Do you enjoy the real versions of games or...?

A pretty standard question to ask, but I do feel that, from my experiences, people will often ask me:

_How come you enjoy football games but not actual football?_

**And to that, my response is always:**

_Because in the games, I can make the matches as absurd as I want, I can modify the teams, I can place any team against any other team, and I don't have to wait for the next season to keep watching._

In a good number of games and ideas, many times I will prefer one over the other.

Like I enjoy wrestling games, more than actual wrestling.

While on the other end, I enjoy real racing as opposed to virtual racing.

So I'm curious about the rest of you.

_Do you enjoy both the VIRTUAL and REAL variations of certain games or only one or the other? If so, why?_


@“jo19sh92”#p88434 While on the other end, I enjoy real racing as opposed to virtual racing.

Leaving aside how I don't have transportation car money let alone racing car money, the fear of Dale Earnhardting myself in a real car pretty much negates any desire I might have to go really fast in a car. However, I am not going to re-read this to see if I still agree with myself, but I had [some thoughts a while back]( on the question of whether motorsports could some day be replaced with simulation entirely.


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well i enjoy NHL and FIFA video games, but do not particularly care about watching either of those sports in real life.

i also follow the NBA obsessively, but do not enjoy NBA video games much at all (except for NBA Street Vol 2, which absolutely rules).

finally, i enjoy following Major League Baseball _and_ enjoy baseball video games.

so what's going on here?

when you're talking about the enjoyment of a real sport, you have to clarify whether you're talking about the act of playing the sport as a physical human being, or the act of watching it (either live or on a screen), or both.

as a kid, i enjoyed playing baseball and basketball, but did not enjoy playing hockey or soccer very much. this plays into my enjoyment or non-enjoyment of following those sports in their professional incarnations now, as a feeble-bodied and brittle-boned senior citizen.

following a professional league means caring about the people doing the thing. i love the NBA in part because of the colourful characters and the dramatic storylines and the rich history. all of those things combine with the sheer pleasure of watching the dudes play the game. it's gorgeous. but NBA 2K feels sludgy and clunky to me, compared to the balletic speed and jazz-like collaboration i see when i watch basketball games. it's not fun on a sheer mechanics-which-can-be-replicated-with-button-presses level.

on the other hand, hockey and soccer just lend themselves well to being fun video game experiences. if you look at hockey or soccer as a colourless wireframe, you can still have a pretty good time. when executed well, the passing of the puck/ball on offense and the attempt to stop the puck/ball on defense can feel like a good shmup or arcade action game. i think that's what Tim Rogers was trying to do with _VIDEOBALL_. those sports translate perfectly to video games. but i don't enjoy watching either of them because 1) hockey on tv is too chaotic to make sense of. just feels like guys playing slot machines to me (and i grew up in and around Toronto, Ontario so you can make your Maple Leafs jokes now if you want to). and 2) European soccer (the soccer most worth watching) is full of racism and corruption and multibillionaire 21-year olds so fuck that lol.

as for baseball, well, it's a weird outlier, as it always is. and i've typed enough words already. i ain't no Gaagaagiins over here.

With a videogame you can master a system with a small number of variables compared to the infinite number of variables in a real life sport. In a football (soccer) game, the code only allows the ball to be passed a certain number of ways and the animation system only allows the characters to act in a certain number of ways. You can master all that and have a grand old time learning the intricacies and feel of each game.

Real life things that games are based on do not allow for that since there are essentially an infinite number of differences between the people participating, the environment and the objects used. That obviously means that doing the real thing is full of infinite wonder and possibility but it is a vastly more open system and we love to master smaller, more closed systems.

So while neither are better than the other and are incomparable, I prefer game versions since I love getting a feel for and mastering a system.

And let's be real, people suck and most real life things involve getting together with groups of people and someone can't make it and someone has to leave early because of their kids and someone wants to talk about marvel movies and someone has started watching a racist youtuber and "he's actually got some good points, I'll send you a link" and someone is way too enthusiastic and wants to do the thing twice a week instead of the previously agreed once a week and then one week you've got too much work and drop out and then it all falls apart and heeeeeeeeck offfffffff with all that.

To be honest, I‘m not one to try the video game for a sport or activity that I don’t enjoy watching or doing IRL, unless it‘s been “gamified” to the point that it’s not recognizable i.e.:


@“whatsarobot”#p88443 NBA Street Vol 2, which absolutely rules

I ain't gonna buy Madden or the NCAA games cause I don't care that much about football. I don't need more of it in my life. Now if they made a football game where it was set in a post apocalyptic future and I run 200mph and date my teammates, I'd probably give that game a try!
Also to that end, the game for the sport/game I watch has to be something I like playing for me to enjoy it. For me, the UFC games are in this category. If I want a 3D MMA-ish game, I'll just go play Tekken. However, this leads to where people need the game they're playing to look and present itself like the sport they enjoy, even if they need to sacrifice something to get there:


@“whatsarobot”#p88443 NBA 2K feels sludgy and clunky

I removed "to me" cause I'm gonna just say that game feels like you're trying to type an essay on a keyboard covered in peanut butter. I have friends that love that game and they all say that it's clunky and unresponsive, but it's a sacrifice that they think they have to make to have the presentation that _NBA 2K_ has. I honestly feel like every licensed "sports simulator" type game experiences this to varying degrees.

TL;DR: If I don't care about the sport IRL, I'm probably not going to play the video game, unless it's way more _video game_ than _sports simulation_

I‘m a big hockey fan and I don’t think the virtual version comes close to how enjoyable NHL hockey at it's best feels.

Watching and rooting for a real sports team requires emotional investment. Regional investment. It's fun and scary and unsafe because you have no control over what the outcome is. You can obsess and follow but you don't have an impact. When your team wins or a play comes together just right I marvel and it's thrilling.

The game equivalent is fun but it mostly just feels like playing fantasy hockey with more direct control. I recently played an entire season in NHL 07 on the PSP and it was great! I had a fun and safe time with it, playing virtual dollhouse with some of my favorite players as a teen. I could make the game _harder_ if I wanted to but the option to replay and tweak will always make it a less than the real thing in my view!

I like skateboarding, the Tony Hawk games and EA's Skate series. I was never good at skating. Easier to live my (pipe) dreams digitally.

I think certain rhythm games are worth a mention too. Guitar Hero and Rock Band are great fun, but I've never had much desire to learn to play guitar.

I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu irl and I love it. I wonder why we haven‘t had a good in-depth grappling based fighting game other than Buriki One. We don’t even have fighting game characters who use BJJ / related grappling arts in anything more than a cursory way, which to me as kind of sad. Maybe you have the UFC games which are ok, but we can do better.