Sports

Personal Easter Eggs

When questing in the Savage Coast in The Secret World I came across a gem during the Crime and Punishment quest line. This was after finding Sam Krieg’s fan mancave and hacking into his computer:

You can click on that to enlarge it to read it, but it is the quest text for the final part. The text is about Sam Krieg and reads:

“Born September 11, 1951; history teacher; married three times; Anne-Marie Ellsworth left him in 1983 (glastnost was a front); TV star Bobbi Mann (born Popescu!) left him in 1986; third wife, Elizabeth Galvan, died of breast cancer in 2002; writes letters to his dead wife; loves cashmere; hates the Habs; misanthrope; knows all about the darkness in our hearts; the cadence of shit; conspiracy buff; dominant theme in his novels: people pulled into the abyss; drinking problems; writers block; OCD.”

That description of Sam by his fan was priceless to me. “Hates the Habs”. Most hockey fans would get the reference. I am a huge Habs fan (origin: Les Habitants, ie: The Montreal Canadiens). Any good New England guy would naturally hate the Habs. The Boston Bruins are our most hated and heated rivals. Seeing it in there just tied more relevance and “reality” to the game for me. Of course, Sam Krieg, New England native would hate the Habs. I am just more impressed that a Norweigian quest writer would know that.

I am not sure how many hockey, Canadiens, or Bruins fans actually play(ed) TSW and hopefully that reference was not missed or lost upon the members of the Secret Societies. Sometimes it is the simple things that you learn to appreciate.

Bite Sized Gaming

A Bhagpuss musing over at a post about MMO monogamy at Bio Break

“I would really love some genuinely casual MMOs to come along where I can play for half an hour and see satisfying, meaningful character progression. Don’t believe it will ever happen though.”

Fear not Bhagpuss, there is definitely room for that style. I am playing a certain title right now, that I get to log in for 20-40 minutes, have a LOT of fun, AND also have meaningful character progression! I even wrote about it recently. Yup, baseball! I wrote about this as well in 2010 when I first noticed the gameplay. This style is also found in multiple sports formats. What is brilliant about this format is that you only play the exact plays your character is involved in. This makes a three and a half hour baseball game take about 30 minutes as a starting pitcher. It’s far, far less as a position player (pitchers only play ever couple of games in relief, and start every 5 games)

Currently, I have a right handed relief pitcher for the Washington Nationals (MLB The Show), who got his first start in the big leagues. I pitched a complete game, 1 hit shutout, and received 1215 points to improve my character. I also have a backup goaltender for the San Jose Sharks (NHL 2015), and my son recently signed a minor league deal in FIFA 2015. While I haven’t bought American football games for a while I am aware they had the same kind of personal player development (even to the next level, in NFL 2006 I think I got a small part in a movie for my quarterback..) All bite sized gaming, all meaningful progression towards small goals (character improvement) and larger ones (having your team making the playoffs / win championships) and even amazingly huge goals (get inducted into the sports hall of fame).

Of course, I suppose that you might actually have to like sports to play these games. But at least there is a proof of concept to work towards. Sure, these are single player games but I think MMOs could take a page out of the style and make a title or two. Probably through Kickstarter. And while it is not an MMO, it isn’t any much different than playing MMOs as single player RPGs which is pretty much the norm anyway, and pretty much my only experience in the excellent title The Secret World.

This style and kind of gaming is really important for me now because as Liore discusses Time Management and Gaming there just aren’t enough hours in the day to game, and how is that prioritized with family, work, etc. I thought I would share my day yesterday, and I expect it to be just as normal and busy as all of yours. Once it is dissected though you see there isn’t a lot of time for personal gaming in a family and work environment.

  • 6:30 wake up. Feed dogs, take them outside. Make breakfast.
  • 7:30 pack lunches, change, get ready for work, get the kid on his bus
  • 8:30 arrive to work
  • 5:30 leave work
  • 6:00 cook dinner
  • 7:00 play frisbee with the kid, shoot hoops
  • 7:30 watch first period of NHL playoff game (actual game, Rangers v Capitals) with the kid
  • 9:00 pitch a digital baseball game
  • 9:30 Work out
  • 10:45 watch rest of NHL game, plus overtime
  • 11:30 shower
  • Midnight bed

There isn’t really anything I can cut out there to get more gaming time unless I sacrifice time with my son or my workout time.  And while that was my my full day yesterday often there is evening work instead of gaming or hockey playoffs, but really, during the week there isn’t much time to be a gamer – unless I start waking up earlier, or going to bed later. Is sleep really that important?

