We hear it all the time. SIM games, SIM leagues, SIM communities, the greatest SIM madden player, etc. What exactly is it, and what are you?
SIM, short for simulation, is most likely defined as something that is made to look, feel, or behave like something else (in this case, the NFL). In other words, how similar your gameplay to that of a real NFL game. Many contend that this can not be done naturally, but must be a conscious effort to recreate that true NFL experience. What exactly defines simulation football is not set in stone and probably never will be in light of its subjective nature.
Bill Belichick and Troy Polamalu do many things on Sunday that some might consider cheese, but this contradicts the very meaning of simulation, at least in regards to the NFL. At this point, it gets even more subjective, such as whether you should do something a certain amount of times, such as running the same play or blitz repeatedly. There are many types of Sim gamers, but we will examine three main categories that might describe what any possible Sim gamer might be.
1) Casual sim gamer
For some folks, all they care about is seeing what they see on Sunday. Do whatever you please, just make the game realistic. A realistic game engine will make this all fall into place. This can also be adjusted with built in game sliders, difficulty settings, and game options. These gamers won’t sweat the little stuff like rocket catching and nano blitzing. They will just stay faithful to doing what they love.
2) Eye for an eye sim gamer
This is the type of SIM gamer who desires to play a NFL-like game of Madden, but isn’t scared to play anyone, anywhere. They will go into any online lobby, maybe even a tournament, to play a game of Madden. These guys have very competitive spirits, and are usually the calloused sim players. They’ve been cheated many times before, and have learned and adapted to avoid getting stumped by those tactics again. They will learn all the nano’s, rocket catches, and motion tactics in order to keep up with the competition.
3) Hardcore sim gamer
This is the most popular group of them all. These are folks that have written bibles on what should and should not be done in a Madden game. Punting on fourth downs with some exceptions, no controlling defensive linemen, no manually moving players before the snap, and mandatory scoring every time you have a clear path are some of the common rules one can find.
This type of sim player might be either highly mature regarding football ethics, or simply doesn’t find fulfillment in spending the time to try to find and counter all of the exploits. Unfortunately, this limits the amount of places where they can find an enjoyable game. But as Rob Stewart , aka “The SIM Champion” remarks regarding sim football, “its the only way to play if we really wanna see who has the best play calling and execution and have a true chess match without relying on gimmicks.” This sums up quite well the mindset of the sim gamer.
In the end, what really matters is your preference. If you enjoy winning at all cost, the tournament and lobby scene is the place for you. If you simply enjoy not having to worry about keeping up to date with the latest tricks, then private simulation leagues is where you will find most of your enjoyment. Some Madden communities tend to drift in one direction or another, but the fact that different types of players tend to congregate at certain websites makes it easier to find a game that fits their style.
Being a part of a Madden forum is a a great way to make threads about the type of games and opponents you’re looking for. There, rules can be set in place, defined, and even enforced in leagues.
What kind of gamer are you? Voice your opinion and comments in the comment box below.