Extreme gaming collides with Sports – NBA players and Gamers get paid the same

Imagine a sporting world where hardcore gamers take on the finest physical specimens of the world. Steroids are used and actually encouraged by the commissioner of the NBA, as the ultimate champion is decided each season, between gamer and freak athlete. Imagine computer brains, metal encased heads, atop shredded organic bodies, fully controlled by gamers of all ages.

So basically a basketball stadium would be set up like this. Where the press and announcers currently sit, is where these gamers would sit with their controllers and monitors. This would be the most interactive way to be apart of sports as a privledged group of gaming teams would compete against the best athletes.

It would have to start off in a gradual manner, as let’s say 1 gamer would control a bench player for so many minutes during a game. A level of trust would have to be developed between the live players and the sim players. Once a kind of trust is developed between the athletes and the gamers, amazing things could happen within the game. It would really become a much more mental game, as these simbot players would never tire – so I guess you would have to have a limit on how many minutes they could actually play, in order to compensate for the live players having normal fatigue and injury issues. But as this kind of interactive game got going, you could have fully functioning sim teams and it would truly be the start of man vs. machine, but the machines still being controlled by men.

So imagine a group of 5 diehard basketball fans that happen to be very quick with a gaming controller taking on the lebron james and dwight howards of the world! Stuffing their faces with wings and pizza inbetween quarters. It would truly be brain vs. might. Who would have the advantage? I suppose you’d have to regulate speed, strength, height, and weight and essentially not allow these simbot players to be insanely superior in their physical makeup, in order for there to be viewing interest.

There would have to be a good amount of competition and the crowds would be strictly divided between pro-gamers and pro-athletes. Pro-man and Pro-machine, which is what we’re already fighting or accepting in at least a theoretical way. This would actually bring it into focus, in real time, for a paying audience that would be entertained at the same time, everybody wins! But you got to imagine what would happen if a fight broke out? The simbot players would feel no actual pain, so this would always be a threat. I guess the real athletes would just ignore the machines and go straight for the gamers.

However what if these gamers played from a remote location? Again the trust issue pops up. But also the excitement of never knowing how serious either side would take “the game”. Who would make more money? Who would deserve more money? If the simbot players were more entertaining, would the gamers end of making more money? Do sports ultimately evolve into this kind of mental playing field, where NBA Jam happens in the real world, except anyone can compete? Do we all just get so tired of the rift between the super rich athletes and everyday people, that this kind of premise can actually come into being?

Weighing in on the Lebron James spectacle.

I support Lebron. I think he did the right thing. He did what Kevin Garnett should have done 7 years into his career. Sometimes you can have all the right chess pieces, on paper, but for whatever reason they do not gel at the right time. Lebron is so polarizing because he’s so good, on par with the abilities of Jordan or Bryant. I think he’s pushing the concept of an individual being a brand, before teammate, more than previous players. But the NBA is evolving, just like all other enterprises. I’m more progressive with most of my views, so Lebron having this press conference, is all part of the spectacle. Provided by “Enterainment Sports Network.” Not NPR’s sports division. This is what people need to realize first and foremost.

Sure it was a little hacky, with the kids sitting in the background, and Jim Gray trying to bring some “professionalism” to this other wise circus act. Of course there was no need for it, just like there was no need for the Tiger Woods press conference. But it whets our collective appetite for something “new”, something different from the ho-hum reuters headline of where the next free agent would sign. It’s novelty. Novelty runs the media, sports, and hollywood.

Again Lebron is playing the NBA’s party line of “win, win, win”. Every player should constantly declare the need to win a championship, or more championships. Million dollar contracts are simply not to be discussed, as thousands continue to lose jobs and not receive unemployment benefits. Stern must constantly urge GM’s to tell their players to tow the party line of rah rah, win, win, win sportsmanship. It may have the affect of inspiring the masses to overcome their own personal difficulties in life and come out on top. A David and Goliath script that can hardly ever go wrong, along with solid TV ratings.

Ok enough haphazard philosophy on sport. Lebron signing with D. Wade and C. Bosh or “6,3,1” is great for the NBA. It gives new fans a reason to tune into TNT and listen to Charles Barkley say how “this will not work, its trrble.” And Kenny Smith disagreeing, and finally Ernie butting in pointing out the amazing stats these 3 have compiled over their careers. I look forward to this development, as I’ve been a fan of the NBA since I was a kid. I think the matchup with the Celtics will be great, as aged veterans give their all against the up and comers. You heard it here first. “6,3, 1 vs. The Big Three.” Old vs. New and whatever catchy headlines ESPN can churn out in anticipation for these games.

Can’t wait.