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  • Darren Young

From Pixelated Pitches to the Rage-Filled Cloud: How FIFA (FC24) Turned My Kid into a Gaming Guru (and Made Me Feel Old)

The new generation of footballer and gamer

Okay, if I have to hear one more virtual tantrum over an offside call, I might just toss the Xbox out the window. But that's the thing...there's no cassette to snap in frustration like in the good old days. Mel and I watch as Hudson navigates this world of FC24, a masterpiece of modern gaming compared to the blocky footballers of my youth.

Remember loading games from those clunky cassettes? The screeches, the waiting, then the crushing disappointment when it failed? You had a direct link to the outcome. In FC24, there's more going on than just button-mashing. Algorithms, complex coding... I swear, sometimes the game rebels against Hudson despite his best efforts.

And that's where it gets a bit scary. Let's be honest, these games aren't just about hand-eye coordination anymore. They're about split-second decisions, online rivals, and the relentless pressure to win, both virtual and within friend groups. In my day, the worst meltdown was over a rogue joystick snap.

But here's where the true rage starts. It's one thing to lose a match in FC24 because of a missed pass or a strategic error. That, at least, you can learn from. The problem is... sometimes the game simply spits in the face of footballing logic.

Seriously, how does a hulking defender like Virgil van Dijk get out-jumped by someone the size of a determined garden gnome? How does a slow-as-molasses defender suddenly transform into Usain Bolt when chasing down a striker? Forget strategy, sometimes it seems like the result is pre-determined based on which players the gaming gods have smiled upon that day.

Apparently, size, skill, and those fancy stats on their cards mean absolutely nothing when the digital coin toss doesn't go your way. So much for painstakingly building your dream team... guess we should have just consulted a fortune teller. And that's when the dreaded question echoes through the house: "Mum, Dad, can I get some FIFA points? I need a team of magically-blessed players!"

Let's be real, part of the reason I started playing FC24 wasn't just out of parental duty. It was a way to connect with Hudson, to talk tactics, players, and share that excitement...or so I thought. Asking your 14-year-old for gaming advice is humbling, to say the least.

One minute I'm trying to sound cool ("So, what are the OP formations these days?"), the next I'm the dinosaur yelling, "Slow down! My eyes can't keep up!" He's transformed into this Xbox guru, casually dismantling world-ranked players, while still somehow believing he's terrible. Talk about warped self-perception!

Figured I'd get in a bit of father-son bonding during a "friendly" match. Note: he was half-watching TikTok and still trounced me 7-1. My one goal felt like a Nobel Prize win, while he was grumpy about conceding. The days of me letting him win are long gone. I can barely keep up, whether it's his virtual sprints or his real-life stamina.

The days of Sensible World of Soccer when i was in the game.

You know, maybe I can still ping a real football better than Hudson. And for now, I'm clinging to that tiny shred of old-school superiority. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I know the day he overtakes me on the actual pitch is coming too. And honestly, a part of me will be

secretly proud even as my old-dad ego takes a minor bruising.


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