Blessed:The Ring and so many other tracks can also have bragging rights from the comfort of ones couch or bean bag chair via X-BOX!
In a lot of ways I am serious (and kidding a little). BUT consider this:
Nissan and other manufactures have placed young adults in their simulators. They then do real on track driving against drivers who are true drivers. Meaning they put the "kids" in a real car after hours of simulator training. Then they allow the kids trained in the simulator to race on course side by side with real drivers that have raced for years. The simulator trained drivers were faster!
Having a 19 year old that has ridden dirt bikes and quads since 4 (advantage yes) BUT has also had a Play Station controller and or X Box controller in his hand since he was four too, I speak from experience a little. It seems that he is far more willing to take a risk on a track with his car than I am. I really think that is because he can literally BUILD his car on X Box and race it for hours on end. If he wrecks it, it is a reset etc. He knows what the limits are and has pushed them with no consequences while gaming. The gaming feel of the car then gets applied to track and daily driving.
It is so funny to see him against other professional drivers on an Auto X course that have $80,000 + in their Vette/Mustang and he's better than they are in a Stock S2000. These same grown men challenge him to a high dollar go cart tracks. He spanks them every time.
I really think there is something to be said for the X-BOX and Play Station "racing" games etc. if you and or someone you know wants to get better and or faster on a real track, I believe it can truly make you better/faster.
I totally understand the value of simulators and X-Box etc. I agree, so long as the software is well written...and most of it is, the benefit, especially on a giant monster of a track like the Ring cannot be had any other way. I'm living proof that not using them can have some bad results.
Just look at the current F1 field and you'll find a good ⅓ of the field being young drivers who have racked up 10 times the simulator miles than in-car track miles. It's the way of the world in road racing now.
In our home, I have a pretty big day job and several hobbies that compete for my attention. We intentionally have one very nice TV and no video games. We watch together....no hiding in one's own space all the time and living separate lives..and shows. We've slept in the same bed (well, not the same actual bed!) for over 30 years too...No TVs in the bedroom...by design.
When the first DOOM! computer game came out for PC, I spent literally an entire weekend on it. Same for DOOM2 etc. Made myself sick on them. I decided, I think wisely, that X-box might be bad for my marriage, my health and my finances, so we never got one. No kids, so there's no one wanting one for Christmas except me...and I won't allow it.
X-box wasn't a choice when I was driving the Ring, however. I gave up on Ring driving before those driving programs came out. Some of the high-buck driving simulators that hook to TV or computer look amazing. I think I would stop eating, going to work....
I still enjoy cars and bikes, but not in the same way or with the same goals as before. I love that "ballet with 3000 lbs of car" thing that I do at the track. I love making music with my Aprilia on a nice day...and still like the "shot out of a cannon" feeling it gives when I give it the spurs. I'll probably never do another bike school and the car schools I do are chosen for a safe track with runoff, good people running the show and students who want to learn the basics. I don't time laps anymore. I can tell when I get a series of corners perfect and squeeze about all the car has to offer out of it. I like entering corners from the wrong side of the road now and then to simulate race situations. i don't compete, just appreciate.
Hope that makes just a little sense to some of us.