Home
Feature Article
OS Fact or Fiction: Gamers Should Remember to Have Fun

With sports games these days, all you ever hear about is if the game is realistic. Does Rajon Rondo have the correct headband? Is Chris Johnson's face mask the same one he wears on Sundays? Of course every game has their own issues in game play, but aren't video games supposed to be fun before everything else? Gaming is supposed to take you to a world where you can accomplish things a mere mortal could not. 

So, OS writing staff, fact or fiction: Gamers need to remember how to have fun.

Kelvin Mak: Fact - Only because I seem to be OS' resident old crank.

I've been on both sides of the fence. When I was young, I had all the time in the world to dissect all the minute details within a game. If I had the ability to change everything that I didn't find realistic, I would. Basically, I needed everything to mirror what's going on in real life, otherwise it would've just felt ... off. 

But as I got older, I started to play games from a detached place, if you will. The word "detached" sounds somewhat depressing, but it's not. I still have a lot of fun with these games, but instead of constantly seeing the game as an extension of reality, I can now -- if I want to -- step back and say, "Hey, it's just a game." It doesn't mean my standards are dropping, it's just that at some point you have to draw a line in the sand. 

So my real answer then, wishy washy as it is, is that it really depends. The younger me would've said fiction, since fun to me equaled reality. But the older, though not necessarily wiser me, says fact, and that if you want total realism, go play the damn sport.

Mike Kilroy: Fiction - It's 2011 and game developers have powerful machines at their finger tips. It's not 1987 anymore. Gamers shouldn't be constricted to the gameplan limitations of the NES.

Fun in the 21st century of gaming is replicating the NFL (or any other sport for that matter) as closely as possible. That means accurate player models, gameplay, scores and statistics. I don't want to go into a game having to hold myself back for the sake of realism. I want a game that makes it tough, but realistic, on me.

While I agree some gamers focus too much on the minutiae -- is Troy Polamalu's hair long enough -- most simply are beyond the Tecmo Bowl days of running a cyber Bo Jackson around the screen for five minutes, giggling all the while. Realism is where my fun begins.


Christmas cheer? No with some of our staff members!

Phil Varckette: Fiction - I agree with Mike. In this era of sports gaming, and the next era looming, there is no reason why we should have to make concessions. 

One thing that Dustin mentions is how gaming is supposed to take you into a world where you accomplish things a mere mortal could not. I disagree with this. To me, fun is that character doing what he is supposed to do, and doing it in a realistic fashion. 

I am just one of those gamers who believes the more realistic the game plays, the more fun it is. If any given player in NBA 2K12 averages 13 points per game, then he should score somewhere around that number every game, with very few exceptions. 

There is nothing wrong with fun; all games should be fun, even the most realistic games. I just prefer my fun with a large side of sim.

Glenn Wigmore: Fiction - I'd say that it would be presumptuous of any one person to decide how gamers should “have fun.” If people like to focus on the minutiae in their sports games, then that's their prerogative. I would couch my comments in the context of a casual observation that gamers are becoming a bit more cynical these days, but that's just an anecdotal reflection of the times.

Demanding more out of the games we play — especially a genre as specific as sports — is something that should be encouraged. It's good that gamers care enough to be passionate about the media they're consuming. How would developers truly innovate if they aren't being pushed by community feedback and a lack of game sales? The market still clearly supports sports games that are geared towards “fun” gameplay, such as digital releases and budget titles, so there's no need to restrain the large segment of the sports gaming crowd who demand something more.


At least games don't look like this anymore?

Jayson Young: Fiction - I'll throw this question back at the game companies and say that sports developers need to remember how to create fun games. I look at non-sports titles releasing this holiday like Skyrim and Battlefield 3 and can't help but think, "Why aren't sports games this fun?"

Few sports franchises this generation have had that same "wow factor" of collapsing an entire building in Battlefield 3 or climbing up snowy mountaintops to fight a dragon in Skyrim.

Last generation, sports games were some of the deepest, most fun titles on the PS2 and Xbox, but I don't think anyone can honesty say this generation of sports games has been developed to the quality of elite PS3 and Xbox 360 franchises like DICE's Battlefield or Bethesda's Elder Scrolls.

Caley Roark: Fact - I'll go against what seems to be popular opinion here on Operation Sports, for both staff and readers. Now, I'll preface everything here by saying that I love a good simulation as much as anyone; I prefer the stats to be correct, players to look like themselves and that physics and logic be as close to perfect as possible.

