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How Do I Sports?

When you finally cave in and buy a brand spankin' new console late into its lifespan, it's hard to pick what game to begin your collection with. If you're anything like me, though, you'll cave under the ambivalence and just end up getting something "dumb" like NBA2K10. I would know because this actually happened; I got an Xbox 360 last month, and the first game I bought was a used copy of NBA2K10.

This wasn't against my common sense, though. While many would consider games like Halo, Uncharted, or Bioshock the games that define this generation of "HD gaming," I hold the opinion that sports games are what take the most advantage of this generation's hardware and gaming potential.

"Wait a minute? Sports games? Is this just Samit Sarkar incognito?"

Well, I have no way to disprove that I'm really Dr. Sarkar, but I can give you some reasoning behind my crazy opinion regarding sports games. Try and hear me out. In fact I'll give you THREE reasons why I'm right and everybody else is wrong (A list? How original. I know, right?):

1. Visuals (or "graphics" as it's usually referred to)

Two generations ago, gaming started moving into the third dimension. Those of us who had been playing since the days of Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis (and before) began to see the potential for realistic settings and "graphics" unfold. Talk around the school yard often led to discussion along the lines of, "Imagine in, like, a hundred years, the characters'll look, like real, and stuff?"

Well, it only took about ten years, because nowadays - well, I don't think I need to explain to readers of a video game blog about how modern video games look!

Back during the days of the N64, I imagined that one day, graphics would become capable of producing realistic images. The driving force behind the visuals of sports video games is just that; realistic images. There is no other goal other than having the screen produce an image that is as similar to a real life sporting event as possible. Since all the men that were in the house walked into my room saying, "Oh, I thought that you were watching a real game!" when I was playing, I think it's safe to say that they have reached that goal of realistic images.

2. Content (or replayability/longevity/etc.)

Now, I don't want to sound like I'm out of touch. I don't think "graphics" are the most important thing (or even important at all), but when video games were in their adolescence, I think everybody thought the capability for realistic visuals was the next step on the ladder of evolution for video games. Of course, there were other more important things people probably wanted too, things like longevity and content.

I'm not talking about the kind of content and longevity that you find in a JRPG. I'm talking about a more abstract concept. I'm saying that each person should approach the game in different ways. The �content� is more like a personalized experience. Each individual has numerous ways they will go about seeking victory. It has hardly anything to do with how long the story mode lasts or whatever.

I liken sports video games to chess, in that each player has numerous methods to go about beating their opponent, and execution of said methods only increases in proficiency as you play more. Sports video games add to the basic concept of chess by allowing you to shape your weapons to favor your strengths as you learn more about your attacking style. You will pick teams and play structures that better suit your techniques as soon as you learn of their existence. It's like letting you change all your chess pieces to rooks if that's the best way you can attack.

You see how the experience becomes one generated by the user, and you can basically get exactly what you want out of the game. The �content� is basically a personalized experience that is generated out of your own interest. It's like a program that generates exactly what you want out of a game because that program is you! I don't know if "Content" is the best heading for this but, before I start rambling in a circle, there's one more very important factor that I want to mention.

3. Is It Still A Video Game?(In a more �classical� sense)

There are games out there that probably have better "graphics" and "content" but they probably also fail to fulfill the requirements of what I consider a �classical� video game. These �classical� games of the NES and SNES era were �clean.� The only stigma they held in households was the addiction they induced in people of all ages. Now video games can be too controversial, or even uninteresting to many.

I love me some Gears of War and the occasional RPG, but I wouldn�t let any of my numerous, illegitimate children play the former, and they probably have no interest in the latter. I don�t think there is one person on this site that would disagree with me that too much of a violent game has potential to be bad for a child, and no kid takes an interest in the morality behind his/her choices.

It is this lack of universal appeal that has me exclude pretty much any FPS or story driven game because a �classical video game,� to me, is something that is universally appealing, and involves pressing buttons connected to electronic stuff.

When you are playing a sports video game, all you are doing is pressing some buttons to make your character move around. There�s not much critical analysis of anything, unless you want to analyze a playing style or something. There�s no worry about lack of immersion or other lame gameplay mechanics that have become mainstays in this generation of console gameing. There is basically only unadulterated button pushing and timing.

What I'm saying is that pushing "X" in real life doesn't really let you drain 30 foot three point shots, and I think sports games do a good job of letting players know this. The game makes people feel like they are playing a video game and not "an experience" or something silly like that.

A whole review or analysis can be given to support this and argue against it, but to keep it short, sports video games seem to give the player the general assumption that you are controlling your team, not that you are the team; you are playing a video game.

In case you were smart and just skipped to the last paragraph, my thoughts can be summed up in, like two sentences: That is why I think sports games do the most with the capabilities of an Xbox 360 and/or PS3. The first two things I brought up were dreams or concepts that finally actualized in this generation, and the third is one that was retained from previous generations. I guess this whole blog could have been condensed into this last paragraph, but then you guys wouldn't be able to read all the amazing things I have jumbling inside my head. Riveting, no? Well, I'm aware that this is my opinion, but if you disagree, that's cool. Everybody has their own expectations about what video games should do, and this just so happens to be my perception of what a game should do, and I think sports video games do the best job of trying to live up to those expectations.

Thanks for reading my lame, poorly organized stuff, all two of you! Sorry if you hated it and vomited whilst reading, but I'd like to whore out my gamer tag here as a means to get more friends. It's DJ PAPABEAR 909. Add me if you want, but I understand if you don't want to....:(
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About HandsomeBeastone of us since 6:44 PM on 07.14.2010

I can't resist an oppurtunity to write about myself. I'm a fungi and I don't like to party. I prefer a cool damp place to chill in cuz I'm cool and damp. You can find me just vegetating in my house which is actually my parents' house. Having no income other than government reparation checks, I figured crashing with my old man and old lady will help alleviate the pressures of their life as they near twilight. I never get out and I don't plan on doing so in the near future. I thought this place could use some good looking me grace the c-blogs, having spent the last decade or so modeling for big corporations pro bono. I actually discovered Destructoid through reccomendations from one of my many fans.

If you can see my recently posted header, I'm a 69 years old Polynesian man living vicariously through the internet. After retiring from the drug game, I decided to lay low and assume a more humble lifestyle as to avoid cops. As a result, I came across this cave where nuclear scientists created an electronic tennis game from an oscilloscope. I've secretly followed the world of video games ever since then.

I didn't actually play any vidja games with my hands until 1997, having been imprisoned since the '40s by the U.S. government for stumbling onto their nuclear science project all those years ago. It was a Super Nintendo, and I played Super Mario World until the cartridge would bleed. To cut it some slack, I also played Super Mario All-Stars, Pinocchio, Super Street Fighter II, Extra Innings, and Donkey Kong Country 2.

I progressively continued playing Nintendo stuff because the world of war and corrupt state prison had made me a peaceful man, and I did not favor the more mature, violent alternative systems. Fast-forward to 2007 when I discovered Destructoid after the Nintendo forums were shut down. I've been watching you closely and have come to care for your community of intelligents and rogue thugs, so I decided to share my story with all of you- something I've never shared with a member of the animal kingdom with the ability to talk.

Hope I see you around, and you comment on my stuff, cuz it's like crack to me when I read somebody's input on my ramblings ;(
Steam ID:RobotSnake
Mii code:4892-7640-7746-5537


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