We had an overwhelming response to our Codemasters F1 2012 contest, asking for your memorable video game racing and driving stories. Five winners have been selected, with each of them winning a copy of the upcoming game on the platform of their choice.
Congratulations to our winners, Dale, Gavin, Grant, Lance, and George. You'll be getting an email today explaining how to get your free game. Commiserations to those who did not win, but there were a lot of entries and the standard was extremely high.
Below are a few of my favourite stories, including the five winners. Thanks to everyone who entered, and an especially big thank you goes to Codemasters for supplying the prizes. If you weren't one of our winners, F1 2012 is on retail shelves today.
"My driving story harks back to 2001. I eagerly booted up Grand Theft Auto III for the first time and jumped into the car after that first cut scene. Spotting a police car, well... I anxiously wrestled the controller to stay on the correct side of the road and stopped at the red light. With no similar gaming reference point, it felt like the appropriate thing to do. I was even pleased with myself when the police car cruised past. Half an hour and a few accidents later, I finally learned the police force of Liberty City was a tad more lenient than I had anticipated!"
"Playing Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit back in 1998 and racing around the first track in reverse, you could get some air from the hill just after the tunnel. I was running from Police and could hear sirens but couldn’t see the cops, I hit the hill and the timing was perfect to jump right over the police cruiser coming the other way. The replay made for a great screenshot of the commodore less than a metre above the police vehicle."
"Brazil, the last Grand Prix of the season. Legend Difficulty. 5 points separates me from Fernando Alonso in the challenge for the world championship. Only first place will do. I race hard, but Fernando races harder, and with only 8 laps remaining I need an edge. Fernando pits, taking a new set of Prime tyres. I stay out on my option tyres hoping that the extra grip will get me in front before they deteriorate… it works. 1 Lap remaining and I have a 4 second lead, but no grip left. Last turn, victory is in sight…and my car spins. Only one thing left to do. I shift to reverse, my foot slams the pedal. Fernando's nosecone is almost touching mine as I reverse my way to a World Championship victory."
"Butterflies churned restlessly as I sat on the grid awaiting the green light that would turn Philips Island’s serene and beautiful landscape into a roaring inferno of screaming v8 engines and squealing rubber on tarmac. It was an endurance race of 113 laps that I’d trained for my whole `sim racing’ life. Everything was set, the v8 Falcon meticulously tuned, chocolate bar and coke zero for sustenance set beside the G27 wheel on my desk. My girlfriend was away with her parents for 3 days, my dog snuggled in her bed beside me in the spare room supplying moral support…perfect, nothing could stop me. Green, Green, Green…………… What ensued was a torture test beyond comprehension. The night before the race I had fed my dog fresh chicken pieces as a dinner treat. Turns out that the treat did not agree with my poor dogs insides. Shortly after the green light shone at Philip Island, my dog proceeded to emit `odours from hell' consistently for the next 3hrs. Thankfully I survived the race, improving 6 spots from my starting position in a quality field of racers. I also survived the worst nasal assault I've ever experienced….What a ride!"
"My son and I LOVE playing Asphalt 7 on the iPhone. He is only 5 but really good. He LOVES F1. He knows all the drivers. We had been playing for ages on a tricky level. We were in first place in an elimination contest and the clock had 2 seconds to run. We crashed into a car coming the other way. We fly in the air spinning in circles engine revving convinced we had lost. Game starts again and the second place had also crashed! We had won. High fives with my little boy! We still laugh about it!"
"Being from Adelaide I loved Formula 1 on the Playstation 1 that was released in 1996. Because even though we had lost the Grand Prix to Melbourne (that still hurts) I could scream around the track as often as I liked and did so for hours and hours on end trying to perfect my lap times and enjoy the fact that it was my home town Grand Prix. Like all things at the time, you thought it looked awesome and they could never do better.... But of course things now are mind flowingly better. If only the Adelaide circuit was available to race looking as good as the new F1 game does."
"I was 16 and housesitting a newly built house with my best mate. All we had was a PS1, a copy of TOCA touring cars and lots of M&M’s. After we unlocked the tank’s using the secret code we weren’t interested in winning the races, we chased each other around Silverstone blowing each other up for 14 hours straight! No sleep at all, just a lot of laughing in an empty house!"
"It's been 20 years since I last played an F1 game the 1992 Microprose 'Grand Prix'. It was the 1991season racing against the greats of Senna, Prost, Mansell, Schumacher and Piquet. It was the last time I owned a PC. A 286 machine with DOS Shell, 1 MB of RAM and a massive 40MB hard drive. The racing was enthralling, sounds classic and reflecting now the sense of history is huge both in terms of F1 and computer. Fortunately with an Intel chip on my Apple I might be able to experience it again."