That said, I'm getting tired of trying to "simulate" seasons through gameplay, only to have to restart because of some unrealistic trade the AI made or because my favorite set of sliders has been updated. 

It seems that each year, I doggedly repeat the same process: Buy new game -- MLB: The Show, for instance -- wait for a roster update, find a good set of sliders, play a third of the season, become frustrated with something that doesn't seem "right," and start the process over. Along the way, I lose sight of why I enjoy these games in the first place...they should be fun.

Like Kelvin, my younger self probably would disagree with me (and by younger, I mean mid-20s). But now, as I approach my mid-30s, game time becomes more of a luxury. And in those precious moments, I tend to focus on the fun, rather than getting every detail right. 

Thinking this way, good "arcade" games, like The Bigs 2, become every bit as enjoyable as The Show.

What about you? Do you think gamers focus too much on sim rather than fun?


Member Comments
# 1 elementz09 @ 11/29/11 01:16 PM
Fiction (mostly). You know that old saying "Art intimidates reality"? Well in my honest opinion, video game developers have the ability to change that to "Art is reality". Generally, the gaming industry isn't really respected on a large scale by other industries (except for the cell phone/computer industry). Gaming allows for us as gamers to live through the storyline of a knight, running back, military soldier, dancing, an angry bird (ha!), etc. I believe that sports games needs to recreate that excitement that real life sports gives us! NCAA Football 07 was great to me because of the risk I would have to deal with if I didn't suspend my players for the proper amount of time! THAT'S REAL LIFE! College Hoops 2k8 is a classic to this day simply because of it's depth. I can start off as a new coach at Tennessee State and either decide to build that school into a powerhouse or gain some notice in a big conference school like Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, etc. THAT'S REAL LIFE! NFL 2K5 was great because of the highlights at halftime and post game. Plus, as tedious as it was, setting up my weekly practice plan was really effective and it allowed me to fully be a coach. THAT'S REAL LIFE! But these examples are also reasons why these games are listed as classics! Take a note please.
 
# 2 cdh72469 @ 11/29/11 02:03 PM
Fact: I too, in my younger days worried about the realism and each minute detail. But as an older recreational gamer now, I don't have the time to worry about those things as much as I used to with work, being a father and husband all relegating gaming to a very low priority. So when I do get a chance to fire up the ol' Xbox and play any type of game I want it to be realistic but fun. For example, with a sports game I want it to present me with a challenge, but not make me feel like I am being "cheated" by the AI. Which can be difficult because I don't have the time nor desire to constantly play with sliders to adjust the game to my liking and pedestrian skills before starting a franchise or the like. Game time is a luxury for me and that time should be fun first.
 
# 3 tril @ 11/29/11 02:50 PM
In the end the only thing developers can do is provide gamers with all types of game options. options similar to the 2k basketball series and MLB the SHOW.

when I was younger all I cared about was highlight/ almost arcde type of gameplay. I didnt care for a true sim experience.
The older I get, the more I want a more sophisticted, sim like experience.
I personally think that gaming companies for the most part have accomplished the blending of the fun factor with sim like qualities.

So far so good, cause it keeps us older gamers playing. only games I still buy are sports and thats becuase of the sim like gameplayqualties, and the management aspects of the game. If they ever got awya form this Id stop buying games.
The same can be said for shooters like Battlefield. Those games attract older gamers because of their more sophisticated game play elements.
 
# 4 Lukin4 @ 11/30/11 02:46 AM
Fact... best example of this can be found on this very site. Look at the bitching / moaning / nit picking threads for any of the latest versions of madden / ncaa / nba2k, and then compare that to the threads for something like college hoops 2k which has been discontinued. I blame yearly release cycles...
 
# 5 thbends @ 11/30/11 03:38 AM
Fact: Im pretty much in tune with Caley Roark. My game time is very limited these days and I have not enjoyed my sports games like I should because I have been trying to play them like I did in my teens / twenties. Im 37... Wow, crazy to type that. Im married and have two kids. I need to stop restarting my franchise because something is wrong and just play/enjoy my games.

Someone wrote in the forums once something I have tried to live by lately.... When asked if they were going to restart their franchise now that a roster and patch were out they simply replied... "Nope. My Maddenverse is already set."

Here's to starting franchises and creating your own Maddenverse. It doesn't have to follow the NFL perfectly. Once it begins it becomes its own thing.
 
