Saturday, June 03, 2006

Civic Duty: my favorite driving game.

(Written January 23rd, 2006)

This has been a good month for Civic Duty; my record is 7, but aside from that my scores all range 4 or less, but this month I scored 5 twice. Plus, I got 4 + a fat middle finger.

But what is Civic Duty?

It's a driving game. I used to do it for fun long before I developed it into a precise game and way, way before the game was called anything. To play Civic Duty, you need the following:
  • The ability to drive a car
  • A popular road for longer-distance travel through that area of town, with 2 lanes going your direction
  • moderately light traffic w/ a car next to you going no more than 5 mph over the speed limit
  • a complete asshole driver behind you (in the US, I estimate 10% of cars)
So, you can't play it all the time, but often enough that I made a game out of it.

The goal of Civic Duty is to make the car behind you change lanes as many times as possible without passing you. This is achieved by forcing the driver to percieve you alternately as the "slow" and "fast" car compared to the car next to you. At first this is a very simple game, but as your score increases it becomes a very delicate balancing act, as eventually the car behind you will not change lanes unless you make a huge gap between you and your chosen ally.

The name was eventually chosen when I was joking with someone that it was my "civic duty" to ensure that people were not speeding and thus endangering other motorists.

The terminology:
Any third-person noun, any derogatory name, or Target: The car behind you.
Counterpart: The car next to you, by which you are tempting the Target to change lanes.

Also note that if the Counterpart turns or changes lanes you must accelerate extremely rapidly to gain another Counterpart before the Target passes you. This is especially difficult in my 4-cylinder small SUV, especially since nearly all potential Targets get the most high-performance vehicle they can afford, often at the expense of all interior comforts or cargo space.

The game is basically over when the Target passes you, as they will risk life and limb to ensure they never see you again, however the game is not technically over until you park your car; if you are extremely lucky, circumstances ahead may slow down the Target and allow you to pass him in the faster lane, extending the game; but this has only happened once for me.


Post a Comment

<< Home