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The NBA restart takes fake crowds to a new level of weirdness

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Last night, after a postponement of several months due to the coronavirus, the NBA season restarted as the Lakers beat the Clippers 103-101. Now, despite being PC Gamer’s resident sports person, my knowledge of basketball begins and ends with The Last Dance documentary which landed on Netflix recently, but here’s something I do know: the oddness NBA’s fake crowd technology is extremely distracting.

NBA’s effort, which as CNN explains, uses a combination of artificial intelligence and a ‘tap-to-cheer app’ to provide some semblance of atmosphere for home viewers. Similar to the fake MLB ‘Cheering at the Ballpark’ announced last week, sofa-bound audiences are able to use the NBA and WNBA apps to cheer for their team at the push of a button.

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