Virtual reality batting practice

I used to spend a lot of time playing baseball on Wii Sports, but this looks so much cooler. In the video below, Zoned Sports tests out a virtual reality program designed to give players life-like batting practice. It seems to me that “batting practice” with a controller, rather than a bat, doesn’t quite seem the same. Perhaps that is the next step in the development of this product — a bat-shaped controller to add to the realism.

Playing sports

This seems like a common theme among today’s youth. Admittedly, though, it is far easier to throw a curveball on MLB The Show than it is in real life.

Peanizles - Don Mathias comic

The video game is better

I’m of two minds about the sentiment in this strip.  On one hand, the purist in me wants to respond in outrage: “How dare you!  You just don’t understand baseball nor appreciate its intricacies!”  On the other hand, playing a video game is more active while sitting and watching a ballgame is inherently more passive.  You’re more in the game when playing it on a console than you are when watching others do it.  I suppose the argument can be made that the kid could just go out and play baseball for real, but how easy is it, really, to get together enough folks for a pickup game anymore?

baseball video game

Major League Baseball 2K11

In a fit of wanting to rid myself of superfluous crap and to, hopefully, make a little extra cash while I’m at it, I decided this weekend to sell my Nintendo Wii.  Some years ago, I was working the night shift at Walmart in a small, farming town with a population of approximately 3,500.  If you’re familiar with these kinds of towns, nights are a pretty dead time.  I’m the kind of person who operates best when maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, which meant that on my nights off, I was still up all night, essentially alone in a ghost town.  To combat the boredom and the loneliness on these nights, I first bought an Xbox 360, then I bought the Wii.

These days, I have plenty of obligations and other activities to fill my time, and I rarely play video games anymore.  I literally had to clean the dust off my Wii before I took pictures and packed it back into its box.  I intend to keep the Xbox, since it has uses beyond just gaming, but I did go through some of the Xbox games I accumulated to weed out the ones I don’t touch anymore.  Among those games, I found this one:


It had been so long since I even touched this game that I had completely forgotten whose image graced the front of the case.  But there he is — less than one month after his death, I find myself awkwardly haunted by the ghost of Roy Halladay.  If you think about it, it’s an unfortunate display of the commercialization of the sport and its athletes.  On the other hand, you might argue that it’s a testament to Roy Halladay’s performance as a pitcher that he was so good his image could sell video games.

A part of me felt hesitant to post this game for sale.  It almost feels, I don’t know, inappropriate or “too soon” to do such a thing.  On the other hand, the whole purpose of getting “rid of superfluous crap” is to, well, get rid of it, and I have no intentions of ever playing this game again.  So in spite of my reservations, the game has been listed.  Roy Halladay can go haunt someone else for a bit.

Throw first pitch, Vader did

When Kinect Star Wars for Xbox 360 was released this past April, Dodgers fans had the opportunity to see Darth Vader himself throw the first pitch as part of a promotional gag in Los Angeles.  It seems that the Force is not as strong with Vader as it once was, but I suppose one should expect that falling to the Dark Side would inevitably stunt one’s ability to play baseball.