It could be a relatively small race track , a few different drivers with their own style and skill and the player, perma locked in a vehicle. You could even have different cars with different parts on it. If you pay more flash , you get a better vehicle. (Call it micro transactions). Maybe, just maybe, ramming could be implemented inside the simulator. It could provide good data for crashing and ramming. New players can learn how vehicles handle and the races from red and gold can show how ace they are. With the people from gold being able to pay to win.
The simulator could have a small tutorial (start vehicle , drive command , accelerate command , decelerate , shutdown.) built into it, thus allowing players to learn by doing instead of learn by reading. Make It small tutorial depending on the vehicle (car , bike , aero) you are driving and you are good to go.
I would however make it a single player only sim. I know , from an IC perspective , it would be greater to have it multiplayer. But having a race course where you don’t have any negative effect from crashing your car would destroy anybody’s chance from making an in game , outside of simulator racing event. There would be no reason for players to try to organize a racing event with their own cars if you can just race in the simulator and not have to pay for crashing the car. Same thing how a large part of the dome population was doing combat training in the sims instead of in real life. Not that this is a good or bad thing , but the UMC fights would probably lose appeal if done in the sims.
1. Make it possible to use more fighting skills/gear in the single player variant of Riot Gear. One the plus side it would make this a viable alternative for characters to test and experiment if gym targets aren't their thing or not readily available. (Of course, it might be that this is already possible and I just don't know it. If so, ignore me :-P).
2. Allow characters to crack the games and use their programming skills to enhance their avatar's skills and stats. How to be good in Riot Gear? Train your ass of in combat skills or just cheat as a decker! Maybe this might be a way for a decker to make other players think he is a combat monster when he is actually not. Or a driving master (if the suggested driving games ever make it in) or whatever.
As for hacking the thing - why? CP is hacking bank accounts, breaking into data nodes, blackmailing, framing, and spying on people, not cheating at video games.
I personally like the SHFL/decking idea so much because I like spreading skillset interaction out as much as possible.
A decker who has no real combat ability but can make it appear like they have great combat ability in VR through cheating, sounds pretty CP. Especially as a way to hide the fact that their UE is dumped somewhere else. It just makes sense.
Sure, they'd hack other things too... but to be a hacker in CyberPunk is to hack anything and everything possible in my opinion. Not just a narrow field.
Bam, RP. Very themely, very 'real game', IMO.
Could be another (themely imo) way to grant unfair advantages to non-deckers if VR-hacking becomes a thing