Sports in Fantasy Worlds

Posted: August 4, 2012 in fantasy, writing
Tags: , , ,

This is  repost of article I wrote a couple of years back but I thought was worth brining back again due to the Olympics being on.

The grand final of Australian Rules Football (better known as aussie rules or footy down here in Australia) is on this weekend and it got me thinking about sport in fantasy worlds and stories. Man has played sports as long as they have been around – the Greeks and Romans had their Games and the origins of a number of modern sports such as soccer, rugby and cricket are centuries old. I was delighted to see in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World the sailors playing a version of cricket when they were on the Galapogas islands.

Many fantasy worlds and authors seem to glaze over sports – I guess that when you are busy saving the world there is little time to kick a ball around. Gladiator style games seem the most prominent, though other types of sports do crop up. Raymond E. Fiest has a soccer style game develop though a number of books, which is a nice touch, while other authors make up their own bizarre and often highly dangerous types of games.

In an effort to make a believable world I realised I had to include some form of sports to it. Of course, being Australian, this will be flavoured by what we play here, notably cricket and aussie rules (though most likely not exactly as they are currently played). Other sports will have to be played in different nations, so there is amble opportunity for other styles of sports and games to make appearances.

Speaking of aussie rules – I highly recommend people check it out of they can. It is a truly spectacular sport which is happily slowly gaining followings in other countries. Initially this was spread by the Aussie Diaspora but it is being taken up in numerous nations and now has proper amateur leagues in such places as New Zealand, USA, Canada, the UK, Denmark, South Africa, Samoa, PNG, Nauru, Ireland, Germany and others. It’d be great to see it become a major world sport – a dream I have if I ever became a successful author would be to actively support such moves.

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