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Can cricket video games ever match the real event?

Can cricket video games ever match the real event?

Overall, it’s believed that the value of console gaming in India is likely to hit $290.5 million US dollars by 2022. And with the title of India’s national sport probably always going to go to cricket, it makes sense to look at just how realistic – or otherwise – cricket video games actually are. Can video games designed to imitate the bat and ball action of the pitch ever be quite the same as the real thing? This article aims to find out.

Usman Khawaja // Big Ant Studios


In terms of gameplay, the level of sophistication which many modern video games now have is second to none – and cricket video games are no exception. Most modern cricket video games come with top-class gameplay rubrics, making them ideal for practice. Examples of cricket games include Ashes Cricket for PS4, which offers entirely bespoke play worlds including customized teams. It can also imitate cricket venues around the world, meaning that you can begin to learn the idiosyncrasies of each potential ground as you go.

Some cricket fans who play video games which imitate the sport find that the games are actually better than the real thing when it comes to studying technique. Paradoxically, this is often because they don’t have the distractions that the real thing may have, such as team obligations or cheering fans. Instead, it’s possible for players to focus entirely on honing their craft and developing their skills before heading out on to the pitch for the real event later.

A panoramic view of Lord’s // Big Ant Studios


However, it’s when it comes to atmosphere that cricket video games let themselves down compared to the main event. Video gaming can be exciting, but it can never replace the sense of team solidarity and physicality that either playing in or spectating the real thing can do. Watching ICC Cricket India and other adventures of the national team is never going to be quite the same as sitting in front of a screen! To some extent, though, the rise in internet gaming has rectified that a little.

Multiplayer cricket video games like EA Sports Cricket – which is due to be rereleased this year – are popular, and there’s certainly more atmosphere in participatory internet cricket games than there is in basic single-player games of years gone by. Cutting-edge graphics tools like 4k means that everything on screen looks realistic, too, which adds to the atmosphere. But for dedicated cricket fans, nothing ever comes close to the excitement and atmosphere of a big cricket game in which participants are able to touch or observe the key tools of the game.

Cricket is perhaps India’s favourite sport. And when it comes to cricket video games, it makes sense that some fans have gone in one direction and some in the other. While cricket video gaming offers a chance for top quality gameplay and practice, it’s also the case that the atmosphere involved in a real life game means that heading down to a cricket ground and watching a match is ultimately never going to be beaten.


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