Hello friends, and enemies too I guess. You’ve found your way to another dosage of Total Access, brought to you by your host, Travis Taft.
I may be the only person in a wheelchair in my house, but I’m not the only one who plays videogames. My brother and sister both enjoy their own brands of gaming, and I have even gotten my parents to get in on an occasional round of Wii bowling. Neither of my siblings plays quite as much as I do, and the games that they do play are not usually ones that I would be found playing myself, but they both have a relation to electronic entertainment appropriate for themselves.
In particular, my brother plays his Halo and his Call of Duty, but most of his game time goes to the FIFA soccer series, which just won AbleGamers 2012 Mainstream Accessible Game of the Year. My brother has played soccer for most of his life and he is quite talented at the sport. Appropriately enough he is in the top division of FIFA 2012 as well. Playing the sport is a great way to stay in shape and the game is a great way to relax, so he can always be working on his game at any time whether he is feeling more active or more passive, and improving his skill in one can simultaneously help him with the other. On the field he can work on refining himself as a unit, and in FIFA he can work on how a team should coordinate as whole.
This synergy between the games is great, and is only improving as the physics get refined with improved hardware and software. But the part that really blows my mind in these latest installments isn’t even about the match being played – it’s everything else. The fans chanting in the bleachers, the players waving as they walk on to the field, and above all, the continuous back-and-forth commentary that actually sounds like decent analysis (at least to my untrained ear - but I know next to nothing about deep soccer analysis). The resulting effect is realistic enough for me to routinely hear people ask my brother who’s playing because they think it is an actual match.
It shocks me just how well some of these games are imitating reality these days. Sure, we have Batman: Arkham City and Skyrim working to bring as much reality as possible to a fantasy setting, but it is only when we can compare the digital reenactment to something we can actually experience that it becomes clear just how well we have become at creating reflections of reality from the ground up. It is easy to sound crazy for talking about a future where our simulations are a very real part of our lives, but if we continue to erase the line between simulations and reality then I don’t see why we shouldn’t. Imagine having an opportunity to experience things that a disability might have made impossible otherwise. Sure it sounds like science fiction nonsense, but remember – space ships and submarines were just science fiction at one point too.