Here’s the thing: Racing sims lack ambition. Yes, yes, these hyper-detailed recreations of Ferraris are all very nice, but they don’t move me. Watching them zip around Monza and Mugello doesn’t speak to my soul. If only there were a sim that saw beauty in the mundane, that discarded sleek curves for rough function, that shared my bottomless passion for the ice resurfacing vehicle, the shopping trolley, and the Roomba.
Oh wait, there is. It’s Assetto Corsa, the supercar racing sim from Kunos Simulazione.
Thanks to the tireless work of a Japan-based modder named takeyoh (opens in new tab), Assetto Corsa’s library of gorgeous supercars has been joined by far more serious vehicles, including a tricycle (opens in new tab) and Santa’s sleigh (opens in new tab). They’ve also modded in running (opens in new tab), which was pretty much humanity’s first car if you think about it.
Takeyoh has been modding the game for a while—just over half a year, if their YouTube uploads are anything to go by—and they’ve generated such a plethora of absurd content for it that I can’t list it all here. They’ve also uploaded some videos of, you know, actual cars (opens in new tab), but nothing so mundane could ever compare to the sight of a driver splayed out across a Roomba (opens in new tab) like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, zipping under trucks on his inexorable way towards destiny.
The modder gets their inspiration from everyday life. In the description for their ice resurfacer mod (opens in new tab), they say they “went to the skating rink, saw this car, and said, ‘This is next!'” before making it “as soon as possible”. If you can understand Japanese, takeyoh has put out a couple of modding tutorial videos (opens in new tab), which might give you an insight into their creative process.
It’s the first time I’ve ever been tempted to download Assetto Corsa. I mean no slight to the game itself, I’m just not a car guy. Give me a shot at piloting a baby stroller around the Nürburgring, though, and I’m there. I’ve included a video of that below, plus a couple of my other favourite additions from the takeyoh archive.