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Review: Playing PES 11 While Listening to MLB Audio

Pair your media experience with Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus.

A teacher of mine in high school — one who was very enthusiastic about what I’m almost certain is called “experiential education” — had a number of guiding principles by which he conducted his pedagogical self. Of these, one he’d repeat pretty often concerned the idea of “authoring” one’s education. “A student,” this teacher would say, “needs to become the author of his education — of his experiences, in general.”

Though I’ve likely fallen short of this ideal — too many “experiences,” it seems, involve swimming nude in a public water source, an activity which I regard as indecent on multiple levels — it’s an idea with merit, this. The passive consumption of experiences/ideas/media is wrong not on a moral level, as many hippies/communists/Portlanders would argue, but on an aesthetic level. Which is to say, it’s imperative that we tailor our experiences to our own specific preferences and talents; otherwise, said experiences will surely underwhelm.

Today, I’d like to use this space to address an activity I’ve recently “authored” and which I believe approximates Adam and Eve’s garden here on Earth — namely, playing Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (PES 11) for the PlayStation 3 while listening to a baseball game on MLB.com’s Gameday Audio.

While the description is pretty straightforward — you just play PES 2011 while listening to a baseball game on Gameday Audio — there are some particulars that deserve further attention.

Particulars like the following, I mean.

On the Appropriate Game Mode to Use in PES
The appropriate game mode to use in PES is Master League.

On Choosing a Club
There are two — and maybe more — criteria to choosing a club. The first is, one oughtn’t pick a club that’s already fantastic. Barcelona, Manchester United, even Bayern Munich: these clubs are already great. You’re proving nothing by winning with them. More rewarding is to take a side that would normally be in the relegation zone, such that, when you win, you experience a hundred satisfactions.

The second criteria is to consider picking a team from a place you might actually visit someday — particularly, if the people from said place don’t-a speak-a the English. One time, for example, I visited Bari, Italy, which club (i.e. A.S. Bari) I was managing in an earlier iteration of PES. I found myself, a not-great speaker of Italian, at a New Year’s party. The Italians there, about as confident in their English as I was/am in my Italian, were reluctant to start conversations — until, however, I mentioned A.S. Bari. They (i.e. these Italian people) were shocked that a little American person would know basically the entire roster of their Serie B team.

Needless to say, we all ended swimming nude together in a public water source. (Although, to be fair, that’s as common as saying “Hello, how are you?” in Italy.)

On “Playing” the Game
It’s important to note that, when I say “play” PES 2011, that’s not exactly what I mean. In fact, I don’t “play” the game, at all. Rather, like a real-live Mister, I conduct transfers, select the starting eleven, and customize the team’s game plan. After that, however, I prefer to leave the team alone, allowing the computer to control my side for me. This way my ability as a button-pusher don’t distort my talents as an excellent roster-constructerer.

On Which Audio Feed to Select
This is something I can’t answer fully. Anecdotally, I can say that the Brewers’ and Red Sox’ radio broadcasts are excellent — for Bob Uecker and Joe Castiglione, respectively. (I believe, however, that Castiglione’s partner Dave O’Brien is a step down from Jerry Trupiano.) As noted yesterday, Pittsburgh radio colorman Bob Walk seems to be pretty good, too.

Regarding Adult Beverages
Drink them — preferably in tandem with a delicious snack, such as one of the varieties of Kettle Chips or Trader Joe’s Mediterranean hummus.