When I moved from America to Europe over 5 years ago, the only car racing I had been exposed to was Nascar. Now, I’m not out to offend any die hard Nascar fans, but the whole “left, left, left” thing just isn’t for me. However, over here in the EU I made a huge discovery. Nascar isn’t the end all and be all of motor sports! There really ARE corners and races that don’t stop the second a rain drop is felt! There are many classes of motor sports, from kids trying to get the attention of the Red Bull driver program in their go-karts, to the grand daddy of them all, Formula 1.
The person whom I share my house with is a big petrol head. If he had the money, he’d have a stable of cars (as long as I got my Audi TT or Bugatti Veryon I wouldn’t care either) and he’d probably do one of the GP sports since it really doesn’t cost all that much to race. But that’s all besides the point. As I said, the boy of the house loves to watch racing so every Sunday there was a Grand Prix, the TV would be on and watching.
At first, I really didn’t pay attention. Sure, I’d look up when there was a crash but I couldn’t tell you who was racing, what the rules were, or even what teams were on the track. Then something changed in 2009. It was near of the race season and Jenson Button was very, very close to the World Championship for McLaren. I can’t remember which track it was exactly, but there were race incidents up the wazoo. Since fueling during the race was still allowed, someone’s hose got set on fire. Two of the Japanese drivers (same team I think) crashed into each other and took out each others cars. And I developed my intense hatred of the whiny Spaniard, Fernando Alonzo, when he got into a crash with s0meone else. I swear that Alonso was going to smack the guy, but there was just a lot of gesturing (picked up from the Italians in Team Ferrari?) and finger pointing.
In 2010, Formula 1 returned to BBC. Aside from the fact that I could actually understand the race commentary, the BBC does a wonderful pre-show. Jake Humphry, David Coulthard, and Eddie Jordan really catch the attention of the audience and are able to explain why things are they way they are. They explain the race rules, explain different parts on the cars, and they do fantastic interviews with both the teams and drivers. They can really get to the heart of the game and sport.
Unfortunately, Formula 1 is a game for the elitist. You either have to have won the lottery or have a rich daddy just to physically go to a race (I think for Spa we’re looking at near 200 euro for the section without a monitor and no cover from the rain…that’s just for race day too.). So watching it on TV really is the only option for us poor people out there that love the sport. And now BBC announced that they’re only going to cover 10 races in 2012 and Sky TV is going to cover the rest. Well, first off Sky isn’t even available outside of the UK and second, it costs about 600 pounds a year to subscribe to. No thanks. Sometimes I wonder if Bernie Ecclestone (president of the F1 management and is the closest thing you’d get to a real life Scrooge.) has a heart or if it’s just made of money.
However, thankfully, tabletop gaming isn’t as elitist as Formula 1. Anyone can sit down and play because chances are, someone else has the books and some dice to loan you for the session. Tabletop gaming doesn’t care how much money you have in your pocket, how educated you are, what your social economic situation is, and it can’t be held hostage by a government that can’t agree on anything. Sure, there’s what I like to call “gaming snobs.” Those are the people who think they know everything there is to know and won’t bother to try a new system. We see those a lot at gaming conventions. However, when it comes down to the fact that you don’t have those last few dollars to get a movie ticket in this day and age, you can turn to gaming and use your imagination to entertain yourself for hours on end.
Anyone can tabletop game! Really!