At least in England anyway.
In a move that is likely to save some dorky gamers from being piledriven by football (read: soccer) hooligans, Everton Football Club has signed an exclusive deal with Sports Interactive, the developers of Football Manager, to give the Premier League football club access to the company’s vast databases of over 370,000 players and staff. David Moyes, Everton’s manager, will be able to use the largest scouting network in soccer in order to help his own club find and identify talent. Football Manager‘s database has a history of pinpointing young stars and is famous for predicting Wayne Rooney’s success when he was only 15.
This decision lends legitimacy to the very successful football management simulation and its powerful software. It’s no longer fantasy. Gamers have been claiming for years that videogames are applicable to the real world. Perhaps Castle Wolfenstein is not a good example, but, we gamers have contended, Metal Gear Solid has a strong political message, and the military uses shooters to simulate combat and train soldiers. Now, a very well financed company is providing solid evidence of our claims. It’s not so dorky to play videogames anymore. If fact, it could be financially lucrative.
Being rich makes one cool. Gaming, as we learned today, makes one rich. So, if you follow my logic, playing games like Fallout 3, Mass Effect, and World of Warcraft has the potential to make you popular as well. This is what I plan to tell my girlfriend when she asks me why we aren’t going out to the 9:30 Club tonight, and am instead getting to level 20 in Fallout. “I’m busy making a living here, baby.” Try it out. It’s sure to work.