Why I play FIFA (rather than going outside and playing soccer)

Call me a nerd, call me a dork, call me a geek.

Call me whatever you want — I don’t care because I am a FIFA video game addict.

It’s a condition shared by many people and has claimed some of Australia’s elite sporting stars.

Parramatta Eels players Jarryd Hayne and Joseph Paulo, Western Sydney Wanderers Tahj Minniecon and Jerrad Tyson, and Wallabies superstar James O’Connor have all been struck down by the FIFA bug.

Every year the FIFA epidemic becomes larger, and more technically advanced.

My favourite FIFA 12 moment was scoring an impossible free kick with Keisuke Honda after I imported him into Manchster City.

His shot power and curve combination was unrivalled.

I wonder if he will be as powerful in FIFA 13?

Yesterday a launch was held at Parramatta stadium before the official release today.

Hayne, Paulo, Minniecon, Tyson and O’Connor were all given the opportunity to play the game on a couch in the middle of Parramatta Stadium.

O’Connor has proven he is one of the most lethal attackers in the Wallabies line-up.

Even the likes of Sonny Bill Williams have struggled to contain him.

But yesterday he was brought down by a Wanderers fan half his age.

‘‘We’re here for the launch of FIFA 13 and to meet up with a few of the boys from different codes and to see who the champ is,’’ O'Connor said.

‘‘I got knocked out pretty early by a 12 or 13-year-old.

‘‘There’s a couple of new game play modes that didn’t go into my favour — I’m not too happy,’’ he joked.

But all jokes aside he would have been hurting much like Joseph Paulo.

The Eels back-rower also experienced the wrath of a young gamer.

‘‘It’s a bit intimidating,’’ Paulo said.

‘‘His whole family is here and, if he lost, I didn’t know what would happen to me.

‘‘I think he was eight.

‘‘They said he was 13 but I’m pretty sure he was eight.

‘‘It went to extra time and he got me 2-1.

‘‘I’m pretty embarrassed but good on him. He’s done well and it was good fun.’’

The best thing about FIFA 13 is that it’s here now.

The worst thing is that us FIFA addicts have to wait another year to get our 2014 fix.

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