In 2015 on a busy street in Los Angeles, California, two cars were driving next to each other. One decided to cut in front of the other, angering the first driver, who decided not to let the second into his lane. The frustrated second driver eventually managed to get into the other lane, when both decided to get out of their vehicles. The drivers ended up getting into a fist fight in the middle of the road, and one driver was almost struck by the passing vehicles. Unfortunately, both returned to their vehicles and were not caught by the police. Incidents of road rage like this one have become more frequent in recent years. As a consequence of greater population in the US, there have also been more drivers on the road, contributing to the frustration that often precedes road rage.
There is no formal definition for road rage since it is a term recently produced by the media. Each media source defines it in different manners, particularly to illustrate their point about how poor driving has become widespread. However, it is commonly recognized as aggressive driving in response to another’s actions while on the road. Fortunately, the California Vehicle Code has a section stating that “the suspension period… for an assault commonly known as ‘road rage,’ shall be six months for a first offence.” In addition, it suggests that those drivers suffering from road rage complete an anger management course before returning to the road in the hopes that this will deter people from repeating their behavior.
The effects of road rage do not end when the driver’s destination is reached. These consequences continue in the form of injuries, stress and other long term health issues. In addition, stress and anxiety resulting from being in a commute results in poor working habits. Stressed workers end up performing worse in the workplace than they could, reducing their efficiency and the amount of work accomplished. So, suffering from road rage impacts people not just on the road but all over the world due to the globalization of companies and the economy. In addition, the long term implications of longer dangerous commutes show that it cannot be ignored if we wish to lead long healthy lives. Since these results are often not immediate, it is difficult to see the connection and try to fix it, and as such, little has been done to actively curb road rage.
Video gaming has become very popular especially with the creation of gaming systems like smart phones, gaming consoles and computers. With new games and old franchises frequently producing new and improved games, players have ample opportunity to try many games. What is concerning is that some of these games actively encourage poor driving habits. It is also well known that the target audiences of these games are teenagers and young men. This age category is also the most likely to have collisions and traffic incidents. As driving is a small part of our incredibly complex lives and interactions, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes road rage, but driving games are a possible contributor to the intensity of today’s road rage. This paper will argue that driving video games are at least partially responsible for road rage by influencing a player’s mentality through the actions performed and learned through playing frequently.
Yin, Jennifer, "Aggression and Driving: Separating Ourselves From the Games" (2016). Pop Culture Intersections. 15.