Gaming tech is improving at an exponential rate. Consoles or PC’s are more powerful, games use sophisticated physics to simulate real-life and advances in screens or VR headsets produce stunning and life-like graphics. All combine to increase the sense of realism and immerse the participant in a virtual world that will one day become hard to differentiate from the real world.

Driving sims and games have been around for donkey’s years, some will remember the classics like Outrun. However, games like that used to come in a big package and were arguably not that mobile. And whilst fun, the experience felt artificial, unlike the driving sims available today such as Grand Turismo 6, rFactor 2, Project Cars or the eagerly awaited GT Sport. These days the equipment required can fit into the boot of a Mini Cooper.

You may wonder what’s the relevance to Octane Junkies, an automotive and motorsport events agency? The answer is that thanks to this increase in realism and mobility of equipment, it allows us to help our customers provide a motorsport experience virtually anywhere.

Over the last six months we have seen an increase in demand for our virtual racing experiences. Perhaps this is due to the rise in popularity of eSports, through a need to connect with millennial or generation Z audiences in way that appeals to them or even because it delivers a memorable experience on a budget.

Our gaming seats, consoles and screens have been deployed up and down the UK at a variety of events. They have been used to provide a memorable, exciting and competitive experience at shows, exhibitions and events to connect a brand with customers or staff. The application is far reaching, our virtual race experience could go to a company’s office to motivate employees, a trade show to draw visitors onto a stand, a conference to provide a breakout activity or even a wedding or private party just as a fun and social activity.

The virtual racing experience can be a simple time trial with one gaming seat and a Top Gear style leaderboard, with a prize going to the fastest time of the day. It could be a full-on race with multiple seats connected to create a competitive experience similar to karting.

Here are a couple of recent examples of how a virtual experience helped to enhance a brand activation or event:

British Olympic Association – Kit Fitting

Nissan sponsored the British Olympic Paralympics Associations. Before Team GB headed to Rio 2016, a kit fitting event was held at the NEC. Nissan created a brand experience with cars and Nissan innovations on display. The event was attended by athletes, their families and friends and our virtual racing experience was one, among others, that helped to draw them onto the Nissan stand.

F1 in Schools at Silverstone Circuit

F1 in Schools is a challenge aimed at getting school children enthused about engineering through the excitement of motorsport, the finals of which are held at Silverstone Circuit. The teams that enter are all school age, this means they can’t drive on track. The use of our virtual racing experience helped to create a buzz at the event by allowing teams and visitors of the event drive the Silverstone Circuit virtually in a fast lap competition.

For more information on our gaming and virtual racing experience, contact Daniel Whittemore on 01327 856017 or daniel@octane-junkies.co.uk