Living Vicariously Through Games: Don Bradman Cricket 14

Don Bradman Cricket 14; based on a game few people know much about, is a game fewer people have heard about. Although it remains undiscovered by the overwhelming majority of the gamers across the world, it was discovered by me, and it transcended a video game.

From the outside, people would merely think of my just over 1000 hours of playtime (according to Steam) as no more important than any other game someone has sunk time into. No more significant than a FIFA gamer or League of Legends player. I’d like to think those who know me know the real story, and know just how important video games can be (and they should, considering the amount of time I’ve spent justifying the hours poured into a cricket sim).

Some background: I’ve played cricket ever since I was five. I’ve loved the sport for so long, it is perhaps the most important part of my life (except my family of course), it’s rivalled only by my love of video games. So, when Big Ant Studios released a cross of the two, I was overjoyed. Of course, I put a few hours in… and a few more, however I was able to treat it mostly as a game, until the summer of 2015 that is.

During that summer, I was rendered unable to play any real cricket due to a back injury and, faced with the prospect playing no cricket for an entire summer, I found comfort in the knowledge I could sit at my computer desk and boot up a game of cricket on my computer.

The game itself is the most comprehensive cricket game ever. It features the most rigorous controls and delivers the best gameplaying experience however this isn’t a review so I’ll keep my post to my time with game during the 2015 summer.

During that time, my world had a cricket-shaped void which was subsequently filled by Don Bradman Cricket 14. All of the time I would have spent playing real cricket, I spent playing cricket on my PC and it allowed me to experience cricket, even when I was physically unable. As I look back on it, it’s incredible. Thanks to video games, I was able to experience cricket virtually and I know I’m not the only one. Most people won’t have had the same game filling the same void as I did, but video games have allowed people to live vicariously and experience things they just couldn’t in the real world. The virtual world is far from a replacement to a real experience however video games are getting closer every day. I’m not advocating choosing virtual over reality however the former can provide solace to those lacking the means to experience the latter.

As an aspiring Game Designer/Developer/Anything and student, I believe it is important we note just how much of an impact a product can have on its user. I intend to take this knowledge/theory and apply it to my future projects in the hope I could, some day, give someone the same experience I had.

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