Rockstar Pickleball

Rockstar is known for their gritty open-world games like Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto — games that have an almost masochistic attention to detail and content that pushes the envelopes of social morays and political correctness. I personally have spent an inordinate amount of time mucking about in these sandboxes.

In fact, I’ve gone so far as to shout into the void about additions I would love to see in Red Dead Online, and then pointed out several mods that Red Dead Redemption 2 players could use to improve the base game. Twice.

As much as Rockstar is known for the amount crime and debauchery in their stable of games — which also includes other classics like Bully, Manhunt, and The Warriors — there’s one game that came from way out in left of field. I am, of course, talking about the 2006 title Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis for Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.

Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis.

It’s just wild to me that the studio that rocked the political foundations of American society with a hot coffee mod scandal (albeit not entirely of their own making), only a year or two later somehow also managed to release what is arguably considered the gold standard of table tennis games. I mean, it’s not like there is a whole swath of table tennis games to contend with, but that reality only makes this game stand out all the more.

At least with the studio’s Midnight Club series, it was competing in a genre that was fiercely competitive and chockablock with other racers. But with Table Tennis, well, I’m struggling to think of, really, any other table tennis game aside from Konami’s 1985 Ping Pong, which was available on the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Famicom Disk System, MSX, and ZX Spectrum. How many of those game systems do you even remember? (Editor’s note: The Famicom was called the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan, so you’re probably familiar with that one at the very least.)

Which brings me to Pickleball. Apparently, or at least according to NPR earlier this year, Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. It is incredibly popular with all age demographics, including older folks — you know, the kind who probably had a Wii and played tennis via Wii Sports back in the day.

So I prognosticate that it will only be a matter of time before Rockstar will bring Pickleball to life in video-game form, using a tweaked version of the engine they used for Table Tennis. By doing so, they will catch the world with its pants down yet again.

Rockstar Pickleball

So get on it, Rockstar. Just don’t do it dirty, like you did with Red Dead Online, lest the clowns will have to descend once again.

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