‘It’s more than just a game, it’s a way of life. For years, Football Manager has dominated our lives, driving friends and family crazy with our aspirations of virtual glory.The more you win, the more you want to keep playing. The more you lose, the more you need to keep playing. It’s no wonder addiction soon grabs hold of anyone who finds themselves invested in a long-term game.’ – Excerpt from ‘8 signs you’re addicted to Football Manager‘.
It was a hot Wednesday afternoon in the year 2006. I had just returned from a tiring day at school which involved lots of football and very little studying.
As I removed my bag from my shoulders and got comfortable in bed , I stumbled upon a CD on my study table. My instinctive reaction was to approach my brother and ask him about that flashy CD -rom lying on my table. I quiet vividly remember, it was a green color CD. Anyhow, in a matter of seconds , I was to be introduced to something , which would change my recreational life for the rest of my life. FOOTBALL MANAGER by Sports Interactive.
At the time , it had very less fan following , my brother had picked it up from a national library across the street , where we lived in Singapore. Something about this game , really got me hooked on to it even before I actually started an official save.
Naturally the first club I thought about managing was Manchester United.
Just 5 minutes into playing the game , I hit the first roadblock. I wasn’t able to make the game go forward! I was completely clueless, there was no manual, and hence for an hour I just could not get the game forward. For a 10 year old , it was extremely frustrating , however my brother came just in time , to show me that a simple tap on the space-bar would be enough to move the game forward. Phew ! So close to just abandoning something I would come to adore in the future.
Football manager 2007 , was basically a framework which I made sure to understand to the very last detail. Everything from player transfers , to pitch dimensions , to highlight settings ,to in game news panels, to training etc. It was truly fascinating. I fell in love with every aspect of the game, however my results on the pitch weren’t that great with United.
Soon I was experimenting with many teams , trying out tactics , getting on the rival manager’s nerves and what not. I was truly living the football manager’s life as a 10 year old kid!
As the years went by , the game got more developed and my love affair with football manager increased exponentially. Devoting hours and hours of game time on this highly addictive game was really frowned upon by my parents , however that did not stop me from immersing myself into the realities of the football manager world. It was a beautiful feeling , you know? When you are trailing 3–0 at half time and then you decide to bring in a youth prospect from your reserves who goes onto absolutely decimate the opponents and help secure a point. The multitude of emotions a player goes through while playing this game is hard to explain in words really. Frustration accounts for about 60% , the rest is divided amongst excitement , happiness, and pride. Whether it was taking Cardiff City to the champions league semi final or East Bengal to an AFC Cup crown , every single saved Game in these 11 years of the game has taught me something about the world of football. The level of detailing that we now have in the newer generation FM games is hard to match.The effort put in by the creators of the game is quite evident. There are actual football clubs in the lower ranks of the English Domestic league system who refer to football manager to scout upcoming talents. On that note, let me tell you that FM has had a brilliant history of spotting wonder kids way before they come to the limelight in the real world. Isn’t that fascinating? It’s a true testament to the hard-work put in by the makers of the game and the level they go to scout and analyzing player potential. For example the wonderkid list of FM 08 included the likes of Igor Akinfeev, Gareth Bale , Vincent Kompany , Mata and many more like Ezequil Garay ,Benzema , who were really not under the radar of big clubs at the time.
It’s true sometimes this game can get extremely monotonous , however if the player grinds those periods of time out and manages to stay hooked on to this game , I assure you they will not regret it. I am playing Football Manager 17 now. It is probably the hardest of all the games I have played . Some of the new features like data analysis , heat zones , individual pre-match analysis have really raised the bar this time around. It will be interesting to see , to what level can this game can go on improving and remodelling itself.
For what its worth , I Hope this franchise never goes of the market for one day I wish to be involved with the makers of the game and help improve it further. Over the past 10 years , there might have been moments where I might have become an emotional wretch. However if there has been one thing that has stayed on with me forever and helped me overlook depressing moments in my life , then it has to be the phenomenon of Football Manager.