I always heard this particular comment throughout the years when it comes to sports games and never really thought twice about it but now it’s being unusually said over, and over, and over again, as if it’s the latest trend, with the latest example being made over the recent NBA All-Star Weekend. I think it’s now fringing on being borderline disrespectful to the sports video game industry especially in this day and age. I’ll explain why.
Now let me preface this article by saying this piece is not meant to be taken overly serious just something to consider. I’m not raving mad or even ranting; not even close, but somehow when I hear the comment from sports analysts “he’s like a video game ” for some reason it just rubs me wrong. Maybe because I’m a huuuuge simulation player and I know what is meant when they say that and bigger than me I also know that that’s not what the artist, aka the game developer is shooting for, I wonder how do they take these comments.
These are the recent comments that came directly out of the mouths of Kenny “The Jet” Smith, Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) and then Reggie Miller (my favorite basketball player ever, and I’m a Bulls fan) over the NBA’s annual All-Star festivities namely the three point and dunk contest. This article wouldn’t have even been born if it had stopped with Kenny Smith or even follow up Shaq but when three of those comments are made in one night it begins to now create the unwanted perception and I felt compelled to speak on it.
Don’t get me wrong I think they all meant well and I’m even more confident that there intent wasn’t to be disrespectful, heck! It’s actually suppose to be a compliment — to the real-life player that is, but in turn it unknowingly devalues what these sports developers are aiming for, in terms of realism in gaming.
Considering the sources some or all three may or may not play video games at all or if they did it might have been in there youth and their memories possibly left them with an “old school” mentality, you know when those statements were truer but in 2015 those statements are almost irrelevant.
But even if there comments are a reference to older games I think we all can agree that 2K is the face of basketball video games so a blanket statement like that can have indicting qualities toward that particular game and company.
Think about it, the statement “it’s like a video game out there” or “he’s like a human video game” (referring to a players, in this case basketball skills) What are they really saying? What are they really suggesting? In context it’s basically saying that he’s doing something in real-life that looks like only could be accomplished in a video game, to put it another way, what you see in sports video games is impossible in real-life. Ironically the goal of NBA 2K, or you can throw in even a Madden series, especially from a gameplay standpoint is suppose to be 1 to 1 real-life. There is nothing that I do in current basketball sports games that feels like it couldn’t be accomplished in real-life.
In fact I don’t know a major sports game that’s not trying to be simulation MLB: The Show, FIFA, NHL Hockey, UFC, even WWE are trying to mimic real life. Now are they perfect? No, whether they are accomplishing that is another argument but the goal remains the same and I think video games are close enough to life now (from a gameplay standpoint) for those type of comments to fade to black.
Anyone that works that hard on free throw percentage, shooting percentage, strength, speed, etc. is clearly not trying to provide for a video gamey arcadey experience.
So sports analysts should stop saying “like a video game” cause video games in sports are trying to mimic real life.
Just my thoughts. What are yours? CCU wants to hear from you.