Football players now use 360-degree video to improve their skills

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. A former NFL kicker is using cutting-edge virtual reality videos to help players and coaches train better, faster, and smarter. Last year proved to be a banner year for athletics-related technological advances. A slew of smart helmets and wearable devices are now helping athletes, and better player tracking and camera angles are bringing sports fans amazing perspectives on favorite players. While all kinds of sports benefited from many new technologies in 2015, Sports Illustrated named virtual reality the innovation of the year. Looking ahead, 2016 could see virtual reality technology become widely adopted across mainstream sports. Professional football players are already testing…


The tragic tale of rugby as a sports game

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. After the 34-17 loss at the Rugby World Cup semi-finals last October, Australian fans could do with some escapism. But if they’re looking to relieve their broken hearts and reclaim the cup through a videogame fantasy, they’ll find that the medium is still working to catch up to the excitement of real life matches. While annual soccer video games like FIFA plow ahead with authentic ball physics and a realistic facial rendering of Lionel Messi, rugby videogames are admirable mostly for their refusal to quit. Judging from the opinions…


How to make soccer more entertaining? Add ragdoll physics

Americans insist that soccer is and always will be boring. And, admittedly, low-scoring games with few opportunities for commercial breaks isn’t the most ‘Murica thing ever. But defenders of soccer might point to the simple elegance of a well-executed pass, or the unparalleled tension of a final battle in the penalty box. Well, all of that—the good and the bad—gets thrown out the window in Footbrawl, a ragdoll soccer game being developed by designer Kevin Suckert. Right now, Footbrawl is just a basic prototype with lots of funny