Many, if not most sports have an off-season where athletes hang up their elite sports clothing and spend their time recuperating from wear and tear, focusing on other aspects of their lives.
The time this break takes place in can vary, with football having a winter break (extended in 2022 because of the World Cup), many winter sports having a summer break and most track and field events typically having a break around winter.
During this time, many athletes still think about sports which is part of the reason why games about sports are so popular, particularly video games based on bigger sports such as the FIFA football series, PGA Golf and the NBA 2K series.
However, many sports are taken from the real world and placed in the virtual realm, some of which are far more uncommon and unusual than others, and adapted in particularly strange and unique ways.
Football, rugby and gridiron football all have their roots in a medieval game known as mob football, where the entire populations of villages would effectively fight and sometimes kill each other to grab a ball and kick it through a church door.
Whilst all three of these sports have seen a wide variety of games of dubious quality, only one mob football game exists in the form of the surreal form of Bally Midways’ Pigskin 621 A.D.
The game, also known as Jerry Glanville’s Pigskin Footbrawl, does not have the “first score wins” rule of traditional mob football, but instead plays like a mix between rugby and American football with a smattering of ultraviolence thrown in for good measure.
In the mid-2000s, Australian video game company IR Gurus decided to make a series of games based on relatively unused sports licences.
Whilst they are perhaps best known for producing a range of games based on Australian rules football, they most infamously made games based on the Gaelic sports of Gaelic Football and Hurling.
The former, Gaelic Games: Football, was released in 2005 and was at the time the highest-selling Playstation 2 game in Ireland, inspiring IR Gurus to release both a sequel and a game based on Hurling.
All three were panned by reviewers for being barely playable and not following the rules of the games very closely.
The sport of roller derby in itself is somewhat unique as it began as a theatrical sports entertainment first before its later grassroots revival as a serious sport with a strong set of ethics and a unique style.
However, there were games based on roller derby that were less than accurate, to say the least. By far the most successful was RollerGames, based on the television series that was far more entertainment than sport.
Table tennis has received several rather unique virtual adaptations, with the first successful example taking the form of Konami’s Ping Pong, most famous in the UK for its ZX Spectrum port.
On the other end of the spectrum, table tennis’ most famous virtual outing came in 2006, when Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis released on the Xbox 360 and Wii as a somewhat strange test of the technology later used in Grand Theft Auto IV.