Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
30 Genres of Christmas
Sports Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 19, 2009   |   Episode 24 (Show Archive)  


It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!

Despite being around for twenty years, I only own one John Madden NFL game (the 1992 edition on the Genesis)!
How Do You Know You Are Playing a Sports Game? Does your girlfriend roll her eyes when she sees you on the couch picking plays and throwing little balls around the field? Are the people in your game overpaid cry-babies who often turn to performance-enhancing drugs and cheat on their wives? Does the game have anything to do with that hat your wearing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it sounds like you're playing a sports game. It's an easy genre to spot, since it often features real life athletes, realistic graphics and extreme weather. Also, if you're playing an Electronic Arts game, there's a 50/50 chance you're playing a sports game.

Patron Saint: Real life sports.

Typical Story: Fans from all over the world have flocked to see you take part in a battle against a team from another part of the country. They want you to win. You want to win. And you know that you'll never hear the end of it from your coach if you don't win. You don't want to let down your fans, so you limber up and get ready to play like the post-season depends on it. Because it does!

To many people around the country, Wii Sports is the closest they get to actually going outside to play a real sport!
What Your Football Coach Says: "Get in here you lazy bum! The whole team has been waiting here while you take your time getting to practice. I've been making them run laps until you got here. And here you are, 45 minutes late without a care in the world. Do you think Danny over there wanted to run for 45 minutes? Do you think he's going to be happy with you? And what do you have to say for yourself? All you do is sit there playing Madden NFL '92. You don't even upgrade. Just for that I want you to drop and give me fifty. What, you think this is a joke? I SAID DROP AND GIVE ME FIFTY!"

Not a Sports Game: Video gaming is not a sport. I know I should be the one championing the new dawn of competitive gaming, what with it going a long way towards legitimizing video gaming as an industry. But I

And then Electronic Arts made this.
don't like it. Go ahead and compete and have world championships, I love the idea of big competitive spectacles using video games. But don't call yourself an athlete for playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl. If we do that then we're also going to need to start calling DJs "musicians," and that's not something I'm willing to do.

Then vs. Now? Sports games have always been and will likely always be one of the most popular genres out there. There will always be people who want to play as their favorite team, no matter what sport it is. The challenge for companies like Electronic Arts and 2K Games is to accurately recreate each and every sport out there, even the most obscure competitions. These days video game companies have Sports Games down to a science. While EA may change things here and there, the core gameplay often remains the same. On the other hand, classic Sports Games are easier to control and a lot more accessible to non-sports fans (like myself). While I certainly love the older Sports Games, I can't help but be in awe at the level of depth, customization and detail that the newer versions offer.


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