My prediction of the demise of real-world sports might have one adverse impact on virtual counterparts: there is no longer the possibility for the thrill of changing the fortunes of a player or team. My Bills may not have enjoyed much real world success, but in video games, I can make them into a 19-0 juggernaut if I want. It’s kind of neat to see your favorite team win it all, especially if they’ve never actually done it. This trailer for MLB 12: The Show “makes its pitch” based on this feeling*:
If there were no more actual sports, this would be less exciting. People would eventually forget who the Chicago Cubs were.
The solution, I think, would be to let people choose backstories for their teams, much as they choose them for their characters in certain RPGs. You could have “reigning champs”, “fading band of superstars”, “up-and-coming”, “rebuilding” or “plucky underdogs”, just for a few examples.
*Hat Tip to Thingy for the video. She’s taken her blog down, so no link, unfortunately. (Come back!)