Discovering The Breed

WTCR RaceRoom.jpg
Have you ever met someone for the first time in the physical world and over the course of a conversation, suddenly realised you've actually known them for years by a different name?

Or maybe you've been working alongside someone for a long time, speaking to them every day, then one day, just by chance the subject comes up and you realise you have a common interest that until now, neither of you were aware of?

It could be a friend you've known for years, someone you see every week at the local pub for the weekly music event, pool club, or just to chat over a drink, and it just so happens that one of you mentions the right word or phrase and, in that moment, a light bulb flashes on and you realise they're like you, they're one of the breed, they're a sim racer!

It's a fantastic moment, the conversation picks up pace immediately, you've suddenly got more to say to each other than ever before, the enthusiasm comes out and you're talking away about all thing's sim related until you realise you've been nattering away for so long you've hardly touched your drink, the bands stopped playing and the barman wants to shut the doors!

Hard to spot in real life​

We are a hard quite hard to spot in everyday life, there's no one thing that really ties us down, as most of us aren't walking round in a fire suit and driving gloves all day, there's no instant clue like a guitarist walking around with a guitar strapped to their back, the most obvious way to spot one of us might only be a sim racing brand logo on our clothes or something like that, but when you realise it's great! It can strengthen friendships and lead to lifelong collaborations!

Three examples​

Known each other for years through the local Cambridge music scene, I'd be out playing at jam sessions in the pubs around out area and Pete would be there in the audience, we used to chat at the bar afterwards about music.

One night after about three years I think I arrived late and Pete asked me what I'd been doing that evening, I explained I'd been at home on the computer having a race and Pete's face lit up, after he'd queried me on what kind of racing I was doing, he enthusiastically told me that he'd been into the same thing for years, in fact he had a full triple screen rig at home and I'd have to come round for a go some time. Seeing as all I had back then was a single screen and a wheel bolted to a desk, he didn't have to ask me twice!

After that we were talking sims, hardware, software and race clubs every time we saw each other! In fact just before I moved back to Norfolk we even lived in the same house for a short while, and had both our sim rigs set up in the same room. We built a little D.I.Y. rig for me, took part in race's together at RaceDepartment, and I watched Petes rig grow as he upgraded hardware.

Since I've moved back to Norfolk I've built a proper rig, we've kept in touch, ran servers together using remote software, experimented with tactile motor feedback systems for our pedals and seats, Pete even prompted me to start my own YouTube channel on which I mention him regularly! And every time I've been back in Cambridge for work or a music event we've met up, usually ending up with him sending me home with a new piece of hardware to try out!

I've also experienced discovering someone I'd worked alongside for a long while was a sim racer, and since moving back to my home county have found out that a friend I grew up with was heavily into racing games on his Xbox. Since I've been back, we go round each other's houses for Pizza and lap times! He's now moved onto more advanced simulators and is saving for a PC to build a proper rig around.

Every time this has happened it's been great, its strengthened already good friendships, we've always ended up learning a thing or two from each other and have plans for the future (like all meeting up and going to real race events). It's definitely one of the best things about being a simracer!

How about yourself?​

Have you had an experience like this, maybe you finally got to meet someone in person whom you've been racing with over the internet for years, or maybe like me you've found it's always been there, but you just never knew!

Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @RaceDepartment!

Picture credit: @daveds3
About author
Tarmac Terrorist
If I can drive it, I'm Rocking it!!! Besides writing sim racing articles I am running my own YouTube channel called Tarmac Terrorist

Comments

Bram Hengeveld
Staff
Premium
Great discussion topic! Thanks for your first RD article Paul.

I have never bumped into a simracer in real life myself, at least I have never discovered one during daily routines. But I have been lucky enough to have met a lot of sim racers from this community in person during the last couple of years during events we went to.

The "oddest" meeting has been with @derick_pereira . I contacted him here on RD with a private message to ask permission to use one of his amazing mods on Simracing.GP. I was fully convinced that he would live in Brazil or Portugal going by his name but after we exchanged some messages he told me he lived in The Netherlands like myself. This is not very uncommon as our little country has quite a few simracers but guess what....he almost lives in the same neighbourhood as I do only a few blocks away :)

In the meantime we have had a nice face to face meeting last week when we have visited another online friend Martijn who has build an amazing set of simulators at home we wanted to try out.

