f1 driving in your sitting room - the game frame

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f1 driving in your sitting room - the game frame

This Game Racer Offers The Opportunity For A Real F1-Style Driving Experience In Your Front Room. Yes Really

So you're racking your brains trying to think of what to buy for the person who has everything. You've drawn a blank and you're thinking about going for the easy, but predictable option of more clothes, a DVD or maybe another computer game. Don't bother: instead, check this out.

The Game Racer does exactly what it says on the tin - and more. It's described by its creator, kart racing guru Ian Berry, as "the very latest must-have accessory for driving game fanatics. A revolutionary and practical design developed to bring realistic driving experiences into your living room." We've heard it all before of course but for once, the marketing PR actually fits with the truth. Whatever computer or video driving game fits your fancy, a Game Racer is an essential companion for it.

So what exactly is it? Well, the Game Racer is essentially a frame that the driver sits in, just like a racing car cockpit. No more balancing your PlayStation steering wheel on your knees or trying to stamp on the pedals only to find that they've slid under the sofa. Sit in a Game Racer and you could be on the grid at Brands Hatch - the seating position and cockpit feel is that realistic.

The whole package comes complete with a steering wheel and pedals and can be used with a Sony Playstation, X-Box or a PC. Having tried it, we found that it created a far more realistic experience than you'd normally receive sitting on your armchair or sofa. The driver senses that they are in total control, making him (or her) feel as if they are actually driving a real racing car.

"No more balancing your PlayStation steering wheel on your knees or trying to stamp on the pedals only to find that they've slid under the sofa. .."

The design fits any driver regardless of age or size and incorporates the same make of seat (Tillett) as used by F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher in his racing karts. Just like any good race car, the Game Racer has an adjustable steering wheel and pedal box support, which enable the driver to gain the perfect racing position and, for really serious gamers who already have their own wheel and pedals, the Game racer will work with pretty much any of the set-ups currently available.

None of which is much good if the whole thing takes up a substantial part of your sitting room when not in use. So it's just as well that the Game Racer folds away to the size of a small chair and takes up minimal space while not in use. It can easily be stored in a cupboard or even hung on your garage wall. As for the cost, well prices start at £195 plus delivery for the Rocker Racer which may not be dirt cheap but its very good value for what you get. Other products in their driving range include the Game Racer Pro at £265 and the Game Racer Elite at £325. Other similar products (which in our experience aren't as good) cost nearly twice as much.

Creator Ian Berry says he's a "massive fan of driving games" but got frustrated with them prior to creating the Game Racer. "You simply can't be quick when you're balancing the wheel pod on your lap and the pedal box is creeping away from you on the carpet. The control you get from being in the Game Racer allows you to drive faster and more accurately."

Ian worked with renowned race chassis designer Ted Poole to bring Game Racer to the market and as you might expect, Ted's now an eager convert to racing games. "I've tried to make the Game Racer simple, effective and practical, just like one of my race chassis. Like the real endurance racers, gamers often drive for hours at a time, but they are usually slouched on chairs or sofas. However, using the Game Racer, you remain comfortable, fresh and free from the aches normally associated to staying immobile for long periods."

In the earliest stages of development, Ted and Ian identified a few key 'must haves' for the product. It had to be foldable and easily stored or hung on the wall. There needed to be a wide choice of colours and it had to be strong and durable, yet light and easily portable. Oh and on top of all that, it had to be half the price of other similar driving frames.

You can check out the results of their work by visiting the website on www.gameracer.co.uk or by emailing info@gameracer.co.uk They are based at Poole & Berry Ltd, Greengates, Upper Northam Drive, Hedge End, Southampton, Hampshire, SO30 4BG.