Volleyball may seem like a pretty benign game, either played in a gym with referees or, as glamorized in the true life story of military pilots, Top Gun, while oiled up on a beach. There is, however, a dark side to this game that many are unaware of that makes me surprised Nintendo took a gamble releasing this game for their “Sports Series”.
Once such incident happened in 2012 at SUNY Geneseo. Members of the women’s volleyball team were bound, blindfolded and forced to drink alcohol against their will. Rising volleyball star, Laura Galvin and 7 other members of the team found themselves with hazing and unlawful dealing with a child. One of the innocent minors received a chipped tooth from being so intoxicated that she fell and hit her mouth on a table. All of the hazed volleyball players had excessively high blood alcohol levels.
And then there is the case of Lauren Cook. The Nebraska volleyball standout allegedly side-swiped a motorcycle while driving on a suspended license. She had previously been cited with speeding multiple times before the incident. The innocent motorcycle enthusiast she side-swiped ended up with a broken leg for their troubles.
Let us not forget the standard attire of the average female ‘beach volleyball’ athlete. Most are barefoot, clad only in revealing bikini bottoms and a sports bra. This is obviously unacceptable and at least Nintendo set their game inside a gymnasium and chose to ignore the morally lose ‘beach’ version of the sport. Thankfully, the players on Nintendo’s ‘Volleyball’ are acceptably clothed in proper volleyball uniforms. That’s pretty much the only positive thing I can say about the game itself. Nintendo didn’t put much thought into the gameplay as I found it quite confusing to follow which players you are controlling. Also, the graphics are relatively remedial, much like other games in the “Sports Series”. This is the same system that was running “Popeye”, “Donkey Kong” and the visual LSD fest of “Super Mario Bros.”, yet they didn’t put very much effort into making “Volleyball” look like a million bucks. I can hardly blame them.
Most of the incidents of volleyball deviancy seem to take place post 2008. I think we all know what happened in 2008 that set this nation on a path where incidents like this have become the norm. The 1980s were a more morally sound time, with strong conservative leadership in the White House. Volleyball in the 1980s was a sport played by Americans proud of their nation; either to defend this country’s honor in the Olympic Games or as a break from patrolling the skies to protect us from the Red Threat of Communism.