Traditional sports have been appearing in video games since the introduction of home game consoles. They give players the chance to be manager, coach, and player on their favorite sports teams and to experience the highs and lows of athletic competitions. In recent years, a competitive culture has appeared around these games. The Madden franchise has made regular appearances on channels such as ESPN, both as a way to predict results of games and as a competition in and of itself. This year, FIFA sponsored the FIFA Interactive World Cup, a competition between top players of FIFA 16. The match was commentated by a combination of well known eSports and soccer commentators, including former US National Team player Alexi Lalas. The winner took home $20,000 and a trip to FIFA’s annual Ballon d’Or award ceremony.

Why Play Sports Games?

Sports games are a great outlet for one-on-one competition, but they can also serve as a useful tool for people who actually play the sport in real life.

  • Control the whole team – Players get a chance to see the sport’s bigger picture and to play positions they don’t normally play, deepening their understanding of the sport.
  • Try new strategies – Games serve as the perfect low-stakes venue for testing new strategies or techniques to see how opponents will react.
  • Play during the off-season – Sports games help players keep the sport in their mind during the off-season, when otherwise they may be forgetting important tactics or skills.
  • Improve instincts and game knowledge – Players can see how play develops from different scenarios and learn effective positioning.
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