June 16, 2024

As 3,000+ Ticsmen go nuts on Blackpool’s South Shore this Saturday, the nearby Norbreck Castle Hotel will be preparing for something considerably more… Sensible.

Jon Hare, founder member of 80s and 90s video game powerhouse Sensible Software, shall be overseeing a virtual football tournament as part of the annual PLAY Blackpool gaming festival just 5 miles down the Promenade from those wild championship celebrations.

The computer game in question will be Hare’s newest creation, Sociable Soccer. It’s the spiritual successor to Sensible Soccer, the multiple platform, multiple award winning football simulation your uber cool dad might have played. Go and ask him now!

Sensi, as it was affectionately known, was far ahead of its contemporaries. Running at a much quicker and smoother pace, it was structurally accomplished and aesthetically pleasing beyond its technical level. If you’re being cheesy, you might even say it was the Wigan Athletic 2015/16 of its time.

But the Sensible series also became known for its creative player names. In the absence of an official license, one would expect to see totally absurd made up players such as Max E Mumpower, Jacob Crackers and Will Griggson-Fire grace the virtual football field. Bonkers and utterly unrealistic, but vaguely amusing nonetheless.

If you do decide to attend Hare’s Q&A panel on Sunday, dear reader, please remember to ask him about the mythical XBOX joypad that controls real life. Internet rumour has it that he did indeed invent such a device, which, in conjunction with an anonymous local video game expert, has been used to guide Wigan to automatic promotion this year.

Oh, and if you’re feeling brave enough, casually reference Fish Athletic, Bad Words United (with superstars Crud and Umbrella), Dog Wednesday, At The Chippy and Chinese Food – all genuine teams from International Sensible Soccer’s legendary Custom League.

That’s if you expect to be anything close to coherent on Sunday afternoon, of course.

PLAY Blackpool website

More about Jon Hare’s Q&A panel

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