AAA Ball

Unlike the silliness of the term ‘AAA’ in video games AAA in baseball means the last step before the big leagues. And that is exactly where my right handed pitcher is during his climb to The Show – the PS4 MLB 15 version. I haven’t played a baseball game since 2012 and even back then I was very enthused with the RPG elements. No different here. Part of the reason why I bought the PS4 was so I could play the uncontested champion of baseball games and I am really glad to be back into it.

“Road to the Show” is the only game style I have played. It’s perfect, since you only control the plays your player is involved in. That still means 6 (ahem) to 9 (yay!) innings of pitching, depending on how I am making out. My son made a second baseman and it’s funny to see that he can be done a full game in 6 plays. Three at bats, and three fielding situations. This makes the long, 162 game season far more manageable. I couldn’t imagine having to play all of those innings. It also lends perspective on how much players make. Robinson Canoe, the top paid 2nd baseman this year would have made around $25,000 per play in that same situation.

One clever thing they did (in Canada, anyway) was nationalize the cover. I am pretty certain the catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays was not the cover star in Texas. Still, there was Russell Martin staring at me at my local Best Buy.

It is subtle touches like that that I really appreciate as a consumer. This wasn’t needed to make me buy the game, but by putting my favourite team’s best off season acquisition (and a Canadian player, to boot) on the cover really shows they are making the effort to talk to me as a consumer. Now, if only he could raise his batting average above .200 once we get out of April. Still, this is why baseball is awesome. He has another 140 games to fix that.

The game itself honestly didn’t blow me away as I first expected. The visuals are good, the baseball play is very solid (which is the most important) and they did put a lot of effort into making things more realistic. This is especially true that each stadium now has a sun cycle and shading that mirrors the actual ball parks. That is very cool, but I don’t notice a lot of it as a pitcher. For me I am just really excited to get back into a baseball game and especially one that I get to choose where and how to improve my player.

I was drafted by the Washington Nationals and I already asked for a trade. I don’t think the GM was very happy with me for doing that (probably not common for a minor league player asking for a trade after their first year) but hey, I eventually plan to hire Scott Boras so this is in line with expectations and behaviors from that camp. I’m in the middle of spring training of my second year and they have me middle relieving. Middle relieving!! Clearly they didn’t watch my four complete game shutouts with the Syracuse Chiefs. I will be a starter in the bigs, and I will get a Cy Young to my name. It just may take time, patience, and a beginner pitcher game options setting.

*as per the ‘Read the post and get $$$’ tag, I won a Google Play $15 card in the USA on my trip! Unfortunately, I live in Canada so I can’t redeem it. If you want to win the $15 card, just make a comment below and I’ll randomly draw from the group! Baseball related comments – why you love (or hate) the game, your favorite team, etc.

Fantasy Sports – the Ultimate ARG?

I enjoyed learning and reading about Ingress over at Kill Ten Rats although I have never played the Alternate Reality Game and I don’t have the personal drive or interest to partake in it. While drafting my team in our annual Fantasy Football league (five years running) I started thinking about how maybe Fantasy Football is a lot like an ARG and maybe I have been playing ARGs for longer than I realize. Fantasy Sports in general is pretty big – some estimates that in 2014 over 40 million will participate in the USA and Canada alone and other reports show that Fantasy sports is a 1.4B (yes, billion) industry. Of those, Football is by far the highest in terms of participation percentages.

fantasy chart

This graph has nothing to do with ARG

People take it pretty seriously and like many hobbies there is a range of time investment. There is also a range of skill investment – from knowing the teams players are on, to knowing their matchups, to planning ahead. The league I pay in has three $500 payouts and a grand prize of $3500. That is by no means chump change. (Well, maybe it is to you, but not to me). I won the overall points total two years in a row ($500 prizes) and the league playoffs ($3500) once. I run a lot of spreadsheets prior to draft day and have a solid draft and waiver wire strategy.

The thing is, I am not even a huge football fan.

