Walter Benjamin notes that the film actor lacks the opportunity of the stage actor to adjust to the audience during a performance. In turn, the audience member takes the role of detached critic, identifying with the camera rather than directly with actor. Though the professional athlete is capable of adjusting to audience members during a performance, this only assumes significance for the athlete's uncertainty-of-outcome identity or orientation.

As a direct result of Marvin Miller and free agency in professional sport, however, abstractions of past performance — in the form of statistics — have assumed central significance in any athlete's quest for labour mobility. Thus, an identity charged with "putting up numbers" has become a necessity for those looking to improve their financial standing (particularly in sports with a high cyborg ratio).

So in much the same way that the audience member identifies with the camera to criticize a film actor's performance, the sports videogamer identifies with the statistics kept by the league — the tools that allows for the manufacture of the videogame — to criticize an athlete's performance. Indeed, to paraphrase Benjamin, sports simulations need not respect the performance of the athlete as a whole. And the resulting disembodiment caused by the simulation's creation suggests that the athlete's body is not respected as a whole, either.


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