Living a Dream… Virtually

Arron Jackson focuses up as he plays one of his favorite video games, Madden NFL 16. (Photo by: Jarvis Royall/TU Student)

In high school he played baseball, he enjoyed the game of football, and loved to play basketball and soccer recreationally.  But none of these sports became a profession for Arron Jackson, and as he got older, he played these sports less and less as he chases his passion of being a physical therapist.

While he cannot play these sports as much as he would like, he still watches them faithfully.  Making sure he keeps up with the MLB, NFL, NBA, and FIFA is something he does as ritual.

“Not being able to play as much as I want won’t stop me from getting my daily fix of all the sports I love,” said Jackson.  “But you know that isn’t the only way I get involved with these sports.”

Jackson, 21, has found another way to enjoy sports, video games.  He has a Sony Playstation 4 and plays all the virtual counterparts of the sports he watches and plays.  One game in particular even has a mode where you can create a player and put him up against the rest of the actual players represented in the game.  He uses this feature to imagine himself in the MLB if he were to continue his pursuit of becoming a professional baseball player.

Arron is not the only one who does this sort of visualization.  Kyler Sims, 22, plays Madden NFL 16 as he actively pursues his dream to make it to the professional football league.

“Every time I play the game, I see myself making the same moves, making the same catches as the players I’m using,” said Sims.  “Eventually I hope to be able to play as myself in one of the games pretty soon.

While Sims is still chasing his dreams, Jackson is perfectly fine with picking up the controller as the only way to connect with professional sports.

“Over time I got over the dream of making it big and found peace with my new career path.”