I'm about to spend half the night playing World Cup 2010 (the video game), as I kill the time (and my nerves) between games at World Cup 2010 (the actual World Cup). Are you?
I bet many of you are. Most teams playing either tonight or later this week are playing for World Cup survival, most needing at least a draw to guarantee progression to the knock-out stages of the competition. That's especially so for most of this website's readers. The US needs a win. England needs a win. Australia needs a win. Germany needs a win. New Zealand needs a win. And Canada... well, better luck next time, Canada.
I'm going to be spending the night on EA's FIFA World Cup 2010, popping between simulations of England v Slovenia and Australia v Serbia, both of which are about to kick off in the real world. I'll maybe squeeze in a Ghana v Germany game or two as well, as anything I can do to help the Black Stars sneak in a win will be appreciated by 21 million Australians hoping for a Ghana upset (which if Australia win will send us through).
Will that actually work? Can I somehow trigger a "butterfly effect" chain of events whereby a hat-trick by a digital Josh Kennedy will translate into something similar in the real world? Course it won't. It's just a game. But man, it makes me feel better. Half the appeal of playing a sports game around a major event - whether it be the World Cup, Super Bowl or Olympics - is the element of fantasy it provides, as you can (in your living room, at least) rewrite history through the power of video games. Or predict it!
Is anyone joining me? Maybe you are, maybe you're not; the games are on at midnight and 4:30am here, meaning a pub/bar viewing isn't really feasible, especially on a school night. Hence me staying at home, with little else to do but play World Cup, drink a cup of soup and prepare to drown in a sea of footballing disappointment. Or yummy ciders and fancy beer. Maybe both!