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Fans go digital to predict World Cup winner

Using the "2002 FIFA World Cup" game to simulate the tournament, soothsayers at Electronic Arts predict sweet revenge for the Italians.

You can get back to work, soccer fans: The 2002 World Cup is a done deal, with Italy avenging its 1994 defeat by Brazil.

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At least that's what Electronic Arts prognosticators came up with after simulating this year's tournament with "2002 FIFA World Cup," the game publisher's soccer game for PCs and game consoles.

According to the EA simulation, Italy will defeat Brazil 2-0 to take the title, with Poland defeating Argentina in the third-place game.

Simulations of major sporting events have become a tradition for game publishers, with the digital re-creations sometimes coming eerily close to reality. Sony's "NFL GameDay" has a perfect record for predicting the Super Bowl winner for the past seven years.

The wagering crowd might not want to put too much money on EA's results, however. The simulation predicted that France would dominate the early rounds. In reality, the Gauls were upset by former colony Senegal in their first game.