I enjoy football and have “my” team (Denver Broncos – since the Elway era!) and like most Canadians who grew up on hockey I picked my football team not based on where I lived  but because my brother was a huge fan – and he introduced me to the sport. How he became a fan I don’t even know. I have followed them ever since the Orange Crush days. Football is one of the most passionately followed sports in the USA, one of the richest sports leagues in the world (I once read that all teams have broken even before the first game is even played) and because of this is under a lot of scrutiny lately. They seem to be addressing and adjusting and while I am getting off topic here the point is Football is kind of a big deal – but is it’s Fantasy component an Altered Reality Game?

I think so – even by definition alone. From our dear friends at Wikipedia:

An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and uses transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that may be altered by players’ ideas or actions.

The real world platform is the football field and the outcome of our digital leagues are fully dependent on our choices and how they produce in the real world – and that is where the altered part comes into play. It is also a pretty brilliant fan base builder. I watch games now based on what players I have playing – not who I care about winning or losing. Every play has more impact on how my personal league journey goes than the overall football league itself – to me. Some may argue that that is not enough to put it in ARG territory but there are millions of people every week playing football through a scorekeeping app or webpage – and it isn’t just on Thursday, Sundays and Mondays.  I would argue that it is one of the strongest ARGs based on participation alone. The fact that real world events have a major impact on the outcome is an attractor – I had four players go out last week injured in the first half of their games (and lost, horribly) and no amount of foresight, strategy or planning could have changed that. That was exciting to me. Then again, I have a big love for randomization that others may not.

This is good news for ARG enthusiasts and developers. Not only is there an existing gigantic market to tap into if done correctly but the practice of this style of participation exists. It is one thing to have someone glued to a fictional event at a determined real world location and use your phone to interact – it is another to tie the real world into it and impact the gaming experience. I haven’t played an “official” ARG but  Fantasy Football seems like some of the best potential the genre has.

Going For a Scholarship

I like news. I am sure I have also mentioned prior my love for The Economist as a news source – it seems to be as neutral as it gets and that is very refreshing considering how polar opposite the same story is reported on Blue news (CNN) and Red news (Fox) in North America. That probably stems from The Economist being a UK based publication. Sure, the subtle tendencies are there, they just aren’t so in your face about it. It is more intelligent and nuanced than Fox saying the President is a terrorist or CNN announcing that the President solved terrorism all on his own. See how silly those sound? The Economist would write something like: “The President impacts terrorism” and then provide all sorts of stats and studies indicating how terrorism was affected. Anyway, it’s a lot drier than most news but really – news doesn’t need to be dramatized. It tends to be people’s real lives which is drama enough.

I also enjoy news aggregators. I have a couple that I use, Flipboard and Zite – of the two I use Flipboard far more often. I like the interface. The great thing about news aggregators is that you pick your general interests and it sweeps articles from the wider internet into what it thinks you may enjoy. What this allows is differing sources of news which can share greater and/or different knowledge and ideas. When you have a primary news source you tend to see the world through that lens – and it is a big, crazy world out there. It’s not a bad idea to read other people and thoughts. Hell, why we read blogs, no?

Through the aggregator I found this great snippet from Forbes – a blog post of their own on a Wall Street Journal article – both of which are discussing the decision of Robert Morris, a small liberal arts University in Chicago, to give scholarships to a school funded League of Legends team.

Gamer’s dream, right?

That’s right, how does $6000 sound to help out your education – doing something you are probably already doing in between classes anyway? Not too shabby! The Forbes article goes on to not-so-subtly make fun of the idea (or seething sarcasm – hard to tell!) with this snippet:

However, if these low cost nerdy sports were to replace the expensive sports, we could see some real cost cutting happening.
If any schools are looking for the next great sport to pique student interest, might we suggest beer pong? College students are drinking beer anyway. Let’s stop the alcohol inquisition on campuses and capitalize on the inevitable.  Why not formalize it into a sport, and have major beer distributors like Anheuser Busch or the Miller Brewing Company sponsor the final four hops challenge?  If we designate drivers to and from the competitions and have teams of 21 year olds and above what’s the worst that could happen? Students are already financing their bar tabs with student loans, we might as well rile up some school spirit in the process.

The truth of the matter is that big, NCAA sports is in real trouble and gaming scholarships are more on point with the future in so many ways. The big sports take advantage of student athletes for the benefit of the institution and OTHER student athletes. A lot of fringe / less popular sports and scholarships are funded through the big Basketball and Football programs. However, this gaming idea has some legs and let’s look at some of the differences and benefits compared to the big athletic programs, shall we?

