SBD/October 17, 2013/Media

Athletes Discuss The Evolution Of Sports Videogames, From Pong To Madden

Woods was impressed by games' use of motion-capture technology and detailing
The evolution of videogames was examined on ESPN's "E:60" on Tuesday, with the program noting the game Pong "began the videogame revolution and after that the sports video game world just went crazy," according to Chris Connelly of ESPN. Tiger Woods noted "all sports videogames have, probably in the last decade, just become so real." Woods: "Now we're doing motion-capture. The detailing is absolutely incredible." Nintendo's "RBI Baseball" was the first video game to use real MLB players' names in the game, with Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell noting that "whenever you have stars you can always get a halo effect by engaging them in your product." Pro Football HOFer Barry Sanders said early "Madden NFL" games "integrated so many things into the video game that are on the field. Kids understand the language of the game (and) they really just took the football videogame to a different level." Skateboarder Tony Hawk said, "At some point, the name Tony Hawk just became synonymous with video game as opposed to a person. I've met people that didn’t know I was actually a real person" ("E:60," ESPN, 10/15).

MORE OF THE SAME: The N.Y. TIMES reviewed the new "NBA 2K14" videogame, noting it is "possible that basketball fans have been spoiled by the highly polished NBA 2K series." But the newest iteration "appears to invoke a prerogative of a well-made series, choosing not to fix what isn’t broken." That is "not to say this is a no-frills product or a disappointment." But "unfortunately, a palpable sameness has been carried over from last year’s edition in the game’s two principal career modes" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/16).
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