Friday, June 03, 2005

I bet Bush plays Civilization a lot

It was just over a year ago that my hometown Calgary Flames lost the Stanley Cup final to a team that comedian Lewis Black noted was “from a state without any naturally occurring ice.” There’s obviously no hockey news to report this year, but that didn’t stop a group of savvy journalists from making some.

Using state-of-the-art simulations with advanced A.I. technology (viz. EA’s NHL Hockey 2005 for Playstation 2), scientists (viz. nerds) recreated this year’s entire season, including a thrilling Stanley Cup final. Turns out my adopted hometown’s Vancouver Canucks take Lord Stanley’s trophy over the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game seven nail-biter. OK, I can buy Toronto blowing a great playoff chance, but the Flames lose to Phoenix? C’mon, last year was a fluke but we’re not that bad.

Thus, in the spirit of incredibly accurate hypotheticals, I looked to some of my own games to see what other simulations I’ve executed, and what they tell us about a world that could have been…

In 1994, the NFL’s Madden All-Stars triumph over the Denver Broncos in a 323-121 rout. The game features an inordinate amount of onside kicks and Hail Mary’s against a defence incapable of detecting any emerging pattern. Says a robotic rendering of John Madden, “What a play!”

The 1992, the All-Stars West NHL team defeated the fledgling San Jose Sharks 146-6. With goals coming an average of every four seconds, the winning team plays without a goalie, but with a preternatural knowledge of the opposing goalie’s systemic weakness on the short-side.

In the early 1990s, the city of Los Santos is ravaged from above by a machine gun-wielding maniac wearing a jetpack. Other reported disturbances include a motorcyclist repeatedly speeding the wrong way on freeways, and a monster truck being driven off the top of the city’s tallest skyscraper. Says Madden: “What a play!”

In 1945, outside Carentan, France, American Sergeant Matt Baker negligently directs his supporting squadron to advance through fog, a error with multiple, fatal consequences. Before he can reach a vital “checkpoint,” Baker fails to keep his own life bar above red, and advancing forces triumph over the Allies to win World War II.

Circa 1000 A.D., an aggressive settlement plan by a European civilization foolishly sends a single settler across the Atlantic aboard a trireme, only to meet a quick demise on the South American continent by a phalanx of vicious Aztecs – dashing the hopes of a self-sufficient colony.


Thomas said...

I like this a lot. I demand that it becomes a monthly entry or, dare I say it, a McSweeney's article?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I can enlighten those aspiring NHLPA93 players. Use the gerber: it's like feeding candy to a baby.