Fake Sports That Should Be Real

For every awesome fake game that successfully transitioned from fiction to the real world (hi, Quidditch!), there are countless others that we'll never see, except in our fantasies. However, that doesn't mean we can't fantasize about how amazing some of these would be to play, or even just to watch live while sucking on $10 chili dogs and $15 cups of warm Coors.

​Parrises Squares

Parrises Squares is a game that has been mentioned across multiple Star Trek series. We know it's an intense sport played by two teams of four players. Some people liked substituting in different players, while Riker frowned on the practice—it's unclear whether that was his opinion, or an indication of different regions playing different rules.

We also know athletes wear padded uniforms, use an impressively named "ion mallet," and players must navigate around a ramp, a feat that sometimes leads to injury. However, we still don't know what people are supposed to do with the mallet, what the playing court looks like, or even how the game is scored. There's tons of room for Earth interpretation, is what we're saying.

So, what would make this mysterious Trek sport of choice fun to watch? Well, we know that players are prone to injuries, so, in the finest NASCAR style, it would probably be fun to see who (and what) gets wrecked. The game is also presumably really engaging—it's cool enough to get those peace-loving Starfleet hippies playing it all over the galaxies, and Starfleet Academy cadets are prone to trashing their campus after a major win. Plus, we get hints that this is a 24th-century American Gladiators, with characters getting hit in the ribs, getting cuts on their faces, and breaking their wrists. And really–if we didn't like seeing people in colorful costumes beating the hell out of each other, chances are we wouldn't have so damn many comic book movies.


Among its many weird visions of the future, Futurama brought us Blernsball, which is what happens to baseball when everyone decides America's greatest pastime is too boring.

Blernsball shares many similarities with baseball, like pitchers throwing a ball that batters must hit. However, there are some key differences: the ball is tethered to the field, though it's not uncommon for powerful hits to sever the ball from its tether. In fact, it's so common, there's a special slot in the billboard that, if a ball breaks its tether and flies into the slot, allows the hitting team an automatic victory. There are also some impressively insane special rules, such as too many balls landing in a particular hole in the middle of the field triggering a "multiball" effect, in which dozens of balls are shot onto the field.

It's just such a delightfully unpredictable game—effects like multiball, and the subsequent effect in which a batter gets a badass motorcycle, mean games would be chaotic in the best possible way. There are other outsize features, like giant spiders near the bullpen and players launching balls into orbit around the planet. What's more, Blernsball takes performance-enhancing drugs in a completely different direction, mandating that all players use them. This insures all humans, aliens, and robots are performing at absolutely peak condition. Some would say that's ethically very gray, but it would make for one hell of a spectacle for those in the stands.


Set in the impossible-to-imagine future of 2018, Rollerball introduced us to the game where players use either roller skates or motorcycles to travel around a track. The two teams try to throw a steel ball into a small magnetic goal. To score the goal, or defend their goal, the teams are allowed to engage in all sorts of full-contact, futuristic violence.

Rollerball is roller derby mixed with a violent fever dream. The action is fast and furious, and it combines fans' love of speed and full-contact violence in a way that no real sport has fully embraced. The addition of motorcycles to help teammates move around the field adds another dimension to an already exciting game, making us wonder why we do not simply do everything on motorcycle. Plus, whether you love them or hate them, these costumes are absolutely unforgettable.

Robot boxing

The underrated Hugh Jackman movie Real Steel introduced us to World Robot Boxing. It's pretty much what it says on the label, with robots of different stripes boxing one another as humans once did. The movie presents us with two flavors of this sport. One is the official World Robot Boxing, in which there are rules stopping characters from using weapons, kicks, headbutts, and so on. Then, there's the underworld of robot boxing, where pretty much anything goes, until there's only one bot standing.

The sheer spectacle of Robot Boxing would be huge in our world. The public already shells out billions of dollars to watch Michael Bay's robots beat each other up on the big screen—imagine how much they'd pay to watch it happen for real. The robot boxing world, even in its official forms, has quirks like having no "weight class." While this would seemingly make things unfair, in terms of a level playing field, it also effectively gives robotics engineers an excuse to make bigger, better, and badder robots to fight one another, which would inevitably lead to matches that could put even the best UFC matches to shame.

Now all we have to do is, well, invent fighting robots. Get on it, science!

Electro-Magnetic golf

Of all of the sports on this list, Electro-Magnetic Golf may be the most subversive. It's mentioned as a popular national sport in Aldous Huxley's famous novel Brave New World, where magnets shuffle a golf ball into a hole, making the game much easier than traditional golf. For Huxley, this sport was presented as just one more example of the dystopian future world of his novel. This is a world where human achievement and effort had been replaced with sex, drugs, and easy thrills, so a kind of pseudo-cheating golf game was presented as one of the only sports this population would have any patience for.

At first blush, this doesn't sound like much fun to watch or play. Isn't the difficulty of traditional golf part of its unique appeal? However, looking beyond Huxley's world-building itself, there's a lot of room for creativity when you start introducing magnets to golf. Players could pull off insane trick shots that are impossible in regular golf, all while speeding up a game that is, let's face it, slow and plodding. Throw in the possibility to further tweak the rules, and award people points based on speed and style, and golf might just get the sexy facelift that it's been missing all these years.


