In any discussion about the benefits and harms of soccer simulators sooner or later someone will be found, who in general sensibly says that video games will never replace the real game “from TV”. Like, the grass is greener, the graphics are better, and no one complains about the “lazy people” from EA. We from cyberfreegames.com decided to act on the contrary and find the points on which virtual soccer is ahead of real football.
Four years ago there was a huge scandal in Italian soccer. Five teams in the elite Serie A (AC Milan, Fiorentina, Juventus, Lazio and Regina) were accused of conspiring and bribing referees. It is not known whether severed horse heads were used in the case (Italy, after all), but the court’s resolution was harsh. The conspirators were stripped of points, some were barred from European competitions and Juventus were even relegated to Serie B. Echoes of that soccer drama can still be heard to this day, and new episodes are promised just this October, when the investigation will be reopened.
Contractual matches and purchased referees are now fashionable to see everywhere. Your favorite team lost? So it is not their fault, but the management of the opponent, who organized a new “Bentley” for the right people in time. The referee did not give the right penalty? Bought! Did the player shoot on goal from a position from which even a baby would make a hat trick? Bought! Additional time was short, it started to rain, life was not good…? You get the idea. Virtual soccer is completely clean before the law (which can’t be said about the players who download the game from torrents the day before it goes on sale). Computer-controlled referees are incorruptible, and it is your own fault if your players lose, but only after that – “lag”, “stupid goalkeeper” and “wrong gamepad”.
“Go to any stadium in England,” writes The Times columnist Kaveg Solekol in his article on the fifty innovations that have distorted modern soccer, “and there will always be a fat man in your row who a) is bound to be late to the game, b) starts talking nonsense, c) leaves five minutes before half-time, d) returns five minutes after the game resumes, e) starts talking nonsense, f) leaves five minutes before the final whistle.
Neighborhood with an abstract fat guy is not the worst thing that can happen to you in the stands of a stadium. Whether it’s in London, Berlin or the Beldyags, there’s always the risk of getting run over on the way in or out, listening to a series of drunken chants, getting hit on the head with a plastic seat and running away from the police. In short, going to a real soccer game can bring you many unforgettable experiences.
A virtual match is something akin to watching the broadcast at home on TV. Even if the emotions are not as vivid, but there are only your own people around, it’s warm, dry and, most importantly, safe. And no insane neighbors.
April 8, 1996, England, match Manchester United against the club Coventry. In one of the game episodes, two Mancunians players at once literally “drove” with their feet into the defender David Butts and… What happened then, you will not see even in some Manhunt. As a result of the collision, the player’s bone, tearing muscles and ligaments, comes out. The match is suspended for fifteen minutes – it is necessary to remove the blood from the field. Manchester goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel vomits from what he sees right on the lawn.
The victim was threatened limb amputation, but after twenty-six (!) Surgery managed to save his leg. On the field Butts returned only a year later, to play in a farewell match.
These kinds of horrors don’t happen every day in big-time soccer, but injuries of a lesser caliber are regular. “Shin injury,” “torn knee ligaments,” and even “broken metatarsal bones” (don’t ask us what that means) – the profile Gregory Houses know the wording to answer those who think it’s too much money for some to simply play ball.
Virtual soccer is about as dangerous to your physical health as a bite from a six-month-old kitten. The only thing we want to warn you about is to be careful when celebrating a goal. History knows examples when, expressing their joy, players banged their heads on the roof over the bench and broke their collarbones falling from their teammates’ shoulders.
No matter how good real soccer is, you can’t enjoy it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you want to. Matches of the elite European championships are shown on pay channels, online broadcasts are still not available to everyone, and playing a ball in the yard does not always allow the weather. On top of that, there is the phenomenon of the off-season, when the soccer world is almost at a standstill, sometimes entertaining fans with a witty series about the transition of that player X (well, you remember what goal he scored at the end of last season?) in the famous club Y.
In soccer simulators there are no half-time breaks and pauses between seasons. There is almost everything you need: any team, any tournament, millions of luxurious episodes, tension, emotion and struggle. In short, everything as in adults, but with one significant advantage – you are not a spectator, but a full participant in the game. And this alone makes virtual soccer worth appreciating.