Greetings readers. I present to you a topic that I actually wanted to write last month, but I couldn’t figure out a way to deliver my information. So after much delay, here goes something that is common today: Sports Video Games.
What’s the first franchise that you can think of that deals with sports in video games?
There’s the Madden series (and the always-popular Madden curse that happens to athletes that shine on the cover). You have the NHL series, Tiger Woods golfing, and the FIBA series; all mad by Electronic Arts Sports (EA Sports is the popular way to say it). There’s also 2K sports and ESPN even had some games before signing that huge deal with EA Sports.
There’s video games for football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, soccer, and many others. There are more games on professional sports out there, but there are NCAA college games as well. There are even games where you are in the front office, more on this later.
Why are these games popular? Is it for the online play on some games? Is it because you want to live out your dream of controlling a team in action? Is it to pummel teams and/or players that you dislike for your own reasons? Do you play it for the controls? The teams? The graphics or the roster upgrades? What exactly do we love about these games?
Of course, you don’t need to be a fan of sports to be a fan of video games, or visa versa. I know some people that are huge fans of video games, but not the sporting variety. It does help to be a fan of sports to understand these games though.
These games, usually upgraded annually with new features and roster upgrades, do their best to make the action as close to the game as you can get. Of course, playing with a controller does not equal playing the actual sport. With the Wii, you do have some physical activity by moving the Wiimote around. This works great when you try to swing your tennis racket, throw a pass down the field, swing a bat, and the like.
While these games might not take the place of playing the actual sport, they do provide us with a pain-free (well, hopefully it is because you’re hitting buttons) way to be in the game. There are also games based on managing a NFL team in the front office. I think that is a stretch thinking people just want to be in charge of teams and not actually play the game. When I say “play the game”, I mean take control of a player and control how many yards you pick up. Maybe there is a niche for that though.
We also can’t forget about the old days of these games. I think my favorite old-school sports game is Ice Hockey (for the NES). Others include Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out (NES), the NHL series (Genesis, Sega CD, SNES), and Blades of Steel (NES). So these types of games are not a new concept. Also remember, players names weren’t used. Teams names weren’t used as well.
This is just barely scratching the surface on sports games. You have the Nintendo sports games designed for anyone to start playing. These games are great for multiple people to claim bragging rights. They are also good for people that like unlockables, such as great teams (like for the NFL: the 1987 Denver Broncos or the 1988 Cincinnati Bengals) or legendary players, or old jerseys worn by the teams of yesteryear.
All in all, I think these games are great. Some people might not like the rehashing of games on a yearly basis, but they still bring us the sports we love.