February 2, 2004

Why the video games got it wrong

The 1UP Bowl predicted a final outcome of 40-30.

We put that A.I. to the test. Each game was configured for the computer to control both sides -- what would be decided would be the result of millions of bits of data, statistics, and logic that programmers had to painstakingly add into the games. The details were spot-on, too -- for each match we meticulously recreated the time of the game, the location of the game, and downloaded the absolute latest player rosters and stats. For all intents and purposes, this was the Super Bowl.
What the games didn't account for was Vinatieri's past failures in Texas Stadium (having missed two in a game earlier this season there): "The Pats have a talented kicker in Adam Vinatieri and they're not afraid to use him." They predict two early field goals by Vinatieri, the same ones he misses in the actual game. As a result, the score would have been 34-30. A much better prediction in that had you taken the Panthers you would have beat the spread (-6.5). Whereas, the one they provided would have had you putting your money on the Pats and losing soundly. [01:13]  [ ]