FIFA Backstories #2: It’s not a Goal Celebration, It’s a Metaphor for the Human Condition

Thanks to FIFA 14‘s incredibly realistic defensive AI, your full back has decided to wander into the defensive midfield position and fall over in a fit of ennui. In doing so he takes out your actual defensive midfielder, allowing your opponent to play a simple (though its mother loves it) through ball onto an unrushing winger. Having scored with more ease than at the Haçienda, they celebrate accordingly by running in circles across half the pitch while the scorer hold his hand up to his ear, as if to say “I can’t hear you any more”.

While you watch the inevitable full length replays of said goal – noting that your keeper appears to have taken falling-over lessons from extras in 1980s Doctor Who – the thought occurs to you: your opponent couldn’t hear you anyway. What, then, is he trying to say with this goal celebration?

It could be that they have silenced the supporters who are attending the game. Generated by the FIFA game engine, these repetitive pixellated avatars are the least representative rendering of any known object. If this was really your team’s support, then how come the ground is full? Not only that, but everyone is moving.

What’s more, they’re moving energetically.

They’re perpetually bobbing up and down, waving scarves, doing jigs and singing, like colour-coded Buckland Hobbits. If they were anything like real football supporters, everyone would be slumped in multi-coloured plastic chairs eating a pastry-encased-minced-dog-arse while a fat bloke in a leather jacket called everything a cunt. What’s with all this “party atmosphere” shite?

Your opponent clearly isn’t doing it to wind up fictitious and implausible punters. They’d carry on with their simpleton larking if a giant Loki appeared and started bumming the sky. Your opponent is attempting to provoke a reaction in you.


Illustration: Marianne MacRae

Occam’s razor (its sharpness maintained by the remaining Templars using a special one-sided pyramid) dictates that this is probably because your opponent is an arsehole, whose only talents are clenching and emitting coffee-coloured nuggets of nightmare. But let’s be generous. It’s easy to hate. Even Morrissey has worked that one out, and he’s constantly feverish from the lack of beefy beefy beef beef ingestion. It’s just as likely, given the Cartesian nightmare that is online gaming, that your opponent is lonely, this game their only outlet. They are guilty of nothing more than the sin of pride.

Pride is still a sin, mind, and must be punished. You destroy them 4-1, and make sure to replicate their celebration with every single one of your goals. You tap out a mocking message in all caps reading “I CAN’T HEAR YOU” and then block them so they can’t reply with their rubbish brain and twatty hands.

You then eat your steak flavoured McCoys in celebration, secure in the knowledge that your opponent is probably crying into their semi and will never see another living human being for another three days. You are strong. They are weak. It’s Survival of the Fittest, and you don’t even have to leave your sofa.

Isn’t technology wonderful?


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