Drag Racing On Cardboard!
Imagine playing a video game where everything that happens on the screen is happening for real. No, This is no joke, the “game” referred to here is a real life simulation of an old digital racing game called Wipeout. Let’s explore further how this idea works.
Mahlte Jehmlich is a German designer who spent months obsessing and building upon the idea of creating an analog recreation of a digital car racing game. The crux of the idea was to build a real life mini racetrack using various easily accessible materials then use a camera mounted toy car to race on it, hence giving a real life feel. That’s something you don’t get by playing the car racing games on gaming consoles.
The track is built using cardboard. It is extremely easy to assemble because the cardboard pillars and the track support each other and provide a surprising amount of stability, more than you’d think for such material. It has enough curves and bumps to keep a racer interested and has sensors installed. These sensors work towards capturing the race time in order to update the high score table at the end of every session.
The race car is nothing more than regular, yet speedy, 1:28 model RC car that you can get at any toy shop. The only modification is that it has been fitted with a plate, which helps carry the wireless camera, the lights and a standard battery to run them both. The size of the car is apt for the track and is almost as fast as in the original wipeout game.
The driver controls the car from an 80’s arcade style cockpit that has just two components – a wheel and a gear. The wheel obviously helps the driver steer around the track, while with the gear, the driver can choose forward or reverse options. The driver sits in the cockpit, which is kept in a different room from the track. He or she looks onto the screen in the cockpit and guides the car as fast as they can through the circuit.
But hey, what if they bang into the side walls of the track and the car overturns ? Well in that case the designer, Mr. Mahlte will just come and “reset” the game by turning the car over with his hand. Then, the driver is good to go again. That’s true analog, for sure. You get to do 3 laps, and at the end of the session, if your score is fast enough, you get to enter your name to be recorded on the high score list.
This game looks and seems so super awesome that I can’t wait till somebody makes a real life simulation of the sims (pun intended).