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MTV Multiplayer: Game Diary - An Awkward Conversation About Wrestling

Stephen Totilo from MTV Multiplayer writes:

"I walked four blocks south and one block east from MTV headquarters yesterday to play some upcoming games from Midway. Among them was "TNA Impact!," a September game for PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii based on the generally more athletic if not as charismatic company of wrestlers who compete against the industry's dominant league, WWE.

Two of TNA's most physically dynamic stars, Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles were at the event, playing the game and standing within earshot while the game's designer gave me a demo. The game was pretty fun. I mostly button-mashed and wound up, playing as Daniels, performing some cool high-flying moves and, when in danger, issuing some vicious uppercuts to my virtual opponent's most sensitive body part.

I ran into trouble when I tried to discuss the story with the game designer. Specifically, I wasn't sure how to ascertain whether the story treats wrestling as - were the wrestlers listening? - "real." It's 2008. We all know pro wrestling is a performance, a physically demanding one that is less combat and more coordination. But still, the word "fake" doesn't roll of the tongue when wrestlers are standing nearby. It seems so insulting. I asked about the story and the designer told me it's mostly being kept secret for now. I asked if he could at least say whether it treats wrestling as if it was real or if it acknowledges that it's f… I paused. Second try: Or does it treat wrestling like it's a job, I asked?"

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