As one of the biggest days in gaming approaches, the release of the newest edition of the FIFA series, Mathew Nash tells of his 'deeply' personal grievances for not buying the game, and why the middle-people of gaming addiction should boycott it this year, for their own health, sanity and lifestyle.
Now before anybody believes this is going to be a Konami love-fest of the Pro Evolution series and their wild and wacky club names such as West Midlands Village and Merseyside Red it isn’t, despite by all accounts the improvements the game has made on their recent disappointing efforts.
No my reasons for not buying the game everybody will rush to buy this Friday goes way beyond any allegiances or mast-pinning there is a far more complicated reason behind my, trust me, difficult decision.
I am what some would call a recovering addict, gaming addict, especially sporting platforms. From boxing, MotoGP, Formula 1, rugby, MMA, golf, NBA, NFL you name it I have owned it and conquered it in my lifetime. Football Manager was the pinnacle of my gaming choices, everybody who has played that game has a specific tale of a team that they have took all the way to Champions League glory.
For Jay in The Inbetweeners it was taking ‘Woking from the conference to the Champions League in six seasons’ and a resultant role in the England set-up ‘stuff like that doesn’t go unnoticed’ after all.
For me it was Pau FC of Frances National division (third tier). In six years I had done the unthinkable and taken them to Champions League glory and according to the virtually renovated fan-base a statue of me was going to placed outside the Stade de Hameau (I didn’t even have to look that up).
The point is I loved gaming and it took a lot of strength for me to basically give it up after FIFA 11, a feat that was in no part helped by the now infamous Roda JC incident.
After guiding Barnet to back to back promotions I was offered the job at the Dutch outfit and success was immediate, taking them to the Eredivisie title and Europa League final in my first season in charge. The next year included a Champions League final and while all this was going on I was most definitely failing my university degree. Then out of nowhere, after losing two out of the first three games of the season I was sacked. Discarded, on the scrapheap, and the only offers I got in the summer were from Willem II, De Graafschap and Lech Poznan.
I haven’t seriously played FIFA 11 since and resisted FIFA 12 up until this summer when I brought it on offer as it moved steadily out of date and into the wilderness of computer games. I tried playing it, getting into it but the Roda JC thing had gotten to me. I couldn’t sit and play this anymore I just felt like I was wasting time (not to mention the laserburn that effectively killed the game anyhow).
I could be riding a bike, finding a job, going on dates, hitting the town doing all manner of things but instead I was cooped up indoors playing a game that was essentially acting as a delaying tactic, a socially acceptable way of passing the time.
But all it did was raise my blood pressure with stress and the long terms effects of periods of inactivity have been well documented as a serious health risk.
So, unless you count gaming as a hobby, which is your prerogative and fair play to you it is a free country and all that I implore you to follow my lead and boycott it this year. It is always fun to step out of reality and into the shoes of Messi, Ronaldo or Rooney for a couple of hour’s everyday but it doesn’t develop us as people.
This year’s versions has also by all accounts got harder, meaning more time will have to be spent on adapting to the game in order for you to thoroughly enjoy it, I mean if you are anything like me you don’t play a video game to get thrashed and to win this version you are going to have to be quite committed to it, or play on a pride sapping low level.
But at the end of the day it is a free country so do what you want but just think of what else you could be doing in the time you effectively waste playing FIFA, it might just cause you to rethink.
So what are you going to do? Buy FIFA or not?
image: © Seth Werkheiser