Escaping to a Virtual World

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved our national pastime: baseball. When I was in grade school, I would listen to Red Sox games on the radio in my parent’s radio that I would plug outside on the deck. I would grab some peanuts, still in the shell, and bring out my Red Sox yearbook at listen to the games.

As I got older, it wasn’t enough to just listen. My brother and I would pull out wiffle ball and bat, turn our driveway into Fenway Park and play ball! I would grab my plastic Boston Red Sox batting helmet and use the swing set at the end of the driveway as my makeshift “Green Monster” in left field.

I would not only play, but verbally do the play-by-play while playing the game. I knew all the batting stances of my favorite players as well. For me, it was as close as I could get to being able to immerse myself in Major League Baseball.

That was then …..

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Is that really Josh Beckett pitching at Fenway Park … or just a virtual version from “MLB ’09 The Show”? ( Courtesy: Sony/PS )

Fast forward to 2009 … where kids no longer need to imagine what it must be like to be professional baseball players. All you need do is pop a video game DVD into your Xbox or Playstation, and you can enjoy the virtual world of Major League Baseball.

You might be thinking “Poor Andrew. It’s too bad you the days of video games came to late for you to enjoy”. Think again.

Since I have no kids, and really never grew up, I am enjoying today the technology that did not exist when I was a kid. I recently got “MLB ’09 The Show”, the latest entry into the world of virtual baseball.

I have to tell you, this mature professional becomes a giddy little kid as I am able to be my beloved Red Sox. However, instead of imagining what my favorite players would do on the field, with the push of a control button I cam make David Ortiz swing or Josh Beckett toss a curve ball. I can play them against the Yankees in a stadium that looks so much like Fenway Park, right down to the sponsors on the outfield wall.

I don’t even have to announce my games anymore because there is a virtual announcer calling balls and strikes … and home runs for me.

The reason I share all this is because this is my escape. Playing video games like “MLB 09 The Show”. It’s not because I am an overgrown kid or someone who has never grown up. Quite the opposite. I am someone who has grown up and would like to be a kid every so often. Maybe by enjoying the technological advances today’s children do, perhaps I can be a kid once again … at least when I get home from work lat each night.

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