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13whitebread's Blog
Sports Gaming 27 years strong 
Posted on December 20, 2018 at 11:34 AM.
This is how I started into Video sport gaming. The year was 1991 I was in the Marine Corps at NCO school at Quantico Virginia. My Marine buddy that got me out of the barracks had a friend come over and he brought his Sega Genesis with NHL Hockey by EA Sports. Now I know what you are thinking this is not the first hockey game in video games and yea you would be right. I played blades of steel and ice hockey from Nintendo but much like madden was the real NFL football game NHL Hockey by Sega was the first licensed by the NHL. Needless to say I was hooked just to be able to play as my favorite team the Detroit Red Wings was indeed a thrill. Growing up and playing hockey was everything to me however it came to a crashing halt upon my fathers layoff from Ford motor company.

It was there that hockey became unaffordable and unfortunately became nixed as a after school passion. My fathers statement was that this was Derekís (me) downfall in my schooling see I had to keep my grades up to play hockey and without this my grades and school work suffered. You see my father was great provider for our family it was just that as a hockey family including my brother it was not financially affordable to continue playing. Did me and my brother have the ability and skill to make it to the NHL? Well this unfortunately is something that we will never know. I had always been a real good athlete especially excelling in the Marine Corps but these talents would remain separate from hockey.

So then I turned to playing hockey anyway that was possible through rollerblading around the island of Sicily where I was stationed and also upon completion of the Marine Corps enlistment. It was there through a sale at Dunhamís a sporting good stores me and my brother bought our complete hockey gear as we started playing as young adults in many hockey programs but our time had passed and the dream could never be fully recognized.

Of course my hockey would return year after year in the form of a combination of real hockey and video game hockey. EA sports would churn out a hockey game every year each time improving in adding names and finally keeping track of stats. NHL 94 would be the pinnacle of video game hockey that many consider a masterpiece including myself.

Now let me jump ahead a bit through having kids and other distractions I still continued into video game hockey. It was NHL 07 that the skill stick was introduced again this was a important feature that really I think revolutionized the hockey experience it really felt that you had total control of your player and the placement of a shot being a slap shot or a carefully crafted wrist shot. Each series iteration improved by adding many other elements.

I cannot remember the year we received play by play announcers and there have many duos throughout the years including Gary Thorne and Bill Clement who did a wonderful job. The announcers would of course get dated with repetitive and then that changed to our current duo Doc Emerick, Eddie Olcyzk and between the benches Ray Ferraro. Which I think is helping the hockey game although it still gets repetive it is a needed element to complete the hockey experience.

Our current landscape of our video game hockey is somewhat consumed by the need to make money by HUT upgrades that I do not participate in however I can see the value by wanting to make extra money by the company, The online is a very important element into video game hockey that is just plain fun when you can get a group that shares the wealth of the ice. In fact I get the same feeling on assisting on a goal as I do when scoring one. My online time is limited but is very special when done correctly. But I spend most of my time against the CPU.

I donít think this could be complete and somewhat unfinished by not mentioning 2K sports and what they offered the video game hockey world. it is just that I stuck with EA Sports for my hockey fix. A missed opportunity perhaps as many consider NHL2K10 the pinnacle of video game hockey as is NHL 94.

Now this blog heavily is hockey one sided persay but other video game sports have been played throughout the years wether it was franchises like Madden, NBA2K, FIFA and of course baseball and boxing. But I would always return to hockey a passion of mine wether itís playing spectating or participating. I look forward to what the future will bring and my hope is that hockey will improve leaps and bounds like NBA2K series has for basketball. Money will always be an issue with the series as football and basketball are immensely more popular but I do believe there is market for the sport of video game hockey one I will be happy participate in every year.

In closing the video game hockey market has many things that could not be covered in just one article. I will say that maybe I am a dying breed that I am a simulation player that tries to emulate the hockey season so I look forward and hoping the series continues to improve the simulation experience for us dinosaurs of video game hockey.
# 1 13whitebread @ Feb 4
31 years strong and still playing!
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