RBI Baseball Visualizations
2005 — Lawrence, KS
RBI Baseball is a classic video game for the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. It has always been a favorite of mine for a couple of reasons. First, it is incredibly simple to play; in order to hit the ball you press "A" at the right moment and that's it - no overcomplicated analog joystick involved.
Second, the game is different every single time. You can control some aspects of where you’d like to hit the ball, but not enough to place it exactly where you want it every time. A third reason I like the game so much is because it is one of probably 8 video games that I have ever owned (even thoughit’s technically my brother’s game).
I’ve been reading some books by Edward Tufte, one of the leaders in the field of Graphical Design, or the designing of information graphics. I’m currently reading his book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, and it has given me the urge to organize some of my own data. Seeing as how I go through phases where I’ll play a 20 minute game of RBI Baseball in order to keep my brain from shutting down between tasks, I thought RBI baseball would be a perfect statistics generator. So for the last several weeks I have been keeping records of how my players are doing as I play.
After tabulating data for a while, it made me wonder if I could represent the game differently. I’m currently exploring different ways to represent the game. Luckily, the game has a "watch" feature so I can set the game in motion and keep tabs as I watch.