Forget ‘Speed Racer’: The Sport of the Future Is TypeRacing

speed racer and type racer
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros; Typeracer.com


Speed Racer's got it all wrong. The trouble's not with the story, the acting, or the seizure-inducing art direction — there's nothing wrong with those (unless you're over 11). The problem lies in the conceit, the very foundation on which this unfortunate movie rests. For the future of competitive racing isn't in driving electric Kool-Aid acid cars around a track at six hundred miles an hour. No, the future is at your very fingertips. The future is TypeRacing.

Spend a few minutes on typeracer.com and you enter a world where tiny race cars are powered by typing as fast as you can, a utopian paradise with no global dependence on fossil fuels. You don't need gas; all you need are ten fingers and a cool head to beat your opponents in this race. Each driver transcribes passages from popular songs, movies, and books, and whoever types the fastest wins. Our office has been TypeRacing all day, everyone shouting out words per minute like high scores, calling each other suckas for any score less than 90. And just as Speed Racer is unbeatable on his chosen field of play — the neon-riddled raceways of Cosmopolis — so is there TypeRacing's user "PotBoiler," whose superhuman WPM score of 219 seems untouchable.

All great sports reflect shared cultural experiences; they mirror some common facet of real-life human existence. Boxing is fighting. Football is warfare. Wrestling is sex. The auto racing of Speed Racer bears no resemblance to any driving you've done in your everyday life; it's more like some nightmarish game of pinball in which you're the ball. But wasting every day of your life at a computer keyboard? That's TypeRacing. —Nick Confalone

TypeRacer [Official site]