Friday, April 6, 2012

Dream Big, Slacker

I can wrap my mind around a lot of video game concepts.  Listening to a sweaty John Madden for hours on end.  Micromanaging bathroom habits for Sims.  Delving into a fantasy that is anything but final.  Getting married to an elf chick in WOW only to find out he's a stay-at-home dude.  I can, on various levels, understand that.  One thing I've never understood, though, is video games based on the Olympics.

The Olympics appeals to the broadest fan base as possible.  Many die-hard sports fans that I know find the Olympics to be boring fluff with consequences that matter not one bit in the "real" world of sports.  The games themselves are great for the networks, as they justify inflated ad rates.  With this in mind, I find it extremely puzzling that anyone plays video games based on these games.

First of all, I know these games are produced, but I don't know if anyone really buys them.  I've never seen anyone play one.  I've never heard of anyone outside a game critic who has played one.  I don't even recall seeing them available for rent at any video store.  Nobody has ever said to me, "Oh, you've got to play Vancouver 2010."  Nobody.  Ever.

Who are these games made for?  Who plays them?  Slackers looking to dream big?  "Well, I always wanted a gold medal in downhill skiing, but I'm stuck working at Wendy's and can only do it in video games because I can't get time off to train."  I seriously doubt that is the scenario at play here.  So what is it?

I imagine the companies that put these games out lose money on them.  They think, "This will be the Olympics game that puts Olympic games on the map."  And they see the profits rain in.  Or maybe they are tax write-offs, which seems far more logical.

If anyone has any insider information on this senseless craze, I'd love to hear it.  In the meantime, I'm avoiding these like I avoid corned beef hash and other senseless items.  

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