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:
- 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.