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Burning the Backlog 4: Soccer flowing through your veins

I’ve been asked to do some really hard stuff in my life. Scantron exams with a pen, read Bret Easton Ellis’ books without falling asleep, listen to Eminem without cringing. […]

I’ve been asked to do some really hard stuff in my life. Scantron exams with a pen, read Bret Easton Ellis’ books without falling asleep, listen to Eminem without cringing. But the hardest thing anyone has ever asked me was to explain the appeal of soccer.

The usual go-to answer of the average soccer fan is: “Watch Messi”. There are very few players that can convert skeptics like Leo Messi, the diminutive Argentine who plays for Barcelona and plays with speed, skill and strategy that have never been seen before in the game.  Hell, one only has to watch this goal (I know, I’m sorry, but it’s the soccer fan’s ritual to link the skeptics until they understand or cut ties.) to understand that Messi is unique not only in soccer but athleticism’s history, period.

But one player can’t possibly explain the appeal of a sport as played by so many different people in so many different ways. I think you need to go back to one of the most basic principles of game design to understand it. And it’s what FIFA 16 gets so right about both video games and soccer.

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The Order: 1886 has the Potential to Be Something Great

When I first saw the E3 trailer for The Order: 1886, I was absolutely ecstatic. I have a very particular weakness for the aesthetic of Victorian England (though not the […]

When I first saw the E3 trailer for The Order: 1886, I was absolutely ecstatic. I have a very particular weakness for the aesthetic of Victorian England (though not the colonialism and the living conditions), so the lush visuals and smoky skylines of The Order: 1886’s alternate timeline London immediately caught my attention. An additional allure was the idea of fighting werewolves, territory that is surprisingly not very well trod by gaming at this point. (VtM: Bloodlines still has the scariest werewolf fights, let’s be honest). My anticipation grew with videos of gameplay, as running away from scary things while trying to shoot at them is a lifetime hobby of mine. My excitement just continued to increase, especially given how much I loved the design of Isabeau D’Argyll, and my curiosity about the world building the game would provide to explain the technology and mythology of their alternate London’s reality.

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