play forge of empires

When you think about sports games they're kind of weird. Often games are there to allow you to take part in things that aren't so easy to access in real life for many reasons be there costly, difficult to setup, out of this world or even illegal. But sports games? Come on if playing the game in real life is fun why bother on a computer?

Well some sports are just too darn expensive in terms of time and money while others often require a fair amount of natural ability. This is not an attempt to dissuade you from taking up a sport I guess I'm just trying to ease your conscience as to why you're playing a sport through an online game rather doing it!

Before we take a look at some of the online sports games above, lets go on a trip down memory lane.

The first sports game I ever came across was Horace goes Skiing on the Spectrum ZX. Now let me ask you how much time and money does it cost to go skiing especially in the eighties when artificial slopes were a rarity! Now compare that to taking out your tape recorder and plugging it into your spectrum, how much easier was that? And let's face it spectrum games are as life like as you're going to get so don't give me the whole it's not quite the same as practicing the sport in real life.

Another of my favourite sporting games from childhood is California Games released on the Sega Master System. California games was great and for me highly educational! I didn't even know half of the games on there were considered a sport. I mean a guy who kicks a sack around in the air playing keep it up, the last time I checked that was a game you played with football but apparently in California (the game actually originates from Oregon and is called footbag) they use a small sack/bag! California Games typifies for me what playing sports in computer games is all about, access to an array of sports quickly and conveniently. You could even argue in some cases that computer games act as a catalyst to an individual engaging the sport in real life!

Before I move on from my computer sports game childhood memories I'm going to give a quick mention to two more games, Shooting Gallery and Olympic Games. The former was available with every new master system purchased and came with a wired infrared gun, there was nothing too special about this game in terms of game play however it was the first game to be released for the master system that moved away from using the standard control pad. The latter was Olympic Games for which we all have the scars to prove the time spent on this game, each sport required hitting buttons on your pad alternately to progress through an array of Olympic Games. The faster you pressed the better you'd do and this led to array of ideas on how to hit the buttons faster including the use of key rings slid across the pad buttons!

Obviously online sports games have moved on from the Spectrum and Sega days you now have games that actually involve physical exercise rather than thumb twitching. Take for example the ski section on the Wii Fit. To play this game you stand on a board that picks up the weighting of your legs and moves the skis' in the appropriate direction. In fact all Wii Sports games require physical involvement as opposed to just pressing buttons on a control pad. A student even carried out a study on how the Wii Fit can help you lose weight for his sports science degree!

All the games you'll find here however are more like the old school sports games, no real physical involvement just pure finger bashing fun!