This story is over 5 years old.

VICE vs Video games

Loads of Real-Life Sports Are Much Better When They’re Video Games

There's no denying it: take controllers and immediate access to crisps out of the equation and a bunch of these things are dull as fuck.

Angry Mario gets ready to kick balls. (Imagery from 'Super Mario Strikers')

Sports! They're great, aren't they? With the people who were dickheads at school being rewarded and praised and loved by the general public because they can run faster, kick harder or lift heavier weights than all the other people around them. Who doesn't love sports?

Still, there are some shitty sports out there – sports that make you wonder why Gareth Sport invented sports back in 1935. Fortunately there's a counter to this mundanity in the form of video games, which is handy because this is the gaming section of VICE, and not the bit about sports.


There are plenty of real life sports I have no love for, like golf. I mean, I played it once and was awful, and while crazy golf is clearly brilliant it's not the kind of thing, umm, Nick Faldo plays. Is that a contemporary reference? Probably.

'Everybody's Golf' is immeasurably better than the real thing. (Image via NowGamer)

Still, even with my rabid, intense apathy towards the sport of club-ball-thwacking by over-privileged people, I adore Everybody's Golf. Seriously. Adore. If I could marry it, it would already have divorced me for being an awful and boring human being. That's how deep my adoration goes.

Replacing dullness with fun seems to be a simple case of making everything brighter, louder and more coated in fire – the way I wish real golf were. I would love to see a homing shot from, I guess, Jack Nicklaus, or whoever it is the kids love these days. But instead I'll just keep on beavering away at getting that platinum trophy on the Vita version.

It doesn't end there. I'm an Everton fan, meaning watching football on TV in Britain is a painful experience as 97.5 percent of pundits are ex-Liverpool players and make me want to vomit out of my eyes. As a result I turn to video games, but I don't want them to recreate the bland, corporate world of professional soccer.

I want Mario Strikers. Or Inazuma Eleven. Or even whatever the hell this is that I definitely used to play in an arcade in Scarborough.

I'm an advocate for the fact that games can literally have anything in them, the limit only being a creator's imagination or an overzealous producer. But I'm also a fan of games because they can make the mundane marvellous, and my sporting examples don't stop with those two competitive pursuits.


See, Formula One is, frankly, one of the worst things in the world. It's boring, even though these plane-like cars shuttle around at 200 miles an hour. It goes on forfuckingever. It's riddled with dodgy practices. The only people who compete are those who think golf is too much of a pauper's sport.

Shouldn't this sort of thing be more exciting? (Image via Codemasters)

And yet I find myself actively enjoying the F1 parts of driving games, even if I do have to play them with every single assist in the world turned on. In fact, the Formula One thing stretches to all driving sports – they're all shit in real life and often great in game form, where you actually get to participate in them and nobody dies when you hilariously drive off a cliff.

Granted, this theory falls apart when you switch on spodaggeddon, aka Project CARS with every tiny control set to manual, and subject yourself to some of the most accurate (read: dull) video game representations of driving yet.

Video games even save the not-so-dull sports that have been rendered boring by silly (absolutely necessary) rule changes. The WWE – shut up, it is a sport – no longer does the whole bleeding everywhere thing, nor does it allow chair shots to the head. Apparently concussions aren't a good thing.

Article continues after the video below

So it is that we return to the games, where we can gleefully make The Miz spurt claret all over the ring after waffling him a dozen times with a fold up chair. The TV show might be dull, the recent games might be absolute dogshit, but at least I can always get a giggle from beating up a virtual representation of a man I'm clearly just jealous of.


It's a theme that's run for years: the magic of gaming saving us all from a life of sitting through shit sports with your brother as he tries to convince you that, actually, cricket isn't the least fun thing in the world to choose to watch. No, Paul, I would rather play Brian Lara Cricket, thank you very much.

New on VICE Sports, where we cover Real Sports: The Beauty and Bollocks of Football Songs

Similarly, I don't care how good Stephen Hendry is or how Ronnie O'Sullivan started playing left-handed because he was bored of winning everything right-handedly – I'd rather wait for the idle animations on Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker. And no, I will never watch a full baseball match because even I have limits, but I've found myself playing a fair bit of Super Mega Baseball recently.

The list goes on, and on, and on. The power of gaming goes well beyond just being an infinite melting pot for every imagination that has ever and will ever exist – it's something that actually makes the hammer throw interesting.

Basically, what I'm saying is: all sports are shit, let's go get drunk and play video games instead.


More from VICE Gaming:

The 21 Games of VICE's Lifetime That You Really Should Have Played

'Madden' Is the Game That Introduced Me to My New Favourite Sport

Video Gaming's Most Beautiful Moments