So continuing my completely boring trend of not actually supply any original content on this here blog, I wrote a feature about sports video games and our ability to, like, play them, for Splice Today. The basic gist is that as video games tend more toward reality, our understanding of the reality they represent needs to increase similarly. For first-person shooters and racers, this isn’t that difficult: We know how to shoot guns and drive cars (mostly). For sports, however, the intricate schemes and formations that go into head coaching and offensive/defensive coordinator positions need to be deployed. Playing these games becomes ever more difficult.
But technical issues such as this can be brushed off as minor glitches that will work themselves out as the technology becomes ever more powerful. However, with the astronomical increase in graphics capabilities, we’ve also seen the rise of something far more complex than left joystick, X button, and R triggers. Sports video games, like Gran Turismo and others before it, are no longer for the weak-hearted and uninitiated. Do you know what defensive set most effectively neutralizes the spread offense? How about the neutral zone trap and left wing lock? What do you do when a slashing shooting guard is painlessly getting into the lane? No doubt, some of you will know the answers to these questions, and some of you may even think them harmless decisions not worth a second thought. But do you think your 10-year-old cousin knows what defensive set to call facing a third and four, up by three points, in the fourth quarter of a football match?