# 6 stlstudios189 @ 11/30/11 08:42 AM
My Maddenverse I love that term!!! I don't understand this whole it has to be exactly like real life stuff just watcht the NFL then. I make trades and sign free agents that make sense in my game universe and just have fun. John Smoltz pitching my Detroit Tigers into the playoffs check, my created self catching the gamewinning TD for the Cleveland Browns check, my players from CH2k8 getting created and now starting for the Knicks, Bulls and Timberwolves check.
 
# 7 Qb @ 11/30/11 02:20 PM
I'm also creeping towards the "just enjoy the game" crowd as I attempt to squeeze a few hours of gaming time into my day. Long gone are the days of all-nighters, hours of roster editing, and digging through forums to find the latest sliders/settings/workarounds/etc to improve the game. It's not necessarily by choice, but I'm finding that if I want to enjoy gaming now, I need to let go of my old ways.
 
# 8 solo killa boi @ 11/30/11 03:54 PM
well i'm just going to say this.... i don't like to be suckered into something, and that is exactly what both football franchises did. i'll admit i'm a graphics freak and will expect nothing less. all the flaws that ncaa fb 12 had i would had over looked if the 3d grass was throughout the entire game not the replays. i was disappointed about that. maybe they will get it right on a future console "via xbox 720 or ps4". i have to learn its not about that sometimes and just play and try to enjoy it while i can and get some air. one thing i learned is if u don't have time to play video games it will always be fun when you do play them. LET'S ALL WAKE UP!!!!!
 
# 9 Retropyro @ 11/30/11 09:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thbends
Fact: Im pretty much in tune with Caley Roark. My game time is very limited these days and I have not enjoyed my sports games like I should because I have been trying to play them like I did in my teens / twenties. Im 37... Wow, crazy to type that. Im married and have two kids. I need to stop restarting my franchise because something is wrong and just play/enjoy my games.

Someone wrote in the forums once something I have tried to live by lately.... When asked if they were going to restart their franchise now that a roster and patch were out they simply replied... "Nope. My Maddenverse is already set."

Here's to starting franchises and creating your own Maddenverse. It doesn't have to follow the NFL perfectly. Once it begins it becomes its own thing.
I'll just quote this as it's exactly what I was going to say, except I got 3 kids.
 
# 10 cujomatty @ 12/01/11 01:11 AM
I feel in the middle. I want a game to be fun first and foremost. My biggest frustration however is buying a game and then having to wait 2 months for a patch to come out before I can have the fun I wanted.
 
# 11 PFellah @ 12/02/11 12:54 AM
Fact. I think it's good to strive for realism and the closer you can get, the better. And I think the game company has some responsibility to try and make the game better each year so they're not charging $60 for a roster and uniform update. But at some point, you as the player have to throw your hands up, realize it's never TOTALLY going to get there, and enjoy a game for what it is rather than what it isn't. Maybe it's because I'm old enough to remember days when the NFLPA and the league weren't in sync, so one game would have real teams with players' numbers instead of names, and another would have real players, but the teams would be generic cities and the colors might not even match (why's Pittsburgh green again?). To say nothing of the fact that you could pretty much run certain plays and players for automatic scores every time. (Tim Smith of the Redskins the year after he won the Super Bowl MVP, sweep right... gone.) By comparison, we're in the salad days.
 
# 12 tical2399 @ 12/02/11 01:01 PM
complete and utter fiction. Sports games are supposed to mimic the real thing as accurately as possible. The stuff we put up with back in the day was ok because the systems simply could not produce even a semi accurate imitation of real life sports.

I can only speak for football games since thats all I really play. While I do go on much about guys wearing the wrong facemasks I do care that you can create a 160 o-lineman and have him manhandle Suh as the famous youtube video showed us.

I do care that 175 pound Dexter Mccluster can run over Patrick Willis about as often as 260 pound Brandon Jacobs could. I do care that 260 pound Brandon Jacobs can put together a juke/spin combo that would make Barry Sanders proud without tripping all over himself.

I expect in 2011 to have trajectory in passes. If I got a receiver wide open and the only defender is 10 yards in front of him, I should be able to lop it over him without the LB jumping like I threw the ball at a height of like 7 feet .

For those of us who watch football (seems those who voted fact dont) we hear week in and week out how certain WR/TE as matchup nightmare because they too big for the average DB to cover and too fast for the average safety. But this doesnt exist in football games. Size means nothing. You cant have your 6-4 215 pound WR wall off that 5-9 CB and out muscle him for the ball.

You can draft that rare TE with true WR speed and have him constantly shake and our move LBs and safeties in coverage. I dont know about you all but i've never seen a D-lineman try to do a move on an o-lineman and magically bounce 2-3 yards backward .

