inspired by something written by Todd Zuniga, I have a very interesting question to ask of gamers (including myself): when playing games where you pick who to play with - sports games, racing games and fighting games specifically - how comfortable is too comfortable?
and, even more important, is something missing from the gaming experience by not playing with different teams?
once I get MLB 2K7, I'll see you most every day, Ichiro
For sports gamers specifically, playing games allows us to do that which we want to do most: act out the drama of our favorite sports teams and players. Of course if I play an NCAA basketball or football game I'd want to play as my school, the Oregon Ducks; I go see games at the stadiums and arenas represented in the games, and I have an emotional investment in the team doing well. I want to see the Ducks do well in real life, and I can cathartically act that out through gaming.
It's an aspect of rabid fandom, yes, but it's also a comfort level. This is where fighting games come into the equation - in the Soul Calibur series, with my experience, there are characters I like better that suit my skills and style better, so I play a lot with them.
So the whole question is: am I missing anything by focusing my gaming play narrowly through specific teams/characters when choice is present, or am I simply seeing that game experience through a "lens"?
My opinion is the latter. Especially in sports games, one plays most every other team in the league throughout the season - home and away. This is just how sports go. So what I believe is that I'm taking a travel with NBA 2K7 or Winning Eleven or MLB 2K7, seen through the lens of my favorite team. And you know what? even if it is slightly limiting, it's a very comforting numbness.