This is by no means an official post, no money hat has been waved around and my new beach-house is mere coincidence. In recent days video games and the gamers themselves has been set upon by the sensationalist media. People’s stereotypes are confirmed, they tell them what they think they already know and it gets plenty of viewers. Considering it is a biased account merely confirming public fears, should it really be considered news or rather olds? That is a story for another day. Instead I come to you today with an encouraging tale of how not all games are bad and ruin life. Infact I truly believe that Gran Turismo 5 saved my bacon today.
The story begins this frosty morning in Camborne, Cornwall. In my usual routine I leave my house for work at 8:30am, bound for my workshop 9 miles away in Penryn to collect parts and jobs for the day. Although the snow has been defeated by rain, the morning was parky, -3*C according to my in-van temperature gauge. It felt that cold too, I was glad when the asthmatic fan heaters finally breathed life into the van and my numb fingers. My journey would take me across the hills of Fore Lanes past Stithians reservoir, this is the second highest part of Cornwall. Whilst taking in the maudlin quality of these surrounds, frozen in time and temperature, I noticed the odd patch of ice on the road. Remembering the lack of difficulty the snow caused last week I carried on regardless, nothing can stop the van.
Things were about to turn a sideways turn for the worse. Imagine the above picture but with an icy road and Jack Frost covering all he surveyed. Even as I approached the corner I gently began to slow, I wasn’t a fool after all. However Jack Frost and Lady Luck had teamed up against me this morning. Without warning I felt the hard shudder beneath my right foot, immediately I knew I was in trouble. Any competent driver knows that a shuddering brake pedal means your ABS has failed and your tyres are now skidding. With the acute bend coming quickly at me, my gentle efforts to tickle the brake pedal into grip were of no use. With the bend upon me I had no option than to turn my steering wheel, I couldn’t go straight on. Upon doing this the whole frigging van slid sideways, my nose pointing directly at the left-hand hedge. With my heart shuddering faster than the useless brakes I knew I was in real trouble here, I was going at least 20mph.
And then, a bolt of inspiration shot through me, from my feet upwards, my mind was suddenly calm and clear. With the world going in slow motion released the brake pedal, I felt what little traction I had glide away. Still, as the nanoseconds passed I span the steering wheel to the right-hand lock. The next part is the real genius, I booted the accelerator as hard as I could. I still cannot believe what happened next, the spinning front wheels gained a quantum of traction on the icy road and began to pull me straight once again. By now my nose had slid around the corner and was now facing the correct direction, my forward momentum from the booted throttle enough to keep me true. Do not think for one second that I gracefully drifted around the corner. It was a complete dog’s dinner, I spent the next 50 metres swerving to get the van back under control. I also know I could’ve tried it again 100 times and it would NEVER work out as good as it did that one glorious time.
And here, my sexy bitches, is where the lesson is learnt: If I hadn’t poured 30+ hours into Gran Turismo 5 this week, I wouldn’t be typing this from my desk now. I imagine I would be tweeting the carnage from a hospital bed with a tube up my helmet. In that moment of sweet clarity I remember hurtling along the snowy Charmonix rally course in a Lancer Evolution, never braking while turning into corners. I remember applying anti-lock and giving it the beans! That is how I got my gold cup and this is how I got to work with an intact van and a twitching sphincter. Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your time.