The first video game experience I had with skateboarding was the fantastic arcade game 720. This of course featured a bizarre joystick that spun 360 and the opportunity to get chased by a pack of killer bees all while an ominous god like voice would yell “Skate or die”. OK, it was the eighties and was one of those things I laugh about now but thought was kind of cool back then. You have to remember the South of the North was a far cry from sunny California or Virginia Beach.
Down the line I moved away from video games and kept skating. Then the first Tony Hawk game came out. This was a bizarre new monster and I even called in sick a few times to play through the new levels I opened. Yes, video games are freakishly addictive. I was a little junkie and knew that my dismissal from the workforce would be imminent if I didn’t get that thing out of my house. It was bad enough that I was showing up late in the morning due to all night skate sessions. This just wouldn’t fly. I quickly sold my PlayStation. I managed to keep my job and the skating continued.
Fast forward to the hear and now. The skate video game category is heating up after a few slow years. EA has dropped their ‘SKATE’ game and it’s clearly a legitimate challenge to the throne held by the Tony Hawk franchise. Units sold will tell who the clear victor is in this business case.
The More interesting scenario will be if these games introduce skating to another group of teens and tweens the way the first Tony Hawk game did. That would be one of the good things to come from a video game. These games are not just first-player skate games. These games can act as a marketing tool for skateboarding as a whole. Hopefully, more kids put down the controller and pick up a real skateboard. In the meantime watch the intro for EA’s ‘Skate’ which is packed with pros and surprise appearance from former Big Brother Editor Dave Carnie as the bum. Afterwards check out the “big picture” feature on ‘Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground.
EA ‘Game of Skate’ Intro
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground: The Big Picture