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The Importance of Sports and Sports Video Games

August 25, 2009

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Sports are a huge part of the world today. Almost every major city has a least one major sports team, and many “small” cities have at least one. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry. According to Wiki which got it’s info from forbes.com Sept. of ’08, Manchester United was worth $1.800B, Dallas Cowboys $1,612B, Washington Redskins $1,538B, New England Patriots $1,324B, and are all more valuable than the Yankees $1,306B(suck on that New York). It’s an industry where people devote their entire lives to either playing, covering or following the games.

It’s also something that adds an emotional component to people’s lives. This emotional component can be of the good or bad variety. Fans of the Cubs have to be dealing with the fact that they haven’t won a Championship in a 100 frikken years, and it’s counting. On the other hand, the Detroit Lions fans were overjoyed in 1991 when the team won a playoff game. It was the first playoff game that they had won in 44 years. They Haven’t Won One Since, which allows them to feel the other side and for you to laugh at them. No matter whether you’re on the winning or losing side of a real NFL team, you’re going to feel something at the end of a game.

Now most of us are alcoholics, fat lumps or people devoid of any modicum of athletic ability. That pickup game of Coed volleyball you play every other week doesn’t count, nor does getting off the couch to grab another beer. Well, fear not because technology has advanced to the point of allowing us to pretend to be a pro athlete. I’m not talking the Wii with it’s actual get up and exercise component, but rather the PS3 or XBOX360 versions of sporting games. Whether its NHL10, Madden 10, FIFA 10 or any other sport that you might think that you’d like to play. They’re a large reason that video games are such big business. The gaming industry had sales of $21.33B in 08 and even with the recession, increased their record sales by 19%. When Madden launches it’s newest iteration every year it’s a huge event with people lining up for a midnight launch and then skipping work the next day.

These games allow ourselves to be immersed in a world that most of us will never actually experience. As I mentioned earlier, sports are a huge part of our lives and having access to a TV and a video game console allows us to belong to the sporting world. In all the major iterations of sporting games, you can create yourself as an athlete right down to how your face looks and how you imagine your body to be. Sure you could create the spitting image of yourself in the game, but we all know a 5’5″ guy who weighs 140 isn’t going to be a PF in the NBA. Creating a fictitious version of yourself doesn’t diminish the effect of the game, but allows you to fit in and dodge the tackle while throwing the Super Bowl winning touchdown.

You don’t have to create yourself to get the rundown of how the sporting world works either. These games have extensive, sometimes meticulously detailed, management/coaching modes as well. So when you’re bitching at the TV about how Matt Millen was such a complete tool, pull up Madden 10 and see if you can do a better job yourself(the answer is yes. yes you can). You get to haggle over contracts with bitchy players, draft the next big star and in certain games determine costs. Finding that gem in the draft who goes on to an amazing Hall of Fame, G.O.A.T career just feels good. In fact it feels amazing. But when you go on to suck at ever increasing amounts despite your best efforts and the team let’s you go you’re angry, upset and might just break your controller.

On the player side of things the emotional aspect that drives us to such amazing highs as a fan or devastating lows is there in spades. You’ve been there playing for hours and lose in the Super Bowl and you feel like shit. You win that batting title, and you’re on top of the world. The sporting world is your oyster, and you’re going to molest that oyster dammit.

This year I was playing MLB ’08 The Show, and was starting to really develop my player. I had just won my second gold glove, and was a year removed from winning the Silver Slugger. We were one year removed from winning the world series, but missed the playoffs by a half game. I was in the last year of my contract, but the Phillies had a team option which they wisely took. The next thing they did was trade me to the last place in all of baseball, Florida Marlins. Yeah, they traded a rising star to a last place division rival. Those bastards. That would never happen. How could it happen. I was mad as hell, to the point that I lack proper descriptive terms. So I did what any prissy whiny athlete would do, I demanded a trade and was dealt at the deadline. To the only team with a worse record, The Baltimore Orioles(even in virtual life they’re not going to be good any time soon). It made me Tiger Woods angry. But instead of going on a coke binge, I took it out on the Phillies. I became an all star and am about to win my first MVP, so suck on that Philadelphia.

Until the Four Horsemen come and sow the seed’s of the Apocalypse which brings us to a Dystopian Wasteland, sports are going to remain an important part of our lives. When things are down, we can always sit on the couch and cheer our team on to victory. That is unless you’re a Lions fan. You guys are going to have to keep rooting for your video game teams to be good. But that’s ok because with today’s technology, the video game version is becoming closer and closer to the real thing.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2009 2:27 pm

    Good evening,
    My name is Richie Denis, I’m the director of business development at MVN.com.

    I found your blog in a google search. I was wondering if perhaps you’d be interesting in establishing your blog at MVN.

    We’d love to have a blog of your quality on the Most Valuable Network where we enjoy 40,000 page views daily.

    There are a few different options:

    1. You can write for one of MVN.com’s blog and promote your current blog through this site. All that we ask is that you post to MVN atleast once a week.
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    Please let me know if you’re interested. As I said before we’d love to have you aboard! I can get you up and blogging right away.
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    Director of Business Development
    Most Valuable Network

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