Gamer ‘Reconnects’ With Dead Girlfriend Through Forza Drivatar

The Forza series of racing games, first released in 2005, have long been praised by fans of the racing genre. An interesting feature included in Forza is the Drivatar system, which allows players to virtually compete with their friends even when they are offline. For one Forza fan, this system has taken on a different meaning. They were able to play with their girlfriend, who had passed away months before.

Increasingly, people’s behaviors on digital platforms are preserved. Whether it’s the things people post on social networks, the content created and shared, or high scores in games, everyone leaves behind digital footprints that can outlast them. In Forza, the Drivatar system is another way that players’ behaviors can be captured. Drivatars allow users to race against friends who have played the game before, recording their movement and driving behaviors. In combination with machine learning, the game uses player modeling to then make predictions about how they might drive, allowing players to race against Drivatars in offline mode.


Previously posting with the handle Pluto on the @relaxitsjonas TikTok account, the gamer had claimed in previous videos that they would play on their girlfriend’s Xbox. The account has since gone private, but re-uploads of the videos have been shared on Twitter. In the undated TikTok video, Pluto shares footage of themselves racing with the Drivatar of BlueDreams4207, an account used by their girlfriend who passed away two months prior.

In the heart-wrenching clip, Pluto describes racing with the Drivatar, and finding comfort talking to their late partner: “it hurts to talk to her and not get a response.” Pluto claimed they had been searching for a “way to connect” with them, and it took over an hour to get BlueDreams’ Drivatar to appear in the game.

Twitter users reacted with sympathy and pondered about what the future holds for digital footprints and the metaverse. Some likened it to a similar story from 2014, first posted by a YouTube commenter named 00WARTHERAPY00. According to the story, as a young child, the gamer would play Xbox with their father who passed away at a young age. Some ten years following the death, they were then able to play Rally Sports Challenge with their late father’s race lap intact. Eventually, the gamer was able to beat the lap, but chose to stay at the finish line, so the lap recording wouldn’t be deleted.

I played and played, and played, until I was almost able to beat the ghost, until one day I got ahead of it. I surpassed it, and…. I stopped right in front of the finish line, just to ensure I wouldn’t delete it.

Finding the digital ghosts of loved ones can be both comforting and difficult. The online world is still relatively young, but with more of users’ lives and habits being digitally preserved, all are all bound to leave behind traces of themselves in the online realm. In discussing the metaverse, some commentators believe that in the future, users can be immortalized in the form of a digital clone. While this idea may seem like a sci-fi pipe dream, stories like this show that it’s possible some part of people could live on in the digital world, even if it’s simply a lap in one’s favorite racing game.

Forza Horizon 5 is out now for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Source: Game Developer, Polygon

Source: Gamerant

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