Our cable protectors are truly applicable in almost every industry, and now they have transcended the digital barrier and can be found in the exciting virtual worlds of several big-budget video games, such as The Division, NBA Live, NBA2K, Hitman, and Grand Theft Auto V.
Grand Theft Auto V
Hollywood? Not exactly, but Grand Theft Auto V’s Vinewood is one of the more accurate video game depictions of America’s film headquarters. The attention to detail is stunning, right down to the accurate depictions of Hollywood’s favorite cable protector, the Yellow Jacket five channel. These incredibly durable cable protectors are often seen on film sets due to their extremely long lifespan and uncompromising strength. Considering how expensive AV cables can be, studios understand the value providing optimal protection of those cords. Another fantastic detail from Grand Theft Auto is the fact that their artists have depicted the Yellow Jacket cable protectors (yellow lids) connecting with a few Guard Dog cable covers (orange lids). This is an actual, real-life benefit of those two models, as they are both the same size and feature our patented “Dog Bone” connectors, which means they can be interconnected as shown in the screenshots. Rockstar Games gets a gold star for using video game cable protectors correctly.
Unfortunately, the other video game depictions of cable protectors lack the same attention to detail that Rockstar Games brought to GTA V. Let’s take a look at IO Interactive’s Hitman. This particular mission features the protagonist infiltrating a militia compound located in a rural farmstead. In this scenario, the militia installs an abundance of high-tech equipment despite a lack of electrical infrastructure at the farm. As such, they rely on temporary power and run cables across the farm. This is a great application to utilize cable protection. In a situation where temporary power is required, a damaged cable can cause a power loss and lead to a total shutdown of operations. It is important to choose a cable tray that has the strength to adequately protect cables from both pedestrians and any equipment of vehicles in these situations.
The artists at IO did a great job with the cable models in Hitman, but the environment designers failed to utilize the modular capabilities, instead opting to lay the cable covers in a female-to-female orientation. This allows the cable protectors to shift when vehicles or pedestrians cross them and can inadvertently expose the cables to damage. The designers should have utilized the connectors to ensure that the full length of cable was properly covered. The designers also opted only to provide cable protectors for the cables in exterior locations. While this is a good way to ensure that passing vehicles won’t damage the cables, it does nothing to prevent pedestrian damage to interior cables. Not to mention, the potential for trips and falls is enormous. I would recommend the fictional militia of Hitman move the smaller cable protectors inside, and utilize our Linebacker five channel models outside. With a load capacity upwards of 40,000 lbs. Linebacker heavy duty models will ensure supply trucks and other heavy equipment won’t damage the cables.
Speaking of temporary power, Ubisoft’s The Division is another game that tackles that application for cable protection. In The Division, the player takes on the role of a special agent sent into New York City after the area is ravaged by a biological weapon. The environments depict areas that had previously been refugee camps and forward bases of operations, which as you may have guessed, required temporary power. As seen in the screenshots on the right, Ubisoft’s artists opted for a much larger cable protector than seen in other games. This is a two channel model, which is typically used in much heavier applications, for example, mining or oil and gas. The cable they are protecting appears to be fairly small, leading me to believe the fictional disaster relief workers in The Division may have been better served by a small, more portable cable cover. Personally, I would have recommended our Yellow Jacket ADA. This model is ideal because it features a similar load capacity, in excess of 20,000 lbs., but it is a much lighter and lower profile model. It is easier to set up and transport, and it poses much less of a trip hazard, which is important considering the large fictional crowds that will be navigating these fictional relief areas.
NBA2K & NBA Live
Cable protectors are a common sight at basketball arenas in real life, so it’s no surprise that they make an appearance in virtual arenas as well. Take-Two’s NBA2K offers a great visualization of our Yellow Jackets in one of its most recent entries to their flagship basketball franchise. The distinct diamond pattern and “Dog Bone” connectors are a great touch and show that Take-Two’s artists really paid attention to the details. However, a Yellow Jacket five channel may not be the best choice for a basketball arena. It is a heavy duty product and probably overkill for a pedestrian only application. A better choice might be the Guard Dog Low Profile model, a cable cover designed for pedestrian applications with a height of only 1.25 inches. EA Sports’ NBA Live, on the other hand, appears to have chosen to depict a competitors product. While creating a safe environment is paramount, there is certainly something to be said for purchasing the highest quality version of a product, something which people who bought NBA Live instead of NBA2K know all too well. Regardless, both studios seem to have forgotten one important detail: the cables! Hopefully, next year’s release of these annual basketball games will see that minor, but significant detail addressed.
It is wonderful to see video games approach the level of realism where an often overlooked item such as a cable protector sees such digital craftsmanship and attention to detail. It speaks volumes to how far digital worlds have come, and where they could go in the future. And we are, as always, thrilled to see cable management utilized to keep people and assets safe, even if they happen to be virtual.