Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Games We Play

As a kid who loved sports I grew up playing games like Apba, Strato-matic and Avalon Hill. I eventually graduated to Pursue the Pennant and Dynasty League baseball. I loved sports, I love statistics and strategy and I spent hours playing these games. The managing of my favorite teams and stars and the quick flow of the game consumed hour after hour for me. I admit it, I was a sports board game geek, but I loved it.

This was before the age of computers and games systems and I had to keep my own statistics, but I didn't mind, in fact it felt personal seeing game after game what these players were doing in my little world. My best friend and I created our own leagues and spent hours comparing stats and dramatic games. I was in heaven. I wouldn't change that for the world. It seemed like the best of times.

I recently purchased a playstation 3 and of course you need to purchase games, because they are not included so I picked up a copy of MLB the Show '09. I have to admit the graphics in this game is beyond compare you feel you are right at the ballpark. The player mannerisms the action is uncanny. This game keeps all the stats and then some and offers many different competition levels and even online competition. Amazing how far the gaming world has come since I was a kid.

I started a season and have been playing my Milwaukee Brewers, but have been struggling mightily. It first took me awhile to get used to the speed of the game and pitching, which is cool, because it is just like playing real ball, and it is fun competing against the computer and others online, but some things are missing.

You think I would be in heaven with the life like graphics and modern technology, but here is a 50 years old man cursing at the tv screen at bat after at bat and game after game due to the frustrating nature of trying to hit the baseball with my favorite players. My wife just laughs at me, which makes me more upset and I'm sure it is pretty comical, but many times this game just puts me in a bad mood. I don't remember feeling this way when I was playing the games of my youth. I remember being awake at night thinking about playing again as soon as I got up. Not ready to punch out my tv.

Last night after getting crushed by the Cardinals 7-2 and only mustering 6 hits I said enough is enough. I was steaming. How and why could a game do this do me? I am ready to throw in the towel. Maybe I should just play in managerial mode, or maybe I should let the computer simulate my season, but my competitive nature makes me want to go out and start hacking again, but for the sake of my sanity I think I am going to go back to the old school games. Hey, at least there are wild plays and rain delays and now you can play them on the PC and let the PC update all the stats. I need something to justify my actions.

As great as PS3 is and MLB '09 the show is with all the stunning graphics and statistics, it could be even better by adding some of these wild plays and rain delays, etc. Maybe have a fan run on the field or grab a ball in play or have a bug invasion like what happened in Cleveland a few years ago in the playoffs. They have all the technology. Why not? Again, justifying my actions. :-)

I know I am kind of rambling here, and I could go on and on about this, because I love gaming, but I wanted to kind of get out my frustrations and the whole point of this blog post is to say, if something is causing this must frustration and displeasure in your life, put it aside and find something that gives you happiness, because other people have to live with you, and most of all you have to live with yourself. Life's to short to be screaming at the tv and raising the blood pressure. Happy gaming! Love to hear your opinions and stories of your games.

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