Leave the real games to the pros

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    This summer, I spent most of my time, like any other college guy on summer vacation, playing video games.And like any good sports nut, almost all of my games are sports games (specifically, EA Sports games).

    First of all, I’m not technically obsessive-compulsive, but I do have a weird thing with sports video games. I can only play each game when their respective sport is in season.

    I’m not sure if that’s a wide-ranging problem among “sports gamers,” but it’s just a rule of mine.

    I play MVP Baseball during the baseball season, NCAA Football during the college football season and March Madness during the Big Dance.

    Heck, if EA Sports made a curling game, I’d play it – if I knew when exactly curling season were.

    I can play hours and hours of Madden during the NFL season. But 10 seconds after the Super Bowl, it becomes work.

    And getting away from work was why I started playing video games in the first place.

    Second, years of research has taught me one thing about video games: Progress is bad.

    Games are just too realistic nowadays. Playing sports video games 10 years ago was easy. All you needed was some hand-eye coordination and a decent sense of timing.

    Now, you basically have to be a professional athlete if you want to play a game.

    Scouting reports used to be a fun little addition to make the game more interesting. You could read how your team would size up against your next opponent, again, just for fun.

    Now the reports are required reading if you want to raise your game to just “horrible.”

    Don’t you miss the days when all you had to do to score a goal in a hockey game was run into the goalie? Now you have to know every facet of Nikolai Khabibulin’s game if you even want a chance to score.

    I can’t play sports. That’s why I play video games. Video games are supposed to give those of us who are athletically challenged the opportunity to win a Super Bowl or beat Tiger Woods on a one-hole playoff.

    But now video games just remind me why I couldn’t make my JV basketball team.

    Even the commentators on the games are way too sophisticated now. It used to be fun to listen to Lee Corso or John Madden break down your team, just like in real life.

    But now they’ve turned from harmless fun to downright mean. If a pitcher makes you look bad in MVP Baseball, Duane Kuiper will actually make fun of you.

    I was doing so badly this summer that the computer actually sat me on the bench and made me watch the rest of the game from the dugout.

    It’s like high school all over again.

    Listen game designers. I know hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports, but if I actually knew how to hit a Brad Lidge slider, I’d be doing it in real life. Trust me.

    So, do yourselves a favor, and just use your Xbox to play Halo or Splinter Cell. And if you want to have a good time playing a sports game, break out your Nintendo.

    Because, as we all know, sports video games achieved perfection with 1993’s Tecmo Super Bowl. The game is just a lot more fun.

    And, if you’re a Cowboys fan like me, you’d rather play with that team anyway.