“Hands down, you gotta play ‘Madden NFL,’ the king of sports games. There’s no question that it was the most social game for me and my crew, because we would constantly pick up the sticks and start challenging each other. When the Owner and GM modes came into play, I was so excited to do my drafts and create players. I always created an RB with my name and size, and would play season after season. ‘Madden,’ like the real live sports we played outside our houses, bred the kind of friendly competition I hope more of today’s youth will come to experience.”
Reilly Bodycomb, MMA fighter, trainer
“‘Street Fighter 2‘ is an important milestone in gaming, and also a great introduction to many manly things. Learning how to play the game well requires dedication, hand-eye coordination, strategic thinking, and the development of split-second tactical decision making. Aside from these useful life skills, playing ‘Street Fighter’ at a young age also builds character. You learn a healthy respect for women and their ability to kick ass. You learn to appreciate diversity with the game’s multicultural cast of characters. And most importantly, you learn it doesn’t matter if you’re really fat, have stretchy arms, covered in scars, or have green skin and orange hair. If you work hard and train smart, you could be pretty bad ass and still remain uniquely you!”
“‘Battlefield 4‘ would be the game right now every man must play. I love hopping into a scout helicopter with a few of my friends and dominating every opponent I see in the air and on the ground. When you lock on the missile to an opposing target and watch the missile traveling through the air for a few seconds right before impact, you get a rush. Then BOOOOM! That’s a feeling every man should have in the virtual world.”
“It is my belief that what makes a better man is empathy and observation, so I am recommending ‘Gone Home.’ It’s a 2013 interactive story adventure game set in the ’90s—there are tons of references to X-Files, ’90s bands, and grunge culture—so it already has that going for it. The thing about this game is that the only real enemy is your lack of understanding about what’s going on, so in order to ‘fight’ the ‘enemy,’ you (i.e., the 20-something female character you’re playing) has to explore your family’s abandoned house to figure out what happened. Piecing together the story from balled-up notes, diary entries, and ticket stubs not only makes for a gripping game, but also, when you apply them to your life and figure out that your girlfriend has had a rough day based on the tone of her texts, you’ll feel like a psychic god of romance.”
“Don’t get me wrong: videogames are great. I love them. But shooting pretend guys with pretend guns in a cartoon landscape doesn’t make you a ‘man.’ Sitting across from your best friends, however, and lying to their faces? Telling England you’ll help him get into Germany, when really, you’re scheming with Germany and are going to wipe England off the map? That’ll make a man out of you. And the guy you screwed over. Get six of your buddies together, and huddle up for a few hours around a ‘Diplomacy‘ board. This is a game with no dice. Just you, your opponents, and an open map. You need their help to expand, and they need yours. But when the time is right, you’ll swear on your children that you’re going to be there for them. And then you’ll turn in your orders, and they’ll know that you’re the lying, rat bastard they always knew you were.
The true test is when the game ends. Everyone will have lied to someone, and everyone will have tasted each other’s wrath. And if you can all raise a beer and sit down together to some networked ‘Call of Duty,’ you’ll be secure in the knowledge that you are in the company of True Men.”