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2131 And Beyond

Ballhawk Video Game

Sports video games these days are getting more and more graphically and realistically intense, with new versions of top hits like Madden and NBA Live being produced on an annual basis. Each of these games, from top companies such as Electronic Arts, comes with new features, better imaging, and updated rosters every year. Heck, they even make video games now for sports like rugby and cricket.

In Maryland, there is a big push for a lacrosse video game (Maryland has this presumptuous thought that the whole world loves lacrosse like we do, but people here fail to recognize that most states don't have multiple top lacrosse schools like Loyola, College Park, and Johns Hopkins). Gaming industries are bringing to life more real world type games like The Sims. Combining the concept of sports with actual life happenings, I figure that it is time for us citizens of to plea for a ballhawking video game: Ballhawk 2011.

Here are the basics of the game:

  • The main game menu sets you up as an individual with a home city, and you can set your schedule on a main calendar (or you can play a simpler single game mode, where every option and setting is custom per that round)
  • You have a budget each month for spending on game tickets, items, and you can save it to use for travel to other ballparks outside of your hometown
  • You face challenges of different sorts that can help you in things like getting a better spot in line and getting to know the ushers and workers at the ballpark
  • There are also challenges that help you with building up your attributes. Just as in other sports games where players are set on a scale of attributes like strength and agility that you can build up, the ballhawk attributes in this game that you can improve upon include speed, strength, ability to catch, jumping, ability to talk to players, fans, and ushers, and more
  • Once in the park, you have control over where you go, with detailed specifications like section, row, and even seat that you're at
  • During batting practice, the top right corner of the screen will show which player is currently hitting, and also list the other batters in that group, so you know where to go in the park
  • When a ball is coming, if you are located within a certain range to catch it, a series of buttons will appear and you will have to press them in sequence in time in order to make the catch (the higher your attribute level on catching ability, the more room for error there is on this task), if you mess that up, the ball will either hit your glove and fall, fall short, or sail over your head (like in real life when you miss, you will still be able to go for it on the ground still)
  • If a ball is on the ground, you can go for it with a different button, but depending on your strength along with luck, you may or may not get it depending on who else is there
  • You can also shout to players, or go to front rows to talk to them, and different available sentences for you to choose from will pop up in hopes of getting a baseball from them

Things you can unlock upon certain ballhawking achievements include, but are not limited to:

  • Lines in other languages available for asking foreign players for baseballs
  • New gloves and apparel
  • Old ballparks to try out during single game mode, like Shea, Yankee Stadium, and more
  • Commemorative baseballs

Some more fun features of the game would include:

  • Playing against friends using wireless connection opens up a whole new type of level when you compete versus others
  • Going to all parts of the park during the game to go for foul balls, home runs, 3rd out toss-ups, and postgame giveaways from teams and umpires
  • Along with baseballs, you can collect autographs by finding spots with players throughout the game
  • You can meet other people, gaining friends and enemies throughout the game, and even exchange items

Besides ballhawking goals, there will be badges and awards that you can earn through other actions, such as giving balls to others, helping others out, and more.

These are just the preliminary thoughts that I had for a ballhawking video game that should be played by the masses.

What would you add? Surely I missed some good things, and this concept will only look best with ideas from everybody.

Avi Miller is a contributing columnist to and also maintains a Blog.

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