EA Sports, is it not enough that you steal our boyfriend’s money? You have to go and steal their attention too!
As a girl, I can safely say that on principle I hate FIFA. Hate it. I am not sure whether my hatred for it stems from the fact that I know it is predominantly a male game and that girls are not generally accepted with open arms to partake in it, or because it is football, which I also hate. Arguably, probably a combination of both. It doesn’t help that I have lost count of the amount of times I have been woken up by the sounds of virtual and real cheering, as if the goal scored actually counted for something. However, I guess in the world of gaming, it does count for something and that is why a goal is so positively, if not very excessively, received.
In my second year house, a bad game can result in a person becoming a selective mute for the day; depressed, rude and uninvolved with anything else. When they win, it is not a gentle victory but more a heavily footed and unreasonably loud person running up and down their room shouting. By the time that stops, you will then hear the phone call of laziness to the person living on the floor below them; a boy too of course. The call generally goes something like this; ‘mate you’ll never guess what, I scored against Manchester United, I am not top of the league, come upstairs and look now!’ Then usually a quiet, ‘I am amazing’ to themselves. What’s worse is that if a fellow FIFA player is out for the day I get the pleasure of hearing them rant about how great it is, it doesn’t matter if I am on the phone, doing work or watching something, they talk and I am expected to give them my full attention. WARNING: acting uninterested does not deter them.
I think my biggest qualm with FIFA is its ability to steal away time. A direct quote from a housemate player is, ‘it’s a bit like Pringles, once you pop you can’t stop-genuinely it is like a drug, I need it in my life’. With another praising it as ‘the best thing to ever be invented, you can’t just have one game…I think that’s actually impossible’. It is somewhat of a risk to have at university, with many male friends saying they get their friends to hide the disk when revision comes around, one claiming, ‘if only there was a deactivation button like facebook, then at least I could pretend to myself that it wasn’t staring at me, waiting for me to play it-it’s like an unrelenting baby, it needs constant care’.
A little extreme, but I suppose the general consensus, at least of my friends, is that it can strongly interfere with work, especially revision. More often than not, when someone says they need to ‘crack on’ with something it tends to insinuate something work related or something of some academic importance. In my household this term is only used when it is followed with ‘FIFA’. You will see the same ‘do I have to’ look in their faces as you would someone embarking on a 14,000 word dissertation, but ‘I’m going to crack on with FIFA’ will not be beneficial to your end degree result. The look is always of a slight surprise, mainly because it almost suggests that FIFA is somewhat of a chore. To get better players, be a better team, show your friends that you are virtually more successful than them. Yet the truth is-they believe the success.
Admittedly, there are times where I am almost, ALMOST, jealous I do not have an equivalent of FIFA, something that I am so passionate about, but not something that takes up every minute of my spare time or interferes so strongly with work. Football is already a big enough fascination in the UK, and generally worldwide, so why they felt the need to create a videogame based on it to profit their own, already ridiculous, profit margin I will never know. Give girls back the male race; as much as we pretend to dislike them, it is a boring world without.
By Megan McGuinness
See the video below to get a taste of FIFA 12.