What Exactly Are Simulations Simulating?

In a slightly different take on the old 'we take too much from film techniques' argument we're all familiar with, a post at the Brainy Gamer takes on television techniques in simulations. Madden et al. aren't simulating playing a sporting event, he says, but watching one on TV:

Less has been written about the defining role television plays in the design and presentation of games, especially sports titles. Long-running franchises like the Links series of golf games have gone by the wayside, largely because their simulation of the sport relied more on playing the game than watching it played.

The market is what it is, but I think the CNN-isation and ESPN-isation of video games comes at a cost. It limits game design to the visual and structural framework of television, and it removes the player from a true simulation experience. I want a video game to offer me something more than a simulated sports broadcast. The more Madden talks, the less like Payton Manning I feel.

While I think the argument against using cinematic techniques is frequently overblown, but there is something to be said for relying too much on traditional media. I usually get into my sports games of choice, but being more of a niche market, I think there's less emphasis on the flash that usually goes along with the giant sports franchises.

What do simulations simulate? [The Brainy Gamer]


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