Imagine you are smart and like video games and you could get a scholarship for being good at raiding WoW or EQ for example. Wouldn’t that be just as fair or just as awesome in a higher education setting? Shouldn’t we be celebrating excellence in anything for education, not just who is the biggest and strongest physically? Gaming as E-sports is really getting legs and higher education should reflect that.

The future of the dumb jock just may happen to be a smart kid who ends up with a degree and changes the world with something more tangible than landing a 100 million dollar contract for being good at a sport, while being terrible at about everything else.

(full disclosure: I love sports. I play hockey. I play fantasy football. I watch baseball. I am not anti-sport in any way. I also just happen to love gaming and think it is a better investment in schools than the current athletic programs. I also know this is a huge topic and this is a short piece.)

My Influential 15

One of my favorite blogs to visit is The Ancient Gaming Noob (TAGN) and he recently posted an Influential 15  list – started by another blogger and other sites are also playing along. The parts I read indicated not too many rules, but just do not overthink it – only take 15 minutes, and list them out.

This sounds like fun. I am going in chronological order!

Mario Bros (arcade) (1985)

I spent most of my allowance money playing this game with two of my best friends at the local bowling alley. It was close enough to our school that we could run there at lunch breaks, and always went right after school as well – but just for 20 minutes before racing home. This introduced me to the side scrolling platform [honorable mentions: Ghost and Goblins, Castlevania, Bionic Commando]

Hardball (c64) (1987)

Two teams – the red, power hitting team and the blue, speedy team. That was it in this baseball game. My brother and I played for hours at home – nice to not have to be at the arcade. (I always got stuck with the blue team). [Honorable mention: Madden (I still buy it every few years]

Police Quest (PC) (1987)

My first foray into the Sierra games series (King’s quest, Space Quest, etc.) and it was always a weekend event at one of my friend’s houses who had it. I think it took us 6 months to complete, since we only had limited weekend time (we mostly played outside – kids those days!)[honorable mention – Maniac Mansion]

Street Fighter (Arcade, SNES) (1987)

Another arcade favorite the one on one bragging rights was a blast. Learning the combos, fighting friends (and arcade enemies) for the right to stay on the machine for the next challenger… flipping a coin for the left or right hand side. All sorts of home field advantages. [Honorable mention: Mortal Combat]

Star control 2 (PC) (1992)

Exploration, adventure, discovery. Space. Has anyone come close since? I am avoiding throwing my money at Star Citizen yet watching it closely. That is a completely separate blog post. [Honorable Mention: Wing Commander. If only for the space.]

Doom (PC) (1993)

We had huge contests at university with Doom – inter dorm rivalries. My philosophy class suffered fiercely. I made a philosophical argument about augmented reality to the prof and he BFG’d me. University was so cool. [Honorable mention: Half Life]

NHL 94 (SEGA) (1993)

Oh Sega hockey, with the one move that would score 100% of the time.. that was up to you do defend properly. Both ends of the rink, there was that ONE move. Yet it was still awesome. Plus bleeding heads.

X com (PC) (1994)

Turn based mastery. This is on many ‘best of ever” lists, so not going to explain its full awesome-ness. Many have explained it better than I ever could. Xcom is the perfect example of a game you loved but refuse to play it again. I have it through steam. It sucked to relive it – but awesome the first time around. We are not conditioned to accept failing the first X missions before we have a chance. (see what I did there?) [Honorable mention – Civ 1 – bit of a stretch, but very turn based]

Baldur’s Gate (PC) (1998)

I had played a lot of Pen and Paper games and this one reminded me the most of them. I hadn’t played a lot of D&D at the time  and this was my first real foray and experience into that. I don’t even remember if I won or what happened in the game – I just remember the hours spent hunched in the darkness… in amazement. Just one more encounter. One more.

Rainbow Six (PC) (1998)

The AI could be buggy as hell when you were planning your rescues, but this was an AMAZING shooter – one shot and you are dead, get caught/spotted and the hostages are dead. Great premise and superbly executed at the time. You could do many missions in many different ways and had the choice of your own path. The planning and thinking part was as exciting for me as the executions. And oh yes, permadeath! [Honorable mention: Counter Strike]

Everquest (PC) (1999)

The MMO game changer that has spawned 100 clones, for better or for worse (often better, jaded vets may argue worse. It doesn’t even matter anymore. It was awesome and really kickstarted the genre.) It has ruined MMOs for me since, but that is also because of the testserver play environment (hint: community). The rose colored glasses often adorned!

