Thursday, December 29, 2011

Virtual Girlfriends vs Fantasy Sports

Read this article from the Guardian today. In particular this passage got me thinking:
Virtual girlfriends became a sensation last summer, when Japanese game-maker Konami released its second-generation of its popular Love Plus, called, aptly, Love Plus +, for the Nintendo DS gaming system. Konami skillfully arranged for an otherwise deadbeat beach resort town called Atami to host a Love Plus + holiday weekend. Players were invited to tote their virtual girlfriends, via the gaming console, to the actual resort town to cavort for a weekend in romantic bliss. The promotion was absurdly successful, with local resort operators reporting that it was their best weekend in decades.
"This is very Japanese," is the first thought that came to my mind.

Now, however, contrast with this:
Over 2,500 fans attended the inaugural Fantasy Football SUPERDRAFT that took place August 27th - 30th 2009 in Las Vegas. Some came to host their drafts in true Vegas style at the customized Draft Room complete with cheerleaders, fantasy experts and surprise celebrity appearances. Some opted for a private draft experience in one of the luxury draft suites. ... SUPERDRAFT began as a destination weekend for fantasy football enthusiasts to hold their drafts like they had never done before. What SUPERDRAFT became was not only the largest fantasy football draft experience in history, but also an unprecedented media and entertainment phenomenon.
Is one necessarily weirder than the other? And this is coming from somebody who's spent a fair bit of time playing fantasy sports.

Conceivably, some people who have no qualms cavorting around with virtual companions might think it weird how a multi-million-dollar industry complete with regular news coverage is centered around imaginary sports teams. Isn't it just a question of perspective?

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