So top European players of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue can now compete in the newly-launched GT Academy for the opportunity to race cars in real life. It appears that the racers will be culled from online time trial races, and then head-to-head national competitions. The fastest three drivers from each country then get to go to GT Academy and train to get their official racing licenses, with the ultimate goal of racing in a 24-hour endurance race in Dubai next year. I wonder if this GT Academy idea points the way towards even more real-life extensions of video games. What’s next — actual military trailing for top Call of Duty players?
I find all of this intriguing because I recently picked up GT5 Prologue and I’ve been enjoying the sheer obsessive attention to detail that Polyphony Digital has poured into the game. The crazily-rendered cockpit view is a lot of fun on the 50″ Kuro, even if it’s probably not the best of the views for actual racing. I love how each car truly drives differently, and it takes me a while to get in sync after switching car models. I can’t wait until I earn enough racing credits in the game to splurge on some of the higher-end cars. Audi R8, here I come.