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Playing the PS Vita

Playing the PS Vita

“Everything I learned about life, I learned from playing FIFA on my PS Vita”.

I am trying to justify playing my PS Vita: a machine I use almost exclusively for FIFA – I think I have the 2013 edition.  Whatever the case, Suarez is playing for Liverpool – which is a whole lot better than my earlier edition of FIFA – which I use on an X-Box in which Torres is playing for Liverpool. The version was never updated to disable Torres’s goal scoring ability. Suarez is my star and I will play most often as Liverpool or as Uruguay. How does one deliberately hand-ball the ball in FIFA? Can one only do this when Uruguay is playing Ghana or France (re: Thierry) is playing Ireland? The game is not sufficiently real for sure. But, oh, how those creators had fun with programming the commentary. Martin Tyler says, ‘they’re passing the ball as if it were a computer game’. It is at this point, just as in real life, that my miniature players will dish off the ball to a member of the opposing team. And yet, they didn’t program Virtual Martin Tyler to say, ‘hahahaha, curse of the commentator’.

I’ve been playing some games between Australia, Netherlands and Chile as a kind of primer for the soon-to-be held World Cup. Perhaps I can use these games as a form guide for predicting who will win in the so-called group of death. I play as the teams that I don’t want to win in real life. And so, Netherlands beats Spain and Spain beats Chile. But, of course, I want Chile to beat Spain and Spain to beat The Netherlands. Playing at the semi-pro level – just above beginner – Chile is unstoppable. When I claim my status as being professional, Chile suddenly becomes more difficult to control and the goals start flying in from Xavi or Iniesta or Robben or Van Persie depending on who I is playing. I wonder whether I’m playing this machine in order to become good at it and a little more dexterous or just to virtually take revenge against Holland for their assault on the Spanish football team in the 2012 world cup final. I have no answer.

I know since receiving this PS Vita, my novel reading has slowed to a halt. But, the virtual football games don’t offer the same space and room for imagination as a novel does. The PS Vita kills my time. A slick and smooth device; rather than a slow and matte secondhand paperback. I feel like I’m both playing and watching football while playing the PS Vita. Now and then I make a nice move. Or rather the machine makes it for me. But those moments come slowly, in contrast to the fast 45 minute halves – the length of which the player may choose. A 90minute game can be divided into two 4 minute or 20 minute halves – depending on the patience and thoroughness of the player. When I want to win, I make the halves longer.


1) Instant gratification can be as satisfying as delayed gratification.

2) One plays and one is played.

3) Football players have multiple personalities and, multiple and conflicting interests.

4) “The old cliche that you are most vulnerable after having scored a goal” is a cliche.

5) A football match without a vuvuzela is still a football match.

6) The stadium chosen for a match isn’t determined by which teams are playing.

7) Martin Tyler is the hegemonic football commentator; equally knowledge of all leagues.

8) It appears impossible for a goal to be scored from the half-way line.

9) Virtual Christian Benitez of Ecuador is unstoppable – particularly after his opposition has just scored a goal. (Messi hasn’t lived up to his rating of 90. Higuain lives up to his rating, whatever it is.)

10) Warm ups aren’t necessary.



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