Archive for the ‘Virtual fantasy’ Category

Tip 302: Resolve family tension by directing anger at universally hated figure.

At its best, American Thanksgiving is a time to gather the family from all corners of the globe and eat lots of food. The cousin you haven’t seen in seven years, the uncle who just got out of prison — they’re all there. Hey, you might even get to talk about the recent election in a civil manner. It’s just politics after all.

At its worst, American Thanksgiving is a time to question the sanity of your mother as your family camps outside a Best Buy for five days, subsisting on uncooked ramen noodles and expired canned chili. A discussion about the recent election turns into an alcohol-fueled fist fight between brother-in-law Rex (America is doomed) and cousin Jeffrey (America is doomed and he’s a Muslim). Read the rest of this entry »

Pictured: The entire Bills offense

Tonight’s game between the Dolphins and Bills contains at least a modicum of meaning in reality, and great weight in our fantasy alter existence where Christmas gifts are purchased by taking money from friends. Holiday cheer indeed.

We’re especially hoping for two things to happen tonight: Reggie Bush should have a fun Thursday jog against a run defense that couldn’t stop a Pez dispenser with legs, and even though his matchup is much tougher, C.J. Spiller should thrive when he’s given far more opportunities with Fred Jackson out.

So we took the Madden 13 predictor machine for a spin, as is our usual Thursday custom. What happened next was both boring and predictable, all at the same time. Really, it was the worst kind of suck.

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Like reality Blaine Gabbert, virtual Blaine Gabbert is both progressing, and boring.

Here’s a short list of more productive things you could be doing with your time instead of watching this game tonight:

  • Plant quarters on the sidewalk, and see how many people walk by before they’re all picked up and gone.
  • Shop for new cutlery, and only purchase sets that stick together magnetically.
  • Train mice to play football. Their completion percentage will likely be higher than Blaine Gabbert’s.

We’ll all watch because it’s football, and men who don’t watch football are assumed to be a member of a terrorist organization. Although it’ll be fun to watch Andrew Luck and only Andrew Luck without flipping between nine other games on a Sunday, there are few other redeeming qualities about this game, as watching Jaguars football is akin to eating cinder blocks.

But if the Madden predictor machine is accurate, it’ll be a close game complete with the expected amounts of bumbling and attempted game handing. So basically, Jaguars football.

Man, if this whole Internet writing thing takes a nose dive I know my next line of work. Eskimos be linin’ up to buy ice off of me with these marketing skillz.

OK then, let’s watch some moving pictures from this sim that features 34 virtual minutes of meh followed by two minutes of awesome in a 15-13 Jaguars win.

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Pictured: God

Even when he wins, Philip Rivers still manages to scar you. Yeah, he throws footballs great distances, and sometimes they’ll land in the hands of the intended target, though often they bounce off of something else entirely, be it a helmet, a referee, or an over-sized pumpkin in the front row that isn’t a pumpkin at all, but is instead a man.

For those unfortunate enough to own him for fantasy purposes, he taunts you with his skill, harkening back to a far away time when he wasn’t throwing four interceptions in a game (two weeks ago against Denver) and he wasn’t averaging only 5.4 yards per attempt (last week against, um, Cleveland). He is simultaneously good and evil, with either of his two faces appearing on any given snap. His third face — the Philip Rivers face — is just a constant canvas of confusion. It’s delightful.

So when we fired up the ol’ video game box for this week’s Thursday night Madden sim, something incredibly unremarkable happened. Despite scoreboard domination, virtual Rivers was still both awesome, and awesomely stupid.

We’re still scared about our possession of a demon game with its accurate depictions of real-life, you guys. I’m never playing The Sims again, because virtual Sean Tomlinson will pee his pants in an office elevator, or something, predicting the same event a day later. My no pants peeing streak is at like three months, so I can’t deal with that.

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Oh we’re getting real now. It’s on, brah.

What started eight weeks ago as a completely unoriginal idea and a way to keep two interns busy for a few hours has become its own breathing, living being. First, our weekly Thursday Madden simulation was able to predict Kevin Ogletree’s Jerry Rice impression on opening night when he had 114 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Giants. When Madden forecasted that he’d have 115 yards and one score, we were petrified, knowing that with great power comes great responsibility. How were we to harness our oracle abilities? There’s never been an awful television show about the possession of such a power, so we were lost, alone, and cold.

But with one giant step comes another bounding leap, and now we’ve grown from this post’s humble beginnings that featured the profane rantings of a few interns who have since become paid employees solely because of their ability to watch a video game*. Now we have actual moving pictures with sound, and not just any sound. From now on when I play Madden, epic gladiator music will fill the room at max volume.

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Tonight we’ll watch a game in which the winner gets sole possession of top spot in the NFC West just one week before the season’s halfway point, with the Seahawks traveling to San Francisco.

But when I sat down to simulate this game today using Madden 13 there were more pressing questions at hand. Why does Alex Smith hate Vernon Davis so passionately? Is it possible for one team to control the ball for nearly an entire half (almost, yes)? Does Phil Simms speak English?

So come with me, and let’s go on another meandering, nonsensical journey through virtual football that will have no bearing whatsoever on tonight’s proceedings. Or will it?

As usual, we went with nine-minute quarters, and let the Madden weather randomizer do whatever it pleased. It turned out to be a pleasant evening in virtual San Francisco.

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Should NFL football be played every Thursday night? Today’s Madden simulation gave us the definitive answer.

No, absolutely not. This simulation features perhaps the worst game of virtual football ever played. The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Nashville to “play” — I use the term loosely — the Titans.

Would the Steelers maintain the momentum gained from their last-second win over the Eagles last Sunday? Could the Titans pull off one of the bigger upsets thus far in the young season? Would Matt Hasselbeck make use of his new lease on life thanks to Jake Locker’s injury? The answers seem obvious, but as with any game of Madden, you just never know.

The first quarter foreshadowed things to come. Let’s detail the carnage.

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