So to debut one of the newest sections of Ramblings About, I am going to make a confession. You see dear reader I have a problem. I have an addiction to popular football management sim, Football Manager. This addiction of course goes further back than Football Manager, to the days of Championship Manager and I imagine if the change is ever made to a different name it will follow on with that.
According to Steam I have spent 91 hours playing Football Manager 2014, not that much in the wider scheme of things, as this is actually one of the smaller numbers I have racked up with an FM game. 2012 was over 200 hours and before the introduction of Steam – when I was still at school and had a lot more disposable time – I would hate to know how many hours were plowed into this game.
FM is of course a wonderful piece of software. It was recently announced than their database was being used by real football teams, in order to scout and if you have ever made the mistake of asking any player about the footballers they signed before they were famous, they will happily reel off a list as long as your arm. Yet these players are not the ones held in the most addiction. Written into FM lore is those who in the game achieved the incredible, but in life petered out into oblivion. The Cherno Samba’s and Mark Kerr’s of the world. When Mark Kerr signed for my beloved Aberdeen I was excited, because of what I’d seen him do in real life? No, because I knew he was an FM legend. The fact he turned out to be a little cunt was devastating.
The stories I have from FM are some of my favorite footballing stories. My all conquering Barcelona team, who went game after game unbeaten as I snapped up all the worlds best talent. The first time I won the UEFA Cup with Aberdeen. The season I had when Thierry Henry led my Chelsea striking lineup and scored in every single game. Or when I led Scotland to a World Cup, inspired by Stephen Husband, a player who in real life has ended up at Forfar Athletic.
Football Manager is the perfect example of why I love video games. It is escapism at it’s very best. It is unlikely I will ever lead Aberdeen into European glory, in fact it’s unlikely that Aberdeen will ever even make a dent on European football in my life time. Yet, because of FM those moments are made to feel just a little bit more real. For the thousands of hours I have plugged into that game, I have genuinely felt like a football manager.