May it be football, basketball, hockey or golf, video games meant to simulate sports have been around since the dawn of the industry, but how much of a simulation are they?
Since 1990, Madden NFL has been making a yearly release of its game. Other developers of sports titles have also adopted a yearly release schedule. Student Grayson Rice, former baseball and football player; however, opposes the idea of this trend and has noticed a lack of variation and additional features with each new game.
“I am not going to pay $60 for a roster update,” Rice said.
Rice feels that more developers should be hired for Electronic Arts, so that each game can be given a longer development cycle, “Each game would have core same mechanics, but each one would have something different,” Rice said.
EA Tiburon has been the main developer for the last dozen Madden NFL title, Rice feels that there isn’t enough time in the year for them to put out the best possible product. License agreements between EA and the NFL have also given EA exclusive rights to publish professional NFL branded games. This prevents competition from other game developers like 2K that could be beneficial to the market.
As far as sport games being used as a tool to practice for real sporting activities, there are not too many effective ways to utilize them. The connections do not exist.
“In my opinion, for Major League Baseball, nothing really,” Rice said, “the only thing I can think of is base running techniques or getting used to timing.”
Rice also knows friends who use football games to help memorize plays, but the fact that gamers play with a controller instead of physically moving their bodies keeps video games from being as good as training, or simply going outside and playing the sport.
Sport video games give players the opportunity to play a sport even when there may not be ideal conditions, or there may not be enough members to make up a team.
“It’s meant to be a simulator in some ways, but it’s mainly just to have fun,” Rice said.
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