"I was playing F1 2011 (Xbox 360) online a few weeks ago with 7 other competitors (in a red bull of course!), we were racing on Albert Park (around 20-25 lap distance). On the first lap I was taken out in a first corner incident by a fellow competitor and lost my left rear tyre. I lost just over a lap and a half on the leader by the time I got to the pits and exited with a new set of tyres. I drove a flawless race and ended up overtaking leader with 5 corners to go before winning the race!"
"While go-karting, I was in a really good race with one of the other drivers, almost side-by-side the entire lap. We both came out of the hairpin, practically touching wheels, which then goes into a fast left turn. As we both came out of the hairpin, he came out just in front of me, and he must’ve not noticed me on his rear left and tried to close the gap. Our wheels touched while going about 50km/h, causing my kart to flip me onto my head. Fortunately I got away with only a broken wrist."
"The game was Sega Rally, a classic 2 player racing game. Part way around the track were some big jumps, and you could also drive backwards, so when the game started we would each drive in different directions, attempting to line up at the jumps. After many, many attempts, involving near misses, side scrapes going under/over each other and partial hits, one day we finally achieved the almost impossible, a perfect head-on mid air collision. The game couldn't handle the physics and the cars just suddenly appeared on the side of the track."
"Five mates still play “V8 Race Driver 3” on our original xbox’s regularly with system link and had a memorable crash at the first chicane on the Surfers Paradise track where all the cars got jammed and smashed up in a tight pile. It was the slowest event ever after that as all the cars were so badly damaged, but we laughed so hard as many cars had to do 3 rights to do a left turn as their steering was so butchered! It was like slow-mo dodgems! The result didn’t matter!"
"My story took place some time ago, and involves having a spare three hours while my girlfriend was having her hair done… I was in Pitt Street Mall, and I wandered into one of the big department stores. I saw a PS2 with an older version of F1 running, so I thought I’d give it a try. I really liked the game, and became engrossed. Anyway, approximately 2 hours later, I figured I should leave, and attempted to place the controller back down on the stand. This is where I became unstuck – my elbows were locked in a bent position, my muscles totally cramped! I had to bend over to drop the controller, and then walked out of the store with my hands stuck to my chest just under my chin!"
"Stunt Car Racer. Two Amigas. Two monitors perched on top of milk crates. Null modem cable. Joysticks with one button. The purest and original multiplayer mayhem. Every night of every week on the lounge room floor. Cheap whiskey and pizza hut pizza. What else would twenty-something males do in the late 80's/early 90's? Nothing comes close for gameplay and repetitive, monotonous, addictive madness."
"My most memorable video game experience was getting to race Australian Rally Champion Ed Ordynski on Sega Rally in an arcade in Perth back in 1995 during Rally Australia. He showed up to the arcade the night I happen to be there. Although I lost the race by a car length but it was an experience I'll never forget."
"At work, we had a new female boss. After a work function, we all went out for dinner and later ended up at a Japanese video arcade. As the 'gaming expert', I invited the new boss to a quick game of SEGA Rally 2 - this should be fun I thought. Within seconds she was in front and didn't let up! After a few laps, I knew it was over. She smiled and kindly asked for another game. No worries. Kapow! She did it again! My ego was gone. I did not win one lap. Back to desk in shame!"
"I have never gotten the hang of racing games on PC, and having never owned a console it was understandable that, after giving my Father in Law a racing game for his birthday, I proceeded to try to show off my non-existent prowess. I did this by selecting the renowned Laguna Seca course and the most powerful car I could find. Before proceeding to fail dismally – managing to set cars, both mine and others, ablaze and achieving such mayhem at the dreaded Corkscrew that the family decided I was to be banned for offences to people who can actually drive."
"My driving experience was actually in F1 2010. I went for the full season and knocked it over in about a week. It came down to the last race between me and Hamilton for the championship. For the final race I decided to do the full race length and full race weekend to lead up to it. Anyway, in the last few laps of the race, I was in front of Hamilton but was not the leader and if it stayed that way then he would get the championship. It was not until the FINAL LAP OF THE RACE that Alonso in front of me crashed out giving me the race win and the championship! The reason why it was memorable was because it was almost exactly what happened to Hamilton in the last race of the 2008 season! On the last corner he went past a limping car to grasp the championship! Great stuff!"
"Mario Kart 64, Time Trials, The Challengers, My Brother (Princess Peach), Sisters (Yoshi), Myself (Toad) all frantically trying to beat each other's times around the tracks. Each lap trying to get even 100th of a second faster to claim the fastest on that track. Only 1 track was pretty much uncontested (Rainbow Road, just too long and boring). The pain as 8 minutes in you make a slight mistake which costs you the win. Never before had all the children competed so hard or for so long against each other."
- James "DexX" Dominguez
DexX is on Twitter: @jamesjdominguez