Entertainment July 5, 2017
I didn't kick bombs, sue me.
EA Play took place this June days before the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
The event, open to the public for the first time, was a showcase of upcoming games from Electronic Arts. Set to be there were “Fifa 18,” “Madden 18,” “Titanfall 2” and “Star Wars Battlefront 2.” I took an Uber over to what I had assumed would be an arena.
It turned out to be a bunch of trailers in a parking lot. In front of me in line were a pair of boys whose relationship went from sweet to argumentative every time the line moved. And behind was a group of guys that were generally atrocious the whole wait.
We passed a thrift store while in the huge line that offered free HIV testing. At which point, these guys made every joke about HIV/AIDS they could think of. They then made derogatory comments about women.
And later rooted for a skateboarding teenager to crash into pedestrians and/or hurt himself as he took a rare opportunity to skate on a closed street. These men were gems. I was in line with them for three hours.
When I got in line for “Fifa 18,” a guy turned around and looked at me strangely. I said hello, which is what I do sometimes when people look at me funny. He then turned around again, smiled and asked me in that annoyingly playful way, “Oh, you play soccer?”
Yes. I have played soccer before in my life. It is the most popular sport in the world. I haven’t belonged to any amateur soccer leagues even though I’d be interested because no one has ever asked me. And I don’t have the time to try to set that up on my own.
The last time I played soccer and really enjoyed it was in Ecuador in 2015. One of our guides kicked a soccer ball so hard it smacked my glasses off of my face, and it was awesome.
“Fifa?” He asked again, questioning me once again. This question I balked at. Because, at its core, he was asking me because maybe he didn’t believe that I played video games at all. I felt targeted somehow. If I said no, I would’ve been validating his idea that women didn’t play sporting games. And that’s just not true. So I lied and told him I did.
I walked up to the guy that I was about to play against. He had a glimmer of disappointment in his eyes when he saw me. Like he knew he wasn’t going to get a real match. I felt nervous, like I had to be good at it to impress this stranger.
I picked my team and we started playing. The company assumes if you’re coming to an event, you already know how to play the game, which is fair. So there was no tutorial. This guy swept past me not once, but twice, in the first match and scored. Then that demo game ended. I felt incredibly embarrassed, like I had let every actual gamer girl in the world down.
Five seconds into it, I finally figured out how to switch which player I was controlling. That was the end of my opponent scoring goals against me. I took the ball from him every single chance I got. After one particular interception, he sucked in a sharp breath and looked at me. All I could do was smile and shrug. I never did discern how to actually score in “Fifa 18,” but I learned how to not lose.
Then I hung my headphones back on their hook, and walked off to try more games. And I realized I didn’t have to be good at a single damn one of them, as long as I was having fun.
“Fifa 18” has a release date of September 29, 2017. It’ll be available with several different editions including “Fifa 18 Ronaldo Edition” and “Fifa 18 Icon Edition” which will include beloved and prolific players like Pelé. Each edition has a different cover. And they’re all available for pre-order at retailers like GameStop.
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