FIFA 12 – XBOX 360 –
Despite having taken me almost two hours to learn and understand the various controls utilized by the FIFA video game, I was proud of myself for this being the first week I explored games beyond the ‘simple’ realm. The first week I wrote about the business world of gaming and my limited knowledge, the second board games, and last week (third), some of the most basic games and their genres on sites like Addictinggames.com.
This week, it is more than time to step it up. So, I will be candid and say that humbling as it may sound, my very first ACTUAL video game on a semi-modern game system, in this case XBOX 360, was the soccer-fueled FIFA 12.
The interesting thing about this game and sports games in general is their ability to be casual, while at the same time combining many of the other genres which we have spoken about, discussed, and perused on this blog.
The fast paced nature of creating alternate and virtual realities is reflected in shooting and strategy games, in racing and fast-paced medieval-themed games, and it is certainly omnipresent in such games as some of the modern day sporting games of our generation.
FIFA 12 features 29 licensed leagues from 22 countries. Twenty two different countries. That is an astounding accomplishment, given that the last time I played a sports game, it was the black and white Gameboy’s NBA game which boasted in guerilla marketing campaigns that it contained a whole eight NBA teams. (I also typed half of my papers in high school on a Smith/Corona typewriter – I never claimed to be normal.)
That being the case, and given that I’m not a sports fan and know hardly anything about soccer, I was enthralled by the video game. A number of different national covers are used. Most of them depict either Manchester United front-man and England striker Wayne Rooney, along with Los Angeles Galaxy stars. This usage of real-life people, including announcers and commentators lends a practicality that other games, including non-sports games could benefit from.
What do you think would be the result if a virtual reality game with specific and direct intent at provoking a social or political issue included narration or some form of audio track from a political or other prominent national figure?
Would a game carry more weight if it included heavy computer-generated animations, along with computer-generated score, and a generic or once again computer-generated voice; or would President Barack Obama or Secretary of State Clinton’s voice, along with less-pixelated images lend themselves to a more believable, and ultimately more successful video game?
In tying this sports game back into the loop, and into the larger narrative of these virtual reality games, particularly those with social or political intent, the fast-paced nature of a sports game which includes some of the biggest names, voices, and CHARACTERS in the industry serves itself to make the game even more fast-paced. The game is successful not because, as critics have noted, ‘people like the sport, they like to watch, so they like this game,’ but because it lends itself to adding a dimension towards an already-familiar concept – an interesting ‘mechanisms’ in gaming.
I’m just proud I put down the black and white Gameboy, and actually tried.