Sports Briefs: Keeping it Real with EA Sports

(Sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Chris: After EA Sports announced they would no longer be making "NCAA Football" and "NCAA Basketball," (due to lawsuits involving college players who, while playing the games, were jolted by the realization of, "Hey, that's me!"), and subsequently changed their minds and agreed to continue making the titles, all I can think is that I hope Perry Mason plays video games. Does he have calluses on his thumbs?

Joe: I think EA Sports did not do their legal homework before releasing the video games which use college players. Then they stopped publication, sending a guilty signal to the public. Then to start making again confuses the users and would make me not purchase the product.

Ralphie: I'm glad they changed their minds about making the games. It's fun for kids like me who dream of playing NCAA sports to pretend and practice while playing video games.

Brad: The use of actual players probably boosts interest in the game. I think the players need to be compensated for their likenesses being used. Yeah, they should be happy to be in the game, but they did work to get that good, so they deserve something. If a school is used, maybe EA could make a donation to the school.

Joe: Yes, I believe college players should be compensated for their representation in video games. You have to pay to go to games to see these players perform. Uses of their image or representation in games is no different.

Chris: How certain student-athletes were able to recognize themselves on the game shows an almost supernatural ability of the student-athletes. There are no names for the players on the game, so the only way to distinguish individuals is by their jersey numbers, skin tone, physique and whether Texas A&M’s quarterback has a fake ID and a bottle of moonshine.

Ralphie: I think it's fine for college players to be represented on video games if they give their permission. I don't know if it's a very good idea, though, because college players change pretty often. It seems like it would make it hard for the games to keep up with the players on the game.

Chris: I don’t know if there is any truth to the rumors that players’ girlfriends will be included in the game, although it would be more easy to spot Katherine Webb than it would be to see Lennay Kekua.

Brad: I think they should continue the game but definitely make sure they have permission before just using someone. They shouldn't knowingly cause a conflict that could end in a lawsuit. Or maybe they can make a sampler using generic players to see if it would go anywhere. I don't want to see the price of games jump higher than they already are.

Joe: College players should not be represented in the games without some form of compensation.

Ralphei: I think it's fun when you play video games to be able to play as a player I know, but EA Sports might be smarter to use generic players so that they don't risk getting in trouble or having to keep changing the game to add and delete players.

Chris: I often use create-a-player to forge myself into a video game, which seems to be a simpler activity than trying to sneak into a college football team photo and bamboozle EA Sports into believing I am the team’s starting punter.

Ralphie: I know I would be happy to be on a video game. I mean, that would be kind of cool, but I guess they should get paid, though. I know college players aren't supposed to make money, though, so I don't know if this would be against the rules or not.

Brad: I have played it. Personally, I like to be able to play games as different athletes. It adds a cool dimension to game play when you're playing as someone you see on TV.

Ralphie: I haven't played it before, but I want to. I'm glad they changed their minds so that I might get a chance to play one day.

Joe: I have never played the EA Sports, so I can't speak to the games qualities. EA Sports should use generic players until they develop an acceptable legal compensation.

Chris: EA Sports could alleviate any legal concerns by paying homage to the Nintendo game “John Elway’s Quarterback” and giving the players’ bodies the same physique as an upright rectangle.

Brad: I think that is a fair compromise. I would like to see the games continued.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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