Texting and driving infiltrates gaming world: Applications in New York

The gaming world offers a wide array of virtual encounters. These encounters can include an outrageous zombie apocalypse battle or a more realistic opportunity to build and design a city. Somewhere in the middle of these extremes players will find the world of racing games.

Racing games can provide players with a variety of tracks, obstacles and missions. One of the most recent obstacles that programmers are including in their games is the presence of a smartphone and all the applications that can come with it. Not only does this device increase the realistic nature of the video game, it also makes the course more challenging. In addition to navigating the twists and turns of the course, some games are now requiring the player to respond to incoming text messages.

Most games that make use of these features are currently marketed for educational purposes, allowing players to experience the dangerous distracted driving accidents that can result from texting and driving while in the safe confines of a virtual world.

Details of the games

The games are popping up across the country. The University of Minnesota recently announced release of an Internet-based game aimed at teens and young adults called Distraction Dodger. It puts the gamer in the driver seat of a pizza delivery car and provides players the opportunity to text or use other social media options available on a smartphone while they are working their delivery route. At the end of the game, feedback on the driver's driving ability is offered.

The developers' note that the feedback can serve as an eye-opener for young drivers who believe they can handle everything, such as the distraction of texting while operating their vehicle. The first crash or ticket during the game can serve as a reality check. The intention behind the game is that the players learn their lesson in virtual reality instead of the real world.

A second game receiving buzz in the media was developed during a three-day developer competition called the Ludum Dare game jam. The game requires racers to respond to incoming texts while navigating a complex track. Players that chose to pass receive invalidated lap times. Players that took the time to send even a quick "lol" or "omg" response often returned their attention to the track only to find themselves attempting to avoid a serious crash with varying levels of success.

Real world application of distracted driving games for New Yorkers

Regardless of your gaming prowess one thing is certain: even gaming developers are aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving practices can include talking on a cellphone, texting or even using a GPS unit. Distracted driving is not only dangerous, but illegal in the state of New York.

Under state law, it is illegal to use a hand-held mobile device to send a text or email while driving. Violation can lead to a traffic ticket, monetary fine of $150 and additional penalties. The severity of penalties increases if an accident results.

If you were injured in a car accident and suspect the responsible driver was distracted, contact an experienced New York texting and driving attorney. This legal professional can help better ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.