Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction. Mark Twain’s this famous quote has time and again proved that it is indeed so. Sports fans filling the whole stadium in a very popular sports tie are common features. Sports enthusiasts jostling for vintage seats is also a common sight. But Robot fans occupying seats in a stadium, cheering or even making Mexican wave occasionally? Unthinkable! Now the unthinkable has happened. Whether such situations are to be treated as phenomenal strides of technology or as unwillingness of fans to reach sport arena are best answered by social community.
A small peep into the history of baseball explains that it is one of the most widely sport played world over. The game did originate in the U.S., but spread immediately to neighboring Canada, Mexico and then to Latin American countries and the Caribbean. It was simply a matter of time before it reached Europe and then to Asia and far east. The game gained entry in Korea some hundred years ago and went on to become the most popular sport of the country. Professional players started participating in the game in South Korea some thirty years back. Baseball’s popularity reached new heights with the national team went on winning many medals in international events, including Olympic Gold. Koreans have always occupied a place within top three slots. There are several baseball events in South Korea at provincial and national levels. Baseball is widely played in highschools as also by girls and women. In such a scenario, empty seats in a stadium must be an exception and need not be taken very seriously by anybody.
Hanwha Eagles is a baseball team from the city of Daejeon. The team did not have much luck in their campaign. They lost many games, sometimes in a row. But they did not get disheartened. They could not win popularity on the basis of their sporting prowess. Instead, they are trying hard to attain fame by novel means. They have taken recourse to modern available technology. Now they will fill the vacant seats by robots, which are programmed to perform many operations like chanting and cheering. The robots can also make Mexican wave. The robots are operated by Eagles fans through remote operations, sitting at home.
More varieties of robot operations are also available to fans. They can show their faces on the screens of the robots. They also can show their emotions through the display of encouraging texts on the screens. The robots are set to occupy first three rows in the stadium. The robots will of course wear an Eagles jersey and baseball caps too. With so many robots, the atmosphere in the stadium is bound to be really ‘electrifying’.
The decision of Eagles to place robots in the stadium is extremely revolutionary. This remains an out of the box thinking on part of Eagles management. Now the floodgates of many more possibilities are opened. Soon there could be ‘proxy war’ between two competing teams through their own robots. Till now law enforcement authorities had to deal with humans at the arena in complex situations coming to the fore during matches. Now they may have to deal with machines. Think of Super robots as ‘disciplining authority’ to errant ‘robots’ fans. That is a very real possibility. Hopefully, the game of baseball will still be played by humans and not by robots. That is a small mercy to human fans of the game.