93-year-old finds passion in sim racing

BOITUMELO RANTAO

RYUJI Urabe spent his whole life as a driver and at 93-years-old that amounts to a tremendous amount of time behind the wheel. After retiring in his 80s Urabe abandoned his license and took a  liking to a new “cardless” relaxed life.

The introduction of a steering wheel to a gaming console altered Urabe’s life is an unexpected and passionate twist. A simulated car race had brought Urabe’s joy back to life. Urabe “Had lived his whole life behind the wheel” and his Grandson Koutarou Yamamoto, “wanted to let him drive again.” he told the South China Morning Post.

Now, the duo team up against other challengers online and strike fear into the virtual world. The duo launched a YouTube page that has over 3-million views.

Sim racing has taken the global gaming world by storm, popular platforms such as iRacing and AssettoCorsa offer racing leagues and competitions modeling similar events in real life. Contemporary gaming systems, such as Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo, also host tournaments and leagues on a regular-basis.

“I bought the steering wheel controller for myself to play with, it is how my grandpa started to play with it,” the younger Yamamoto said. “I’m really happy that he enjoys it. Also, I think I was able to get him moving more than before.”



 
 

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