Archive for November, 2011

Modern FIFA Warfare Whatever (I)


That title totally sucks.

This entry is about this.

Compared to this.

And it will make sense. Or some.

I like football (yeah, football, soccer is not a name to me). Actually, I love football. I remember games of Italia 90 FIFA World Cup, when I was just 6 years old; and I think since then I became a fan of this sport (even when in Venezuela by that time the access to it was kinda limited). I am a huge follower of Calcio (Italian Football League) and I follow Internazionale Milano (Inter), a team from that league, since those early days in the 90’s.

So, too much for an introduction. From here I’ll assume that you are familiarized with at least the basic concepts involved in this sport. Is not that you have to understand the deep tricks or to have a very big base of games watched, but I won’t stop to clarify anything that I believe is clear to any usual football fan.

See, football, is a poorly designed game. And even though, is the most popular sport around the world, a sure-profit machine maker that even has a huge impact in some country’s economies and politics (Italy is one of the best examples, for best or for worst).

Why or how that happens? I don’t know the answer for sure, and is not the main purpose of this entry (actually, that answer can be the purpose of a whole career in game design and research). What I know for sure is that football is a poorly designed game. And that is what I’m going to talk about.

Just to cover one of the flaws (and for me, the central one), football doesn’t offer a fair distribution of scoring chances. If you see other team based sport, the chances of scoring (whatever has to be scored) are evenly distributed among the teams. Just to name a few popular sports: each team in Baseball has at least 27 opportunities to score a career; in Volleyball, besides the services rule, there is the 3 touches rule, which mandatory splits the ball possesion; in Basketball there is even a timer to control how much a team has the ball, and each team can’t go to their yard once the line in the middle is crossed (that rule has impact in ball possesion). I can go further, there are a lot of examples, but you get the idea.

Football doesn’t have such a thing. There is no rule that specifically says anything about ball possesion (BP), the intuitive way to measure scoring chances.  There are rules that specify changes of BP as a consecuence, but no rule says something like “A team has to make no more than N number of passes before shooting” or “A team has exactly N minutes before shooting” (or both). (more…)