I've never seen or heard of a QB being drafted in the first round 2 years in a row by the same team. (seen it happen with Ponder in MN and Locker in Tenn) . I've never seen a team with 3 starting caliber CBs (85+) draft another CB in the first round when they had high 60s and low 70s starting at all LB spots.

Last time I checked there was offensive pass interference, defensive holding, late hits out of bounds, hands to the face, ineligible receiver down field and illegal shift penalties. I'm also sure teams can send more than one person in motion.

I don't know if you've fact voters know, but sometimes teams go out of their way to draft local players to get the fans in the seats, but we cant do that cause there is not even an owner mode. I can go on an one. The truth the game is not for those who actually care about football, its for those who want something quick and disposable.

I think this attitude is best shown during one of the loading screen. It talks about legends or something and it says "every wonder what it would be like to play as Barry Sanders.

That shows me that they make this game for those who are young and don't know/care about football, cause of us who do played as Barry for years back when we were putting madden on the map back in the late 80s and 90s.
 
# 13 SHAKYR @ 12/03/11 12:41 PM
I hate when so-called sports fans settle for anything a game company puts out. It hurts the betterment of a company trying harder to capture the sport they are try to produce.
Companies should put sim or realistic on their games if they don't want their customers to complain able how realistic it is and what's wrong in it's production.
Fun for a sports fan (mostly hardcore) is enjoying the game realistically and trying to create the outcomes you want. Customization and detailed options are the future of sports and gaming in general.
 
# 14 LingeringRegime @ 12/05/11 01:14 AM
Fact: Life is too short to nitpick a game to death.
 
# 15 Fresh Tendrils @ 12/07/11 10:37 AM
Fact: I don't see the point in nit-picking a game to death. If you enjoy, that's great. If you don't then sell it/take it back and don't buy it next year. There are more greater things to worry about than what's wrong with a damn video game. It seems like people spend a lot more time worrying and complaining about whats wrong than praising the things/games that are fun and genuinely entertaining. Maybe some people have a lot more time on their hands, but I'm lucky if I can get an hour or two of gaming a couple nights during the week, much less have enough time to hunt down inconsequential "bugs" and "glitches" in a game.
 
# 16 Armor & Sword @ 12/08/11 03:38 PM
Fact.

I have always been first and foremost in the "have fun and enjoy the game camp"

I guess it is a matter of perspective. I come from the Atari 2600 generation. I am a pioneer console gamer. I have seen and played it all.

Therefore with each successive console generation I am having more and more fun.

Of course I don't like when a game is ridden with bugs and what not. But at least today they can patch. Where as the past generations.....you were stuck and you made the best of it or returned the game.

Just picture this. Imagine going from having to use your imagination playing the grandaddy baseball game back in 1981 Intellevision baseball to now immersing yourself in the beauty and spectacle of MLB The Show 2011.

If you can do that.....you know exactly what I am talking about.


Enjoy the games kids you only live once.
 
# 17 DJ @ 12/08/11 03:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh Tendrils
Fact: I don't see the point in nit-picking a game to death. If you enjoy, that's great. If you don't then sell it/take it back and don't buy it next year. There are more greater things to worry about than what's wrong with a damn video game. It seems like people spend a lot more time worrying and complaining about whats wrong than praising the things/games that are fun and genuinely entertaining. Maybe some people have a lot more time on their hands, but I'm lucky if I can get an hour or two of gaming a couple nights during the week, much less have enough time to hunt down inconsequential "bugs" and "glitches" in a game.
I agree 100%.
 
# 18 dcal @ 12/09/11 12:32 PM
I try to use my early gaming years as reference. Lots of fun and that was the goal, the reason I played. Personally, if gaming begins to feel like a job, what is the point? People are not perfect and that means the games won't be either.

There is room for criticism for poorly made games where promises are made but underdelivered, or lingering issues that keep carrying over instead of being fixed. We are paying for the product after all. For me if a game is not fun and presents too much frustration I just move on and play something else.
 
# 19 Mjphillips @ 12/09/11 02:47 PM
Fiction: I have fun when the game plays like what I see on Sundays period. FUN games are mario kart and smash brothers. I want a game that challenges me in the most realistic ways possible and presents it in the right way. The only game that does that currently is CHoops 2k8. I can't play anything else.
 
# 20 afhacker @ 12/10/11 12:07 PM
********>alert('test')
 

« Previous12Next »

Post A Comment
Only OS members can post comments
Please login or register to post a comment.