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Dec 09, 2006



#2 rings true for me insofar as virtually the only things I know about either American football or basketball have come from playing video games. I wouldn't even know who this 'Duane Wade' fellow is that I saw in a tv commercial the other day were it not for one of the NBA video games I've played with a friend who is obsessed with spectator sports.

Granted, in this particular case, we're talking about some truly pointless knowledge (akin to lauding a soap opera's educational capabilities because it teaches you which character slept with which character that week), but the point stands.



Most predominantly, you learn that football is a highly tactical sport. Watching football on television will leave your average viewer with a very skewed idea of how football works - as an example, if you listen to most of the airheads giving commentary during the game, you'd think that you should always blitz.

Madden teaches that blitzes can burn you, the difference between a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense, the impact of the salary cap, and numerous other things. Of course, it's possible for the detail to be overwhelming to the user, but it's almost impossible for the gamer to come out with a better understanding of how the game is played.


And as these kinds of games become increasingly complex, I might suggest players begin to acquire at least some knowledge that would not seem to be necessarily "truly pointless". Even as I agree with Matt on the pointless knowledge argument for the most part, if I play something like SI Games' Football Manager, I begin to learn things like which countries have EU membership and some of the details behind work permits in these respective countries. In order to play the game as it is designed, one cannot really avoid gaining this knowledge and expect to understand the gameworld. From a North American perspective that is often myopically focused on all that is the United States, I would see this knowledge as potentially more valuable than the difference between a 4-1-3-2 and a 4-5-1 or a 3-4 versus a 4-3.


Damien Schubert wrote:

"Most predominantly, you learn that football is a highly tactical sport."

Yup. Just watching a game on the tv might leave some viewers with the mistaken impression that football, bastketball, what have you, is primarily an arena for individual athletic achievement. In reality any team sport is primarily an exercise in tactics and strategy, and any game that teaches you something about tactics and strategy can't be all that bad.

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