I don’t blame you for doing a double take at the title of this post. You read it correctly, and I’m guessing you have a few questions. Gamers going pro in real life? What the hell does that mean? With Nissan and Sony involved, it’s got to be Gran Turismo, right? But they wouldn’t put gamers behind the wheel of an actual, physical race car, would they? Yeah, they would.
Sony and Nissan collaborated to create the ‘GT Academy.’ It’s a contest circuit that will give the best Gran Turismo players from across the nation a shot at becoming an actual, real-life, flesh-and-blood race car driver.
From the press release:
GT Academy will challenge gamers and racing fans alike across the U.S. to compete in a series of online time trials in pre-selected Nissan vehicles in Gran Turismo 5. Throughout the course of the competition, participants will earn free digital content just for playing, as well as have an opportunity to win prizes for winning regional time trials. The top 32 virtual racers in the country will compete in the live national finals event scheduled for March 2011 to become one of 16 GT Academy finalists. The 16 finalists will compete against each other in a series of challenges, including behind the wheel of real Nissan race cars, for a chance to become a professional race car driver as the GT Academy winner for the U.S. The winner will have the opportunity to train with elite race car drivers at international tracks and race as part of a professional team.
The final stages of the gaming competition are going to be filmed and aired as a reality series on the SPEED channel in 2012. The show is set to begin filming in March of 2011, once the final competitors have been selected and following all the way through the winner’s training as a real world driver.
If you’ve ever thought your GT5 skills were making you a better driver, this isn’t something you’ll want to miss. For more information, check out the official Gran Turismo site. Gran Turismo 5 launched in the US on November 24, 2010.