Sims (PC) (2000)

Sims the original was the first game that I could get my girlfriends to play. And my non-gaming roommates. It was the first time I realized games could be for everyone. Then I invented the Wii. (or should have, at least). All that being said, I am pretty sure the things my girlfriend at the time did to the Sims (or tried to do) made me realize that maybe she wasn’t the one. Sicko. May have saved my life.

Dark Age of Camelot (PC) (2001)

My second MMO I played the heck out of and my first real PVP experience was also amazing. I also played on the testserver (Pendragon) and the strength of the community there really improved the overall experience. Sadly, game developers have learned that test servers make bad for the quick hitting types of testing they want with enough sample size, and they don’t really exist anymore. The lesson they should have learned is that smaller, more dedicated communities make for stronger ties. Another post. DAOC taught me to embrace PVP and how humans always beat AI on experience – always.

World of Warcraft (PC) (2004)

What to say? The most successful MMO ever made took an inaccessible genre and made it easy for everyone to participate. While I have spent my fair share of time arguing WoW has hurt the MMO space in many ways, you cannot argue against its influence. I still go back every expansion, do the theme park rides, /hug and /hi to my friends still playing, and then out again.  I think the next MMO Blizzard makes is going to say a lot about what they have learned from WoW. I’m intrigued.

Battlefield 2142 (PC) (2006)

The multiplayer FPS I judge all other FPSs against. It was great. It was better than great – it was awesome. The kits, the vehicles, everything. COD always felt too twitchy and gamey in comparison (even the DICE successors did) and I started playing more strategic, slower paced shooters afterwards. BF2142 was just the perfect balance for *me*. [Honorable Mention: Project Reality]

That’s It!

There is my list! Crazy, and a *bit* sad that the most recent game launch on my list is 8 years old already, but influence is influence. As I re-read this there were a few I wanted to add (RTS such as Warcraft -or- Command & Conquer) but I decided to keep it pure – the ones that spoke to me first. I’m sure as I read through other’s lists I’ll have many an “aha!” moment. I hope mine brought along some positive smiles and memories!

Deferred Success

This title stems from educators wanting to remove kids from an ‘F’, or ‘Failing’ grade. No more failing – just deferred success! Clearly the change in terminology will make kids all become hugely successful.

This Epic Defer is part of a longer list of deferrments by public offcials who manage powerful unionized employees (the same unions that say it’s unfair to periodically test teachers to ensure they are, you know, smart enough to teach kids). So in essence the teacher’s union has accepted their own deferred success and want to pass that onto the kids. That part makes complete sense.

Sorry for the mini rant, its funny stuff.  The gaming slant comes next.

Gauging success in all forms of gaming has me in a proverbial pickle. Is wiping on a boss mechanic, only to come back and conquer it, any more or less satisfying than restoring from a save game point in a single player game? Single player games do have ‘difficulty’ levels, while MMO’s have been adopting that same sort of mechanic with Hard Modes. Developers have to take into account all sorts of play styles and ability levels to range the expected outcomes of success. Players want to win, developers want players to win too – for the satisfaction of the purchase. So in a sense, developers are just setting their own levels of deferred success for their player bases.

Make it too hard – players revolt. Make it too easy – players don’t feel challenged and have a superficial experience. Where, and how, is that line drawn?

This thought process has lead me to a pillar that should be of more importance – the story. Regardless of difficulty level story is a trump card. If the story is amazing, I’m more likely to bang my head against that wall in a tough level to learn what happens next. I’m also left with a feeling of satisfaction after completing an easy level as my waltz through it is still rewarded with a narrative. Call of Duty, Black Ops did this particularly well in their interactive movie experience single player campaign.

World of Warcraft, and most of the other MMO’s I’ve payed have not done the story aspect  particularly well.

Then we have the outliers, the games that don’t present directed experiences as the challenge but where the players create the stories. Minecraft is a good example of this. Sports games where players play against other humans also has a much stronger skill aspect.

All games are created for you to have success in them – they are just designed in a length of time format that players expect a return on based on the monetization scheme.

I don’t have a conclusion here and just throwing this up for discussion. It just all feels very shallow to me right now -the deferred success in our games – like the Wizard of Oz is just some dude behind a curtain was just revealed to me.

