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  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)

Author Topic: How Online Gaming Helped Nicolas Hamilton Become A Professional Racer  (Read 91 times)

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    • - Samker's Computer Forum
Online gaming is an immensely exciting space to be in. This is true for:

•   Professional gamers.
•   Game developers.
•   Casual gamers and
•   Professional racers too.

If that last category stopped you in your tracks, read on to find out how Nicolas Hamilton used online gaming to attain celebrity status in professional racing.

The desire
Nicolas Hamilton is Lewis Hamilton’s younger brother. Nicolas always had the passion and desire for racing but his cerebral palsy came in the way of this desire turning into reality. But the desire would simply not go away and so Nicolas Hamilton channeled it into playing simulation games. In fact, he attributes his expertise in racing to playing simulation games.

The history
The very first game that Hamilton tried and became addicted to was GTR and from the time that he got a demo and then a proper version of this game – Hamilton simply went from strength to strength and bought all games by SimBin – the developer of GTR. Even as his brother was racing for real, Nicolas Hamilton did everything noteworthy in the virtual world.

Simulated racing world
It is fascinating to note that Nicolas Hamilton devoted almost all his time to playing console racing games and PC racing simulators. The inability to use his legs in real life did not matter here because he would simply use the buttons on the steering wheel to control the motion of his vehicle.

In the world of computer simulation, Nicolas Hamilton became so good that he won the British Championship and perhaps more importantly beat his half-brother Lewis Hamilton pretty often too.

The growth of a career
Project CARS is a simulated video game with a difference; make that several differences. Some of the things that set this game apart are:

•   Dynamic time of day and weather system.
•   Historic Goals that can be chased.
•   125 cars – road cars, karts and supercars included.
•   Ability to create a driver and
•   Created by racers too.

Most importantly perhaps, it has Nicolas Hamilton as a consultant. One of the things that he almost always talks about when talking about this role of his is the quality of perseverance. People want to keep trying as far as playing this car racing game and that is interesting. Hamilton should know about perseverance isn’t it?

Support for professional racing
One of the strongest elements of online gaming and especially Hamilton’s role as consultant is the foundation it can lay for professional racing. From the way the cars are built and the way the tires perform – it is all about professional racing. When the physics of the real world have been copied onto the virtual world, you know you have a great thing going.

Driving in sims can be a very challenging way to go. It is not just a casual game for Hamilton and whether it is catering to the weather or trying out different cars – everything has to be perfect even in the simulated world.

Testing cars
For Nicolas Hamilton, simulation racing has also led the way into his role as a consultant because he could not only give inputs for the build of the car but also take it out for test drives. This is a constant give and take of information between him and the developers and designers of the cars. Once a car is “ready”, Hamilton takes it out for a drive and then gives feedback as far as handling and performance is concerned. The car is then developed and tweaked even more until it can be added to the game for the general public to use.

This ability to give feedback on the cars is something that is grounded in real life too because Nicolas Hamilton has been out on the track in the ‘brick and mortar’ world as well. This experience also helps professional racers for real. When the cars are so closely matched to the real world, racers can enjoy practicing in the sims and honing their skills even more.

Application of skills
Nicolas Hamilton has also gone on record to state that the simulated world taught him various kinds of skills that he could then apply in the real world too. Something as important as pushing oneself to do better can be cultivated in the gaming world.

2 worlds meet
In the year 2011, Nicolas Hamilton got a chance to race for real when vehicle modifications were brought in. His racing debut happened in the Renault Clio Cup United Kingdom and he drove for Total Control Racing. He finished last in his debut race but this does not take away from the fact that it was superlative achievement for Hamilton.

2 years later he was in the European Touring Car Cup and then became the very first driver with a disability to compete in the British Touring Car Championship.


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