an evaluation essay of Out of the Park Baseball for school
OUT OF THE PARK BASEBALL
Out of the Park Baseball is a difficult game to describe. Is it even a game? Is it a simulation? Is it a community based hobby? Can it be true that out of the Park Baseball is all three? There is no button mashing, no hand-eye coordination needed. This is a text based simulation, a game that is played with the brain. Out of the Park Baseball is the best sports management simulation on the market because of it customization, statistical depth and community.
Out of the park baseball has unsurpassed customization tools. In many sports simulations, the designers are attempting to replicate current or historical situations of professional or college sports leagues. The effort to accomplish this gives the user minimal flexibility. Out of the Park Baseball does the opposite; it gives the user the ability to create almost any baseball world they can think of. A user can attempt to re-create baseball history, mix historical and fictional aspects or go all the way to completely fictional universes. It is not just the basic league structure that the user can customize, it also has a flexible financial, coaching and scouting system. But where Out of the Park Baseball really stands out is in statistical depth.
Statistical output is the meat of any sports simulation but the backbone of statistical output are the ratings systems and simulation engine. In Out of the Park Baseball the ratings system is a highly complex system that breaks down the various skills that it takes to play baseball and assigns a numerical value for potential talent and current ability. It is not just the physical abilities or running, throwing and hitting that the program tries to simulate, it also assigns a value to less tangible qualities like work ethic, intelligence, leadership & greed then combines these ratings with a customizable preferred set of statistical totals and simulates each interaction, from “on the field” all the way to contract negotiations. These creations can feel real enough for users to practice the 7 stages of decision making, as defined by UMass Dartmouth (2011). Identify the decisions to be made, gathering information, examine alternatives, weighing evidence, make decisions, and take action and review decisions and consequences. A member of a robust online community has shared a story about how he uses Out of the Park baseball in his classroom to engage his students while practicing decision making.
The community that has evolved is an important part of the success of out of the Park Baseball game engine. Not only has the Out of the Park baseball community helped define the direction of customization and statistical engine, the members share, with blog like write-ups called dynasties, some of these users create whole fictional worlds as detailed as any novel. The community members also tips, strategies, failures and successes. Some community members compete in micro-communities called online leagues where people of diverse backgrounds and locations get together and not just compete to see who can play the simulation better than others, but to become real close knit communities that develop real relationships.
Out of the Park Baseball has become a product that is greater than the sum of its parts. Customization gives the user maximum flexibility. Statistical depth provides a richer individual experience. The on line capability gives the individual user the opportunity for an even richer community experience. As a result Out of the Park Baseball has become the best sports management simulation yet made.
Decision-making process. (2011). – UMass Dartmouth. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from