It’s the 90th minute during a brutal 1-1 draw soccer match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Silence echoes around the stadium as Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) walks calmly toward the penalty spot, caused by a last ditch tackle inside the box on a final attack. He takes a deep breath, steps up and…SCORES! I press the X button to celebrate as I run around my room in circles screaming “MESSI” repeatedly. My dad droops in sadness. This is the closest he has come to beating me in FIFA in weeks.
FIFA is a huge passion of mine that in turn lets me bond between my brother and dad, while destroying them in the game. I am a soccer fanatic and have played it since I could walk. FIFA lets me play soccer while I’m not on the field and have pure joy at the same time.
Electronic Arts sports created the first virtual FIFA soccer video game in late 1993, titled FIFA 94. But I didn’t start playing until about FIFA 08 on my Playstation 2. My dad, brother and I used to play against each other in tournaments. I always won, but my brother would give you a different story. After those first few games, I was in love and played by myself whenever my brother didn’t want to.
Around two months ago, the newest game, FIFA 16, was released. Of course, I preordered it and got it the first day it came out. I watched videos every day on YouTube about the new additions for months. I played at least 50 games in the next few days, getting used to the new game and becoming extremely mad at it at the same time. It has many flaws like the completely changed the passing that I was so good at last year and the referees are terrible. But, despite that I still enjoy the game so much due to its core mechanics and my love for soccer.
My dad grew up in Britain and lived there until he was about 20. He was and still is an avid soccer fan. I am 50 percent British which means “football,” to use the correct term, is in my blood. My dad passed his love for his team, West Ham, down to me and my brother. He used to wake me up at a little before 8 a.m. and say, “West Ham game in 10 minutes, c’mon you Irons!” We woke up the whole house with our cheers, and would play FIFA until my mom would come into my room and yell at us for not doing our chores.
Not all of the games end in laughter and joy. Actually, the majority end in me or my brother throwing the controller and being super salty to one another for the next hour. We’re a little too competitive when it comes to anything involving soccer. This, consequently, comes straight from our dad. The games are always filled with showboating after scoring and yelling at the screen when we do something wrong.
Now that my dad lives in Massachusetts I play FIFA with friends. I introduced FIFA to most of them, and I taught them in the same way my dad taught. Now, some of them sometimes almost beat me. I guess I am just that good of a teacher. Usually we play for fun or just because we are bored. But if we have created a tournament or are using our favorite teams against each other, stuff gets real.
There have been many occasions of me getting kicked off the couch for not skipping the replays of my goal, and yelling at each other and the game constantly. If we are not playing FIFA we’re usually outside playing soccer. Then we get tired and come in and play more FIFA. These are my favorite kind of days.
Especially now that my parents are separated, I appreciate playing FIFA even more when my dad comes to visit from Massachusetts. And even though so much has changed in the game and in my life, when I play FIFA I still feel like I am eight, playing on that crappy PS2 in my bedroom with my spiderman pajamas on.