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The Last Carfighter

Posted by Nathan Strum, 22 September 2011 · 854 views

Cars Video Game Ramblings
Remember the movie, "The Last Starfighter"?

It's mostly notable for two things: being an early attempt at sort-of realistic CGI special effects, and being about video games. Otherwise, it's completely forgettable b-movie science fiction.

The premise was that there was an arcade game called "The Last Starfighter" which turned out to be a recruiting tool for actual starfighters. The game was a test of skill, and if you were good enough, an alien would come to earth, and haul you off to do battle against evil aliens in some distant part of the galaxy.

So now, there's a TV show about it.

Sort of.

Nissan GT Academy (on the Speed channel) takes 16 gamers who have competed in Gran Turismo tournaments, and pits them against each other in real cars, for a chance to join the Nissan racing team as a professional driver.

It's basically an hour-long advertisement for Gran Turismo, Sony and Nissan. But it's still interesting to watch. There's a bunch of scrawny pimply-faced gaming nerds, some out-of-shape middle-aged guys, and a few guys who actually look like they know what they're doing behind the wheel of a real car (one guy being an experienced cart racer).

They put them through professional driver training (which by itself would make being in the competition worthwhile), and then through a series of competitions, testing those abilities as well as their physical conditioning and stamina.

Read that last part again... "physical conditioning and stamina". Gamers. Yeah. Surprise! Professional drivers have to be in good physical shape. They weren't expecting that. :-D

Anyway, if you get the Speed channel, check it out. It airs Tuesdays.