Sports, sports, sports! Everyone loves sports don’t they? We’re just a big old sports-loving nation. Well, I’ve got some news for you, buddy. Future society isn’t content with the boring, pedestrian sports we have today.
Whether you’re living in a grim dystopia, ruled by scheming corporate overlords, or just trundling about a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the future sports punter wants to raise the stakes. So you’ll be in for something brutal, from a more basic age, or something too convoluted and futuristic for our puny, antiquated brains to understand. Gladiatorial variations are popular, as are violent evolutions of today’s games. Future sport is big business. Future sport is life and death. Future sport is secretly critiquing society as a whole. So sit back, pick a team and get ready for kick off with the Top Ten Future Movie Sports.
10. Thunderdome | Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
“Two men enter, one man leaves.” Thunderdome’s rudimentary, yet enduring appeal makes it the sport of choice for your motley assortment of radiation scorched, wasteland freaks in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Aunty Entity’s (Tina Turner) forging a new world order with blood sport justice and a town fuelled by pig poop. If she wants to beef with you, you’ll find yourself locked up in the ultimate steel cage death match – bungee jumping for weapons and trading knuckle sandwiches with lunatic ex-cop Max Rockatansky, or gigantic brick shithouse, Blaster.
9. Robot Boxing | Real Steel
If Real Steel is to be believed, all human boxing and fighting will shortly be making way for real life Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Whereby giant punchy androids beat seven bells out of each other, under the control of a human operator, like giant radio-controlled cars. Evidently, this groundbreaking technology will not really be employed elsewhere in society – it’s only clear application being to enhance robotic fisticuffs. Outside of the big leagues, you might find yourself trawling round country fairs, ala Hugh Jackman, putting in a shift in as both the world’s worst robot boxer and the world’s worst Dad. Conveniently putting aside your son’s 11 odd years of abandonment issues in the face of robo-bonding and a profitable fight card.
8. The Grid | TRON
On the one hand, TRON‘s neon streaked, gladiatorial combat (are you noticing a theme yet?) is merely a video game. But on the other hand, if you find yourself beamed into the grid by the malevolent Master Control Programme (MCP), ala computer boffin Kevin Flynn, the texture of your reality is gonna end up pixelated. If it’s not bad enough that you have to prat about in a fluoro trimmed leotard, evil henchman Sark is going to make you play a deadly frisbee / Jai alai combo. You’ll have to hop about a dissolving circular platform and whizz a ball back and forth across the void, in the hope of obliterating your electronic nemesis. Find your way out of that sticky wicket and they’ll have you and your computer friends – Tron and Ram – speeding around an arena on a sultry light cycle superbike, trying to get your red tinged opponents to crash into walls and ‘derez’.
7. The Running Man | The Running Man
This one’s stretching the sports definition a bit, as technically The Running Man is a game show, but what kind of sports article would this be if it didn’t cheat a bit? To that end, consider this entry to be the performance enhancing, anabolic steroid choice of the list. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Ben Richards, wrongly convicted of massacring people with a helicopter gunship during a food riot, and sentenced to compete in a live, televised gladiatorial battle. His prize? Freedom itself. Before long, Arnie, Yaphet Kotto and Maria Conchita Alonso are offing ‘stalkers’ left, right and centre and alerting the world to the manipulative media and the corrupt forces behind their favourite sport and the government. And you thought F.I.F.A. was bad! Subtlety was not a byword for this production, that’s for sure. So get yourself in front of the tube, crack a coldie, and watch the state collapse. The revolution will be televised. Who knew?
6. Pod Race | Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace
Hard to tell whether this one is technically a future sport or not since it’s set ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away’, but we’ll go with it for the sake of the list. When the residents of Tatooine are not scrapping in the Mos Eisley cantina or popping down to the Toshe Station for some power converters, you will likely find them taking in a spot of Pod Racing, which is basically a no-holds-barred, alien version of Motocross. A bunch of souped up, high-powered speeders zoom around an off-road racecourse, avoiding Tusken Raiders, and trying not to get blown to smithereens by pod race jerk, Sebulba. Anakin Skywalker, the future dark lord of The Sith is, at this point, content to merely irritate everyone, half build a droid and creep on Queen Amidala while hepped up on Midichlorians. But young ‘Annie’ does eventually have claim to being “the best star pilot in the galaxy,” so when he bets the farm on the outcome of the Pod Race, an exciting day is on the cards. So find yourself a nice spot in the stands – preferably in the twin sunshine, and away from the Hutts – and cheer on your favourite podracer. “Yippee!”
5 more future sports on the next page…