Calgary Flames play around with virtual reality practice, aka coolest thing ever

If you’re reading this post from your desktop or laptop, hop off. Load it up on your phone, and then twirl around and watch the Flames practice as though you’re a ghost at centre ice, able to watch everything around you.

Including the little pass the puck game across centre ice while everyone’s stretching. Spin around with that for a while.

The Calgary Flames tried out recording their practice and putting it in virtual reality format, and it’s really cool – and could maybe even affect how we watch sports in the (probably far-off) future.

Of course, this wouldn’t be complete without watching the Flames check out their virtual selves:

In which:

  • Josh Jooris has frequent commentary on his play,
  • Everyone has frequent commentary on Johnny Gaudreau’s play,
  • Dougie Hamilton is an uppity loner, gets pantsed by Garnet Hathaway,
  • Brandon Bollig physically assaults Gaudreau, giving him a taste of the probably soon-to-come virtual reality experience in which you don’t just see everything, you feel it, too,
  • Actually, there’s a lot of abuse,
  • Everyone is adorable watching the sauced passes mentioned above,
  • Everyone is adorable in their amazement of the virtual reality stuff in general.

Hockey players: they’re just like us! Marvelled by new technological feats.

I wonder how it would work if they ever get to the point they’re able to record a full game with a little ball of GoPros. (Tangentially: GoPro’s NHL After Dark series is cool as heck. There aren’t any Flames in it – though I imagine if they do something like this again, Gaudreau would have to be on tap for it – but it’s still cool as heck.)

Watching an entire game from that perspective would probably be a disaster, but it could be really cool for one-off in-game moments, or little highlight packs. And it could maybe even help with more accurate goal rulings, so when a puck goes in the net, we don’t have to be angry and bitter about it for a decade-plus after the fact.

But that’s all in the future. For now, here’s a video to twirl around with on your phone, and another video with a bunch of dorks watching themselves.