Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry is a glitch in the system, literally and figuratively. In real life, the reigning MVP is already the best basketball player on the planet, and NBA coaching staffs have no idea how to slow him down. He’s shooting 45.5 percent behind the 3-point line on nearly 11 attempts per game. This is wildly unprecedented stuff.
In the video game universe, designers are having even more trouble figuring out how they can level the playing field without eliminating Curry altogether. The goal is to make games that disallow unfair advantages, unrealistic shots and, well, glitchy "rule breakers" who can singlehandedly win games whenever they want.
But what do you do when an actual player already is an unfair advantage? That’s the Curry problem (via Forbes):
So if you’re a basketball game developer, what do you do? You spend years developing a system that rewards good shot selections and punish players for taking ill-advised long range shots, but the real-life Steph is taking and making these supposedly terrible shots. If (2K Sports Gameplay Director Mike) Wang and his team allow digital Steph to do these moves (meaning, take 25-foot bombs off the dribble) in the game without check, then that would just open the door for cheese again. So yeah, Steph has the 2K guys somewhat stumped for now. “To be completely honest, we are still looking for ways to better translate his game into NBA 2K,” says Wang. “He’s a ‘rule breaker’ when it comes to jump shooting … he becomes a problem in the video game world where we’ve been trying to train our gamers [to know] that certain types of shots should be rewarded versus others.”
Curry is a nightmare for everyone in the world except his family, friends, Warriors employees and basketball fans who frequent the Bay Area. Just look at some of the casual stuff he does on a nightly basis:
Right now he leads the NBA in scoring and is averaging 6.0 more points per game than he did last season — when, you know, he was the league’s MVP. If the season ended today, Curry would have his first scoring title and join the 50/40/90 club for the first time. How unbelievable are these sentences? They don’t belong in reality, and virtual reality doesn’t know how to deal with them.