Calvin and Hobbes was nothing without Calvin's endless imagination, which brought to life his toy tiger Hobbes, as well as their ongoing series of make-believe adventures. One other product of his imagination was a game called Calvinball, which is literally a game like no other. In Calvinball, players are allowed to make up completely different rules as they go along, and the only true restriction is that no rule change announced by a player can have been used in previous games.

Understandably, Calvinball might be difficult, at first, to turn into a real sport. Sports fans would never know what to expect from game to game, and referees would have to be intimately familiar with every single other Calvinball game that's ever been played. However, this is the real secret to the potential success of Calvinball: players would be testing their minds via imagination even as they tested their bodies via a variety of different physical skills. There would be no room for anyone to ever get bored of the sport, because it would change and evolve from game to game. Besides, Calvinball has, over the years, featured pretty much every sports ball and bit of sports paraphernalia you can imagine, so Calvinball is a game that fans of any sport can fall in love with.


Fans of Battlestar Galactica are familiar with Pyramid. Fittingly enough for a show that explored the intersection of humanity and cybernetics, Pyramid is a weird hybrid, with elements of basketball, football, and even rugby synthesized into something truly unique. The game involves a variable number of players competing in a triangular court (hence the "pyramid" name), trying to throw a ball through a small hole, into a goal that's part of one of the many backdrops that decorate the field. Other teams are allowed to tackle players, and the game has many variations. Teams can be small or large, and truly large teams necessitate huge fields. There are also street variations of this, where people play in various alleys and use things like dumpsters and other features as part of the field.

Pyramid is deliberately structured as a mostly rules-free game that uses an honor system rather than some referee. That leads to inevitable on-court rivalries, and players have to decide between revenge and abiding by their own code of honor. Accordingly, very few fouls are called in the game, making sure each game runs fast. Speaking of speed, players must shoot or pass after three steps or fewer, ensuring that the entire team is always in motion. Plus, this is a game awesome enough to captivate people while staring down the barrel of the complete extinction of the human race, so it should definitely be cool enough for us non-endangered types, flipping channels and looking for a good game.

Mutant League Football

Fans of the original Sega Genesis have fond memories of the Mutant Football League, a game in which mutants and zombies played the most violent form of handegg known to man. The field itself is filled with a variety of booby traps that range from fire pits to icy patches, and teams can use a variety of technological enhancements, such as electric shockers and even jetpacks. Players even have a limited number of opportunities to bribe the ref, to have plays called in their favor.

While it would be difficult for non-zombie players to pull off the most violent bits of the game (which featured a lot of accidental deaths and outright murder), Mutant Football is the most logical extension of a world where people debate allowing things like performance-enhancing drugs and special surgeries that allow certain athletes an advantage over others. The Mutant Football League would be a chance to make both the players and the games as over-the-top as humanly possible, allowing a mixture of destruction and finesse in plays unlike anything the world has seen before. If the world really is headed for a post-apocalyptic dystopia, there's no time like the present to get our post-apocalyptic sports games ready for the inevitable.

Super Baseball 2020

Futurama was not the only glimpse that we got of future baseball. Another take on this idea was presented by the classic video game Super Baseball 2020. As the name implies, this game was still very much like baseball, but it was played by a combination of cybernetically enhanced humans and robots. Sections of the outfield are set up with glass designed to bounce foul balls back into play, and different zones on the field change things up. This includes special Stop Zones that can stop the ball dead in its tracks and Jump Zones close to the fence that enable players to do super jumps to catch fly balls. Finally, mines set up can temporarily stun players that aren't wise enough to watch where they step.

All of this adds up to an aggressive game that would be awesome to watch or participate in. The game is pretty much designed from the ground up for super-human power plays, from powerful swings of the bat to Superman-like leaps in the air. Overall, players are rewarded for being aggressive and ruthless, which throws those traditional "baseball is boring" criticisms right out the window. Finally, mixing enhanced humans and robots allows this version of baseball to sidestep issues of performance-enhancing drugs by encouraging it, and as Real Steel also illustrates, every sport is cooler once you throw robots in.

Tron Light Cycles

Tron has been a series that captured the imagination of very different fans. The first movie introduced '70s and '80s kids to the weird world of computers, while its sequel showed a much more tech-savvy generation that things are still pretty groovy on the Grid. However, each movie prominently featured Light Cycles, including a game as dangerous as it is simple. Characters drive light cycles with no brakes, and the vehicles are only able to turn in 90-degree angles. As they travel, each cycle leaves a solid wall of light behind it, creating a deadly game in which characters must force their opponents into the walls they have created before being "de-rezzed," which is Tron speak for killed.

At first blush, it may look impossible to replicate this game in real life. However, industrious fans have come up with low-tech ideas, including poles and colored foil, to create a non-lethal version of this game that's still true to its onscreen reputation. As ideas go, it has the potential to be very awesome, combining our grisly fascination with things like NASCAR crashes into a game that tests player's lightning-fast reflexes as well as their ability to strategize and outwit their opponent (to "think three-dimensionally," as Mr. Spock might say). The sleek look of the game and the light cycles also have the potential to draw in a younger generation of viewers, ensuring that this once virtual sport has plenty of fans outside of the world of computers.