Where “High Heat” Has a Whole New Meaning

I watched the Giants win the World Series for the first time since 1954. In a sports bar in the Bay Area, no less. I normally watch sports from home, sitting on the couch, or lying in bed. But these days, I don’t get cable, we just don’t watch too much of it.

It was fun. The crowd was loud, but really pretty well-behaved. The most memorable moments for me were the deep flies. The first was Posey’s long ball that Cruz ran down on the warning track, succeeding where he had failed on the prior batter, whose dying quail was just beyond his reach.

Then there was Renteria’s game-winning home run. For most of the flight of the ball, the outcome was in doubt. Those of us in the bar were silent until we saw it drop safely in roughly the third row. By contrast, Cruz’s home run for Texas in the bottom half of that inning was never in doubt. The swing, the sound and the lower hang time all said “home run”.

What makes baseball special to me is suspense. Not knowing what the next pitch will bring. Not knowing if that fly ball will make it to the seats or get run down. I love that delicious moment when you don’t know if the ball will be caught or not. I also love the little crazy moments, when what ought to be routine is not. But we didn’t see any of those last night.

I have talked to some folks who really don’t get baseball. They decry the lack of action. I get their point, but I think they miss the point of baseball. Which is suspense, not action. It is a Hitchcock thriller, not a Stallone action flick. The world is big enough to contain both.

But this thought got me wondering. Would it be possible to capture this sense of suspense and drama in an MMORPG? Or in some online game, not necessarily an RPG. MMORPG’s seem to focus more on action, and it’s understandable. There are a lot of Stallone fans out there.

Of course, maybe that game already exists. In Eve Online, at least in PvP. At least once I’ve been aligning while the target alarm is going. I did not know, nor did they, whether they would lock and scram me before I got into warp. And that would make all the difference. Kind of like waiting to see if that long fly is fair or foul.

But I’d like to see more things like this in MMO’s. There are a lot of Hitchcock fans out there, after all.

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