Horde For Life

Considering caring about yesterday’s football game, Ilya Somin compares it to caring about fictional characters in books or films:

…vicarious identification with fictional characters is fun. Occasionally, it even has some educational value. The same, of course, goes for vicarious identification with sports teams. It’s fun to root for your team and hate its rivals, even if your initial reasons for identifying with Team A rather than Team B are essentially arbitrary (usually that you grew up in City A rather than City B).

Not everyone enjoys vicarious identification, of course. And among those who do, some prefer to satisfy their craving by means other than rooting for sports teams. But vicarious identification is a common and deeply rooted emotion — one that probably has biological roots. And it’s not really that surprising that it leads some people to root for sports teams in much the same way as it leads others to identify with fictional characters.

It is not a terribly long post, if you want to see how your views of Thrall and Elizabeth Bennet are essentially comparable — and if you write WoW/Pride and Prejudice crossover fan fiction, bonus! It links to preceding posts of the “who cares which team wins?” sort. I grew up in metro Detroit, so while my Facebook feed had some few comments on the game itself, it really lit up when the Chrysler/Eminem commercial came on. Hometown pride is much the same thing.

: Zubon

3 thoughts on “Horde For Life”

  1. I wonder to what extent hometown pride/ nationalism is deliberately fostered by government to try to get people to stay put and be productive in their local community. And I wonder about how it works in an age of globalism where there are probably tribes in the amazon who support manchester united.

  2. Very nice. I noticed something that bothered me about the community in the game I was playing last night (and I’m sure its more universal than just one game), but just the overwhelming need for people to show how much they didn’t care about the game. Like, an “I care less than you do” competition. Like not caring meant that you had more gamer cred, or made you a rebel or something. But really, you can tell that it was all a front. They knew/cared more than they were saying, but completely down-playing it to seem better than everyone else. But because of the obvious front, it just came across as pretentious and being a jerk.

    Last time I checked, being knowledgeable about the real world and world events was a good thing, not something to be ashamed of and hide. Or did the style change and I just not notice? :\

  3. That’s actually really interesting and obvious, and yet I’ve never really thought of it before.

    Generally speaking, while I like watching sports I consider people who getting emotionally invested in ‘their’ team to be rather retarded, for lack of a better word.

    But then, I genuinely get frustrated when my favorite character in a book gets dealt another shitty turn and such. Which, now that I think about it, is pretty much the same thing.

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