rally, while a bit dated, is apparently the defacto rally simulator.

    You probably have the skills and tools to make your own cockpit! Used car seat, some welding and some square tubing and you're on your way :) Here is a link with someone using a free recumbent bike stand as the beginning of their play set.

    Let us know how you make out

  6. Wow! That guy put some work into that. Interesting notes as I figured that getting a good seat would be the hardest part!

    You'd better stop reading any of this Dan. It may cause harm.

    Oh wait! I get it now.....Sim Racing causes a lot of tense muscles and you're looking at future job security ;-)

  7. Hey Dan, it looks as if there are two of us on this blog! I'm the Dan withOUT a Blogger Account. I guess I should start one, but for now I'll start going by Daniel so we can keep things straight.

    I'm the one with a RZR who lives in IOWA right now.

  8. Well I'm confused......Dan (Daniel) can't you go farther yet and go by Iowa Dan the Chiropractor (to be) with the RZR from Monroe ? ;-)

  9. I've updated my google profile to be Dan D. to avoid and confusion down the road ;) I am not a chiropractor either :)

  10. Iowa Dan the Chiropractor (to be) with the RZR from Monroe!November 9, 2011 at 10:43:00 AM MST

    If you think that would help Doug!! I was thinking more along the lines of Dan the Man or maybe, The Amazing Dan! I guess I could go back to 4th grade elementary school where my teacher insisted on calling me Daniel-Son, like the karote kid....

  11. Thanks guys.... I'm easily confused anyway ;-)

    And now 'The Amazing Dan the Chiropractor to be Man' you can be just plain 'ol Dan. Darn....

  12. Plain old Dan is my favorite anyway...Waa Whoo!