December 9, 2005
Grappling with Video Games

I would like to direct your attention to a recent post on the Inside Video Games Weblog entitled "Midway Gets in the Wrestling Ring." Thanks to the brilliant scholar and fellow C3 media analyst Ivan Askwith for pointing this story out for me.

The posting focuses on the wrestling organization TNA which airs on Spike TV and their licensing of a new video game, to compete in the market with all the releases from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

The WWE, under Vince McMahon, is an exemplar in many ways in using various media effectively, and this posting features reasons why the WWE has made such a name for itself in the video game market in particular.

The WWE games were revolutionized in recent years by offering various modes of play, including not only the player vs. player match option and a career option, which allows the player to enter the complex area of building a WWE career, etc.

Currently, TNA offers a successful alternative to the WWE but only on a small scale. It will be interesting to see how their reputation in the video game industry develops. If their property is attempted to be constantly prepared to the WWE and their accomplished development of video games, it might not be fair.

In the meantime, though, WWE's Smackdown vs.RAW 2006 will almost certainly be a hit, shipping this week for Playstation.

Do any of you have any thoughts on the video game/wrestling crossover or have any experience of your own? Since I am the least inclined to play video games of our fellow posters, I have only experienced these games when playing with friends. After all, I know that if I ever started, it would be like eating Pringles...I'd never stop.