Steam Sale Stings! (also – my Baseball Game is now a RPG)

I picked up MLB 2k10 from 2k sports over the weekend. I enjoyed 2k9, and the $20 price tag is a nice entry level. Today I check out steam, and that same title is now on sale for $1.99. 90% off! While that is indeed impressive, now my valued purchase makes me feel like I was bent over the virtual counter. I emailed them to see if I can get credit (which I’ll promptly turn around and buy a different title with anyway).

I’ve always been a proponent of the Steam sales strategy and this is the first time it has bitten me in the bottom. I’ll update you if they do the right thing. If not, of course, then I suppose I’ll never buy anything off Steam again that ISN’T on sale. Should be a no brainer that due to the proximity of the sale I should get credit. We’ll see.

MLB 2k10 has ‘My Player’ mode, and it is a nice marriage of sports and rpg. You make a player, customize looks, etc and then go into the MLB draft. You can choose the team you want to play for or randomize it. I was drafted by the Giants.

What happens next is hella fun. You only play your role. I picked a starting pitcher, so I just pitch. That’s it. The games go by quickly (well, except for that nasty game where I earned a 7.45 ERA) and the pitcher/hitter interface is really well done.

The interesting part is how you improve your player. There are mini goals in real time (ie: do not allow baserunner to advance into scoring position, do not walk batter, strike out the side, etc) and successfully achieving them gives you points, which you can then spend to upgrade your abilities. You also get points for baseball worthy things (strikeouts, flyouts, groundouts, inning with no runs, innings with no hits, etc). Pitching, fielding, and batting all have separate point pools you earn for achieving things in game. Bonus idea is that you get 2x the points if it’s a key matchup – either a division/geographical rival (this happened when I got the start against the Oakland A’s) or if it’s a key positional matchup (this happened when I pitched against a star pitcher as a rookie). It’s pretty well thought out.

I’m playing above Pro level and getting a feel for how the game plays – spent the whole first season in the minors, midway year two called up to the bigs. Added a pitch type (Screwball) and working on my stats along the way. Winning and losing, but having fun. Supposedly you can also get traded to other teams if the GM deems it necessary.

Nice to see the RPG elements introduced into the PC sports game genre, although I suppose there aren’t a ton of players who swap their playtime between Fallout : NV and Sports.

(PS – I still hate you EA sports for stopping game development for the PC! I miss you football!!)

Skills Baby

Suzina over at KTR posts about a couple recent gaming experiences in LOTRO. It’s a good read for several reasons, but mostly because it captures the essence of what is great about MMO’s – success and failure. I shared a snazzy yet true golf analogy in the comments section about “hooks”. MMO’s live on hooks. 

Psychochild made a comment in the thread about the beauty of Suz’s post (we are tight like that where I can nickname her unashamedly.) and that those are experiences you can’t have in single player games – and my first reaction was that he was right, followed up with a “wait, is he?” The answer is yes and no. Suspense suspended after the cut.

(more…)

Spoilers

I like baseball. I like it for a lot of reasons. My beloved blue jays are 7 games over the .500 hundred mark for the first time in three years and are a very large miracle away from making the postseason. They are, however, playing the great role of spoiler for teams ahead of them in the standings. The past few series, they went 3-2 against Boston, 2-1 against the Yankees, and 3-0 against the Twins – all teams fighting for a playoff spot. While it is great to see the boys finally start playing to their potential it is heartbreaking as a fan to wonder why they didn’t to it about a month ago so instead of being the spoiler, they could be a contender. 5 of their last 7 series in the season are against teams who have a chance at the postseason, so maybe I can take a small victory by having them ruin someone else’s season. With 7 games left against Boston it could be a lot of fun to throw a wrench into Red Sox Nation.

I enjoy sports games and perennially play the EA sports titles. The biggest spoiler for me is 2K sports with their baseball exclusive licensing agreement with the MLB. While I own a console that 2K makes a ball game for I refuse to play it as they don’t make it on the platform I want to play it on – my PC. Since they have spoiled my baseball gaming (MVP 2005 I believe was the last licensed title for the PC) I refuse to purchase any of their titles for my other systems. I am sure they are feeling the heat from my almighty Canadian dollar. While none of this is new news it recently began to bother me again and for once I hope the Evil Axis of gaming does indeed overthrow the 2K Sports team.

Until that happens (or the license expires) I guess I will just have to spend time at real ballparks watching real ballgames, drinking real beer with real friends.