It seems simracers are literally around the corner :)
 
It's a fantastic moment, the conversation picks up pace immediately, you've suddenly got more to say to each other than ever before, the enthusiasm comes out and you're talking away about all thing's sim related until you realise you've been nattering away for so long you've hardly touched your drink, the bands stopped playing and the barman wants to shut the doors!
I was with you right up until that point. That never has, and never will never happen - there are priorities after all.
 
Last edited:
jimortality
Premium
I've met fellow Euro truckers and we've become mates. He pops round to install something in my pc when I need it. I do feel I'm the only sim racer in the whole of Northern Ireland!!! when I get people coming round, they look in amazement at my set up then say something like they used to play burnout on xbox or whatever. There were a couple of racers from here that also raced in RD, Father and Son but I think their business took off and it's been a few years since I've heard from them.
 
Kenny Paton
Staff
Premium
There were a couple of racers from here that also raced in RD, Father and Son but I think their business took off and it's been a few years since I've heard from them
Ah Jim
You're thinking of Reggie Blain and his dad, your right I remember one club night him mentioning that they had a contract for a new show "Derry Girls" and we all know how that went.
Happy memories mate.:D
 
Two years ago after getting my puppy, I met a dog walking guy and began walking regularly with him and his pack. After about 6 months we got around to talking about online shooter games, and I mentioned the series I spent most of my youth playing (Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Enemy Territory), expecting no recognition for a rather niche shooter from over 20 years ago - but he asked my gametag and recognised it, as did I his! :laugh:

Since played RTCW co-op together a couple of times, but nostalgia is not what it used to be
 
At my first place I worked after Uni I had been there for 6 months before one day our receptionist called 2 of us the front to receive packages from a courier. She said it was strange they both seemed to be identical. Turns out we had both preordered GTR1 and they had arrived together! That's when we discovered we were both sim racers and away it went from there. My current office has 3 other gamers but unfortunately they only play DOTA 2 or COD.
 
I met some fellows that played 4 player Doom on a BBS long before the internet was a real thing and then I did flight sims with a local fireman for a couple of years. That's about it...
 
Alex Harkett
Premium
My best mate who got me into sim racing in the first place sadly passed away a few years ago now. I’ve not met anyone as into as me since really with the exception of one guy at work who I’ve spoken with a couple of times.
 
Back Ehen I was younger I was riding BMX.
And one of the local skater guys was always a good chat....

15 years later, going on with sim racing... Through a German community I looked for people to test high end equipment and just find somebody in the area with same interest.

So I asked somebody in my town if it's OK to meet...

When I saw him I thought "you know this face" it needed around an hour to make click... It was him... 14 years later. Living normal life in a house etc.

Funny!
 
Dzul
Premium
Great article, really nice to have a piece focus on the people that do simracing... us. :D I have yet to stumble upon a fellow simracer spontaneously, in the urban wilds of the real world. I do have friends in RD and have personally met with a couple of them, but it is always a planned meetup. Yet, I'd definitelly welcome a random encounter and, knowing my love for talking shop, I will surely let the drink switch temperatures... we'd just have to order another one I guess. :coffee: If any of you lot ever visit Rotterdam hit me up!
 
Last edited:
In SRE2019 I saw people I've only seen in leagues or Discord.

Surprisingly, many sim Youtubers recognized me and my name although I'm not that fast and I only have done simracing for about 2 years at that point.

Most importantly is that I met my crush IRL and she never disappointed. The Nordschleife.

Ps: One time I called the bank and the employee asked me (with an enthusiastic tune) a rhetorical question about if I did the payment to iRacing (as if iRacing is something that everyone knows). He didn't say for example a website called "iRacing.com". I guess he was a sim racer. Probably this incident is more insignificant than to be mentioned by I already did that and wasted your time.
 

Article information

Author
Paul McCaffrey
Article read time
4 min read
Views
10,152
Comments
25
Last update

Share this article

Top