I had a Twitter conversation with MillenniumOS from Operation Sports yesterday about drag bunting in MLB The Show 17. The conversation wasn't as productive as I hoped because A. its hard to articulate your thoughts well in 140 characters and B. we made assumptions about what the other was saying due to the lack of depth in 140 characters. That kind of took us off track and kept things form being as productive as I would have liked. However, the thing that stuck with me was that he mentioned he had distanced himself from the word "sim" lately. Honestly, that's not the first time I've heard someone say that. There is the perception of the sim community, and some of it rightly so, that we can be a little extreme in our views of how the sports games we play should "sim"ulate real life. I wanted to take a few moments and talk about that and, specifically, what sim means to me and why I'm so passionate about it. Feel free to let me know what sim means to you in the comments! What is sim? To me, sim gaming is simulating the real life sport as closely as possible within the context of a video game. That means that, not only should players look like their real life counterparts, but they should also play like their real life counterparts. Don't just put a name and a set of ratings on a face scan and call him Tom Brady. I want my virtual Brady to look like Tom Brady, but most importantly, I want him to play like Tom Brady (throwing motion, decision making, play calling, etc). I want my teams to play like their real life teams as well. I want to see the Patriots throw a lot of short, timing based routes. I want them to throw to their running backs and create mismatches with Gronk. I want my real life players and teams to play, as close as possible, to their real life representations. I realize that I'm never going to be a professional player or coach so I want the games I play to give me the experience of being on the field and competing against those players and teams. I also want my sports games to represent real life statistically. Now, this is the area that typically creates the most debate. We, as sim gamers, like to throw out stats. A lot of guys get lost there as they realize stats can't always replicate real life because, when playing other users, you have to account for the non-simulation things they would do (like runnign the same play over and over or not adjusting to their opponent's tendencies). I do agree with this to a large degree. If a guy is sitting in Cover 2 all game and is not adjusting to your smash concepts and post routes, yes, it's going to skew the stats. However, the mean (average) game where there is some realistic strategy involved, should look like the real life sport for the most part. Our example with drag bunting is just one of the many ways I want stats to replicate real life in the games we play. The top bunters in Major League Baseball only attempt a drag bunt about 4% of the time when they are up with nobody on base (typically the only time you would bunt for a base hit). That's once every five games, at most. Obviously the other user can play a role. If he's grooving easily bunted fastballs down the pipe and has slow, inaccurate fielders (especially at 3B) then, yes, that game is going to skew the numbers. However, in an average game against a relative competent user, we shouldn't see a user bunting with the same guy every time he comes to the plate (this has been addressed with MLB The Show 17 so we'll see how it plays out once everyone starts playing online consistently). Why? It just means that their isn't enough risk involved with doing it (ie bunted balls going foul, being popped up or going straight to a defender). As I said, I'm not suggesting the games we play mimic real life perfectly as human users can definitely skew the numbers. However, the risk/reward that real teams face in real life does need to be present in the game. If an NFL team only completes one corner route per game in real life (in 60-70 plays) we shouldn't see 5-6 corner routes completed in the average online game (with 30-40 plays). Likewise, we shouldn't see a guy that bunts for a hit once every 5+ games in real life, bunting for a hit every time he comes up. It's always an interesting debate and one that I am (maybe to a fault) more than happy to have any time the subject comes up. I love the sports I follow (mostly football and baseball) and am extremely passionate about the games I play (mostly Madden and MLB The Show). I played both sports growing up and learned a lot about the rules and strategy of the game (as well as all of the players) through video games. I would not be nearly as big of a fan of the NFL or Major League Baseball (or NCAA football) without those games. I want to continue that tradition with me and my gaming buddies, but also the next generation of sports gaming fans. I want our games to teach them the basic fundamentals of the game, the rules and the basic strategy. I want them to grow up loving the sports they represent like I did, not because they were able to run the same play, or do the same thing, over and over again and have success, but because that video game taught them about the game on the field and gave them a greater appreciation for it when they see it on TV (or play it themselves). What does sim gaming mean to you? Why do you get into sim gaming and how has it changed the way you think about and play the game?