I’ve already talked about The Ramp, an upcoming skateboarding game/digital toy. But since then I’ve gotten my hands on it, and I’ve realized that it has one very big issue — it’s making me want to learn to skateboard in real life.
That would be fine and all, except that I’m an adult who is very afraid of teens and also wiping out and chipping my dental work. Yes, of course adults can skate, but the prospect of awkwardly cruising a few feet down the sidewalk before bailing is more intimidating than actually drowning in the ocean while trying to learn to surf — an idea I briefly entertained after watching Point Break for the first time earlier this year.
Maybe it’s because they were obviously fantastical, but I don’t think the Tony Hawk games ever made me feel this way. THPS2 is one of my favorite games of all time, but I wasn’t one of those kids who made Rune Glifberg pop a Christ Air and thought, “I could do that.” The Ramp is different, though. It’s a much more down-to-earth kind of game, and while you can get a fair amount of air and pull off some sweet tricks, it’s much more about the rhythm and vibe of the experience than chasing a high score — the game doesn’t even keep score, in fact.
And skating has evolved a lot since I was a kid. People are bringing tech to the table that’s completely deranged and probably straight-up blasphemous to some. Matt Tomasello, for instance, does some truly wild shit with hinged boards that seem to transform under his feet in mid-air.
Obviously, that’s high-level stuff and takes years to master. But between slickly-produced skate videos and The Ramp, a part of me is itching to head to a skate shop and embarrass myself picking out a board. I live pretty close to a museum where I see kids casually skating most days, and I figure if I get up really early I can probably be there before they’re awake to practice the basics without getting made into a TikTok meme.
If you’d like to hear more about The Ramp, check out this week’s episode of our podcast Channel F, “Tight On Souls,” in which we also discuss Skyward Sword, Death’s Door, and Pokemon Unite.
Has a game ever made you want to pick up a hobby or sport? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.