NBA 2K14 is a sports based video game that allows the gamer to take part in the action of being a basketball player. Basketball is one of the most widely play sports internationally and NBA 2K14 is a video game that takes an inactive audience member and gives them the opportunity to become a part of the action. The game not only allows the gamer to play with characters that represent players who are currently in the league, it also allows the gamer to develop their own character and track their progress.
When the game begins, there is a picture and a message from LeBron James who is arguably the best player in the league as of now. Already there is a message of greatness. You want your character to be as good if not, better than LeBron James. The gamer is then introduced to the different modes which the game offers such as: Quick Games, My Career, Training Camp, LeBron James: Path to Greatness etc. Already, the game is offering the gamer multiple opportunities to be the best basketball player in the game that they can be. There are multiple opportunities that are offered in this game; opportunities that are not always granted in real life.
One of the first mode that the gamer is introduced to is called Quick Game. Quick Game is probably one of the most heavily used game mode in NBA 2K14. This mode can include anywhere from one to four players and gives the user the opportunity to experience playing as a current, retired, or international basketball player. The game consist of four quarters and each quarter is played for 12 minutes. Every winner receives VC or virtual currency. VC is a reminder that the gamer should aspire for greatness in the game. Obviously they would want to acquire a lot of VC. In reality, VC can be seen as a promotion of graduating with honors after four years of hard work.
My favorite mode in this game would have to be My Career. I think My Career would have to be the most widely used mode in this video game. The gamer has the chance to develop an avatar who is a college basketball player and watch his growth form college to the NBA. Like a normal college basketball player, the avatar can enter the NBA draft. The gamer can also chose the chose the college that his or her avatar attends. The gamer can chose the character’s name, age, position, height, weight, facial features, court specialties, etc. Instead of a draft combine, there is a rookie showcase in which the gamer can change his draft stock. Once the player is drafted, the player can receive more minutes in a game or more VC. Again VC is used a reward.
I find My Career to be the most interesting mode of the game because it reminds me of a how to manual. Often times in life, we think that the path to success is a straight forward one. It’s easy to see the goal and even easier to overlook the obstacles that may come in our way. It would be so much easier if we had a “How To” manual that gave us a step by step guide to accomplishing our goals. I think that My Career is similar to that “How To” manual. There is almost no room for failure. It’s almost impossible to not get drafted to the NBA in NBA 2K14. In reality, when you don’t get drafted to the NBA, you go to the D league and there is no D league in this game.
The player has the opportunity to go to practices in “Practice Mode”. In practice mode, the player can practice free throws, three point shots, post moves, or freestyles. The gamer can also chose the practice court that the avatar will be playing on. Once the player has earned enough VC or has great stats, they are able to talk to the GM. The video game is already set with questions that can be asked. In a way, these are the “right” questions. The kind of questions that they should be asked. In life, we don’t get a list of right or wrong questions. Sometimes there is no right or wrong answer to begin with and that’s a risk that we take in life. However, I do find it interesting that in the game, once you speak to the GM and you ask a sensitive question or make a statement such as, “I demand a trade” or “I think it would be best for our team if we acquired (insert name here) as a player”, you must wait a couple of games in order to get a response. I think this is similar to real life as well because sometimes we have to wait for our questions to be answered.
We can’t always expect for everything to go according to plan. I think this part of the game teaches the gamer that they have to be patient in life. Life does go on while you’re waiting for a big decision to be made just like in the game. The player still has to play the game while they wait for the GM to come back with an answer.
I found interest in this game (and ultimately chose this to be the basis of my research project) because I saw the way that this game impacted my little brother’s life. My brother used to be very inactive. He would go to school, go to band, and come home. He often ate foods that weren’t very good for him. He was surrounded with cousins that were physically active and I was always active myself. When I told him that I joined rugby at school, he said that he wanted to become active as well. He asked my mother to buy NBA 2K14 for him and he played religiously every day. When he realized how good he was at the game, he wanted to take it to the court. Over the past 8 months, he’s lost 25 pounds and he recently graduated 8th grade and was asked by his high school coach to join their JV basketball team. I think that games like this one inspire people to become more active whether it means finishing that project that was supposed to be done a week ago, or getting out of the house and bouncing a ball around for a couple of minutes.