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Blood Bowl 2 Undead team
Undead team - taken from http://breakout.gamemiles.com

How did the turn based fantasy football game manage to change my life. Lets take a look.

‘Roll’ back a month or so, see what i did there? Moving on. Growing up sports were never my ‘thing’. Over here in Blighty people are obsessed with football and sports as a whole. Cricket, Rugby and golf are also big contenders. I’ve tried watching most of them over the years. Nothing stuck, I became an outcast at family gatherings. Trying to get in on the conversation was even harder. “Oh yeah he is good at kicking the ball” or “wow he can hit that ball far.” To get to the point i had no interest and thought sport was pointless.

“Football how i knew it. Clip taken from https://www.youtube.com/user/bettse0”

Welcome to the world of Blood Bowl.

After accepting my fate as a social outcast gaming took over my focus. I dabbled in sports games a few times at parties and other social occasions. Whilst browsing Steam a few years ago i came across Blood Bowl 2. Violence check. Unique teams check. Turn based strategy check. Seemed to fit everything i like in a video game, so i picked it up never to look at it again. Until now.

I was invited to play in a league and having never played it before, I of course signed straight up. After a few games and a lot of YouTube research I managed to get a grasp of the games sometimes ridiculous learning curve. Believe me folks this is not a pick up and play kind of game. However Cyanide have hooked me. The risk versus reward game-play and the in-depth tactical decisions make it very compelling to play. After a few games I wanted more and realized that I had a craving to watch matches. For a brief moment I understood the mentality of sports fans.

Blood Bowl 2 in game screenshot
Blood Bowl 2 in all its tactical glory – taken from https://gamecritics.com

Now I do realize that this ‘sport’ is fictional, however I had attachment and passion for something that didn’t really exist. Then something clicked. Blood Bowl is a fantasy version of American Football. Having recently upgraded to Origin Access Premium, I know EA blah blah. Sitting in my vault of games was Madden 19. “I wonder, will i enjoy playing this as much?”

First Down what?

Booting up ‘Madden’ was an a mixture of emotions. Wow does it look good, however what the heck is going on. After fumbling around the menu’s and making my team look like children, I finished my first game. An abysmal loss. However those feelings I felt in Blood Bowl were there. The tactics and the trial and error game-play, they were there pushing me further up the field. the presentation of the game showing me various stats and information. I had no idea what i was doing, but I was loving every minute of it.

To further my knowledge and try to understand what I was playing i headed to YouTube again. While I was looking up beginner ‘Madden’ guides I stumbled upon a random NFL video. Within 3 minutes of this random video starting I was captivated. I was sat watching a sport and loving it. I was invested in the team. In case your wondering it was footage of the Titans.

Madden 19 screenshot
This game is stunning – taken from https://www.operationsports.com

I had done it, joined the elite club I thought i would never join. I was a sports fan. Even more so I had a favorite team and something to talk about at the next social gathering. I am now invested in the NFL and watch as much of it as I can. I understand the game, granted my knowledge is still fairly limited. For the first time in my life I feel normal, well as normal as anyone can be. I feel a part of something, I feel passion for a sport I had no idea was so exciting.

So yeah, Blood Bowl 2 changed my life. Gave me something i had always longed for, an interest in something other than gaming. Please let me know in the comments if you have similar experiences with video games.