Un-Virtual Driving Reality



OK, we know that culture is awash with all things retro. It seems that anything vaguely ‘eighties’ is acceptable once again. But, from the wackier edges of car and game culture comes this proposal that takes the virtual out of the driving game experience and attempts to combine the real world and OutRun, an arcade driving game released by Sega in 1986 – and one that made an icon out of Ferrari’s Testarossa amongst arcade-hanging preteens of that decade.

The car-shaped sit-down arcade cabinet of OutRun becomes a ride in itself, and you drive it using the modded controls of the videogame. The screen meanwhile, which is in front of the driver, renders the real world as the 1986 video game OutRun. custom-built software and GPS sensors calculate the location of the vehicle and display a map rendered in the style of the video game. In other words the world is made anew, bit-mapped 1986-style.

The software for this project will be developed as an iPhone application, with an iPhone 3G inside of the cabinet-car system displaying video on the ” monitor. Development of the OutRun GPS rendering application on iPhone 3G hardware will also enable the application to be released to the general public to use the software on their iPhones while driving or walking.

Let’s just hope that Wham and A-HA don’t make the soundtrack.