Ohio Bar Plays EA’s NHL 13 during Hockey Lockout
A post on Deadspin over the weekend reported some supremely ingenious news out of Ohio: a bar in Columbus showed a live game between the home team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Vancouver Canucks. The catch, of course, was that the live game was actually just a computer-controlled match-up created on EA’s NHL 13 for the Xbox 360. Not only that, but the local radio station’s hockey announcers George Matthews and Bill Davidge came to the bar to call it, sending the crowd at the bar into a frenzy.
Why simulate the game? Well, as you may or may not know, the NHL season is currently not happening due to a dispute between players and league ownership, resulting in a lockout while the dispute is resolved. Hockey fans all across the US and Canada have been pretty bummed about it, to say the least.
So that’s why this video game simulation thing is actually really cool. I asked a friend of mine, a self-described belligerently angry hockey fan from California what he thought of the sim, since I wondered how a true NHL fan would feel about people getting so excited over a simulation. Turns out, the answer is pretty damn excited:
“This is so awesome. Man. I’ve been trying not to think about the season (or lack thereof), but this is super cool.
EA has also gotten Steve Levy from ESPN to narrate weekly simulated season highlight packages from NHL 13 in lieu of actual hockey.
Fuck the NHL.”
As it turns out, he’s right: EA Sports has gone ahead and taken things a step further, simulating the season and offering recaps on their YouTube channel. I like it.
These are the kinds of Esports I can get behind.