Drive Your Video Game

Drive your bicycle.

That’s good advice.

Drive your video game.

Huh?

I don’t drive a car very often. But my family does own one. And now we own a new one because the old one died.

So that’s a picture of the new one — a 2010 Toyota Prius.

It’s like driving a video game. It doesn’t have a stick-shift. It has a joystick. I’m not kidding. And the display is located in the center of the dash — speed, gauges, etc.– rather than in front of the driver. That way the passenger may enjoy the game of driving, too. You can display all kinds of distracting information. And the owner’s manual actually suggests that to get the best gas mileage you should keep an eye on a particular display to keep a status bar within a particular range.

Like I said, video game :-)

Should one play video games while driving a car?

I’m glad we have it — not because I want a car, but because if you must have one (and in the USA we often “must”) I think it’s best to have one that’s easier on the enviornment and the pocketbook.

No car, BTW, is green. No car is easy on the environment. Some are easier than others, but all are black.

I drove it home from Chillicothe yesterday — about four hours away. Car buying has changed. I really wasn’t involved except at the end to nod approval. My wife decided what she wanted, used cars.com to find it, then we went to get it.

When will I drive it next? Hmmmmm… Perhaps soon because, like a video game, there’s a lot to learn about how this thing works. And, also game like, it was a bit confusing at first. Our conversation upon taking it for a test drive.

Wife: Is it on?

Me: I don’t know.

Wife: How do you tell?

Me: Beats me.

Wife: That light says “ready.”

Me: Cool. Put it into gear, and let’s go. Use the joy stick.

Wife: Is it in gear?

Me: I don’t know.

Wife: ‘D’ is highlighted.

Me: Hit the gas.

We pwned it!

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Comments 10

  1. Robert wrote:

    “I think it’s best to have one that’s easier on the enviornment and the pocketbook.”

    You might need to head by the math department and have them crunch the numbers for you! A new(er) prius is not ever going to save you money compared to a much less expensive car like a Chevy Cruze. Thats just comparing new to new, much less if you had bought something like a $4,000 used Toyota, etc.

    Just admit it, Andy. You, like most people, like shiny new things and the prius sends a certain message…” I am liberal, HEAR ME ROAR!!!”

    When do you get your first bumper sticker? Might I suggest a “Live Simply So Others may live”

    : )

    Posted 29 Oct 2011 at 7:46 am
  2. Andy Cline wrote:

    Robert … :-)

    But it isn’t *new* so my liberal cred is intact!

    Posted 29 Oct 2011 at 8:05 am
  3. carfreepvd wrote:

    I’ve driven a Prius zipcar a few times (#greenhumblebrag) and thought that the display was somewhat distracting, but not too bad. You could get a little lost staring at it, but in order to change basic functions, you can do things pretty easily. I drove a 2012 Ford Focus recently and it made the Prius display look like a single analog guage. The Focus has two displays both of which have nested menus for basic controls that used to be accomplished by pushing a single button (like changing radio stations or resetting the trip odometer). When there’s a single button for a function, the driver can build a certain amount of muscle memory that allows reaching for a button with a quick look, or no look at all. By the time I got rid of my 1989 Thunderbird, I swear I could have driven it blindfolded – if driving only involved adjusting the stereo and climate controls.

    Posted 29 Oct 2011 at 5:51 pm
  4. Tracy Wilkins wrote:

    Yeah, when I drive ours, it is nothing but a game. You learn to surge and coast after a while to milk the most mileage out of it you can.

    I frustrate the heck out of my wife because I can always get better mileage out of hers than she can.

    Posted 30 Oct 2011 at 5:03 pm
  5. Rick Scarlet wrote:

    We have a 2010 Prius too. The displays have taught me how to drive to get the most MPG. When I used to drive to West Plains to see my mom I would get 65/67 mpg at 55 mph. I rarely get under 50 mpg. I don’t drive very much unless we go out of town so I don’t pay much attention to gas prices except to try to watch the relationship to price of a barrel of oil. I think you guys made a smart buy, it is the best car I have ever had. Someone has to buy the newer cars to raise the average mpg of the US fleet. We will see in the future how the gas versus hybrid thing works, when gas goes to $6 a gallon. I’m betting we will be happy we have the Prius and bet you will be too.

    Posted 31 Oct 2011 at 4:16 am
  6. Keri wrote:

    You should send a photo of that gorgeous orange tree to Rantwick.

    http://rantwick.blogspot.com/search/label/2011%20Autumn%20Tree%20Smackdown

    Posted 31 Oct 2011 at 2:32 pm
  7. Steve A wrote:

    You liberals simply have too much “car-ma.”

    I’ll stick to my 1991 Jaguar with no AC and no radio when I need to drive, or borrow my wife’s Land Rover that has 200k miles. In our family, mostly, cars are for kids. I’ve driven to work four times in the last year.

    Posted 31 Oct 2011 at 7:21 pm
  8. Karen K. wrote:

    Whenever I am in somebody else’s newer auto, I am always grateful that mine are relatively simple because they are “ancient” (both manufactured in 1996). If I had to drive a car with all the latest computerized, gimmickry, nanny-state technology…I think I might go crazy.

    Posted 31 Oct 2011 at 7:29 pm
  9. Karen K. wrote:

    After I wrote the above, I realized I simply should have said: Congratulations :)

    May you and yours drive your video game in good health!

    Posted 31 Oct 2011 at 7:40 pm
  10. Anthony Carter wrote:

    Nice! I’ve wanted to drive a Prius around just so I could tell if some of my driving habits actually do save gas. I hope more cars come equipped with the mpg meter in the future.
    On an unrelated note, I may have seen you riding with some other guys north on JQH Pkwy today. What was that about?

    Posted 01 Nov 2011 at 7:48 pm