Female Commentator A First For NHL 2
EA Sports took a step forward in terms of leveling the playing field – or the ice surface, as would be the case in this instance – with its release this season of NHL 21. For the first time, a female voice has been added to the game’s commentary crew. Here get the information of Female Commentator A First For NHL 2.
Carrlyn Bathe is the female voice being heard during gameplay. She covers the Los Angeles Kings for Bally Sports West.
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“Carrlyn Bathe” by Game Informer is licensed under CC BY 3.0
A Hockey Natural
Bathe comes by her affinity for hockey naturally. She played the game competitively growing up, which was a logical path to choose. After all, her father is Frank Bathe. He played 224 NHL games for the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers from 1974-84. Bathe played for the 1979-80 Flyers team that reached the Stanley Cup final and established the longest unbeaten streak in North American sports history, going 35 consecutive games without a loss from October 14th, 1979 to January 6th, 1980.
Of course, being around hockey at its highest level was going to rub off on Carrlyn. She was raised in Scarborough, Maine, where she played youth hockey for Casco Bay and also at Scarborough High School.
EA Sports utilizes Bathe’s voice as part of the storytelling experience in NHL 21’s Be A Pro Mode. “It sounds just like something you’d hear me say during a regular Kings home broadcast,” Bathe said.
Breaking new ground in the traditionally male-dominated world of gaming is not something that Bathe takes lightly. She’s hoping to be a door opener and a role model for other female voices currently in the game, as well as among those desiring to make the grade as an NHL broadcaster.
“This is a big deal and I am so aware of that and so proud to be able to shout it from the rooftops that I’m the first female broadcaster in the series,” Bathe told News Center Maine. “The exciting part for me is I don’t think I’m going to be the last. I think I’m just the start.
“I hope there’s maybe a young girl who picked up this game and there’s a voice like mine for the first time and they go, ‘what wait I can do that!’”
“Carrlyn Bathe” by NHL is licensed under CC BY 3.0
Female Players Still Skating Outside The Game
The slogan of EA Sports is “It’s In The Game,” but when it comes to the world’s finest game female hockey players, that isn’t the case. Although EA Sports officials have been proposing the inclusion of the best women’s hockey players and teams for several years now, it hasn’t advanced beyond the discussion stage to date.
Going all the way back to 2015, EA Sports executive producer Sean Ramjansingh was talking about planning to include women’s players and teams in their NHL video game. “Just like other leagues, it’s something we continue to look at,” Ramjansingh told TheHockeyWriters.com. “How we want to put in a female league in the future, if that’s the path we want to go down, what would that look like? There’s also, on the tech side, lots of things we’d have to do around females specifically to meet fan expectations.”
Since that time, EA Sports have added women’s teams to both FIFA and NBA 2K. So while young girls can choose to be Megan Rapinoe or Elena Delle Donne when playing video games, the chance to be Hilary Knight or Sarah Nurse remains beyond their grasp.
“We still have the female character you can create in the creation zone, but, just like every year, we evaluate all of the leagues out there – male and female – and look for the right opportunities,” Ramjansingh told Sports Gamers Online.
Still, the project remains on hold, with no indication of when it might go forward.
“I am not aware of any conversations with EA Sports regarding the inclusion of women,” four-time Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Jayna Hefford told Sports Gamers Online. “I believe in the last couple of years they have designed female characters, but [there’s] no sense that this is moving forward yet.
“Of course, we would love to be included as we feel the best women in the game deserve to be represented. Given the popularity and reach of EA Sports’ NHL games, it would certainly be an outstanding platform for our world-class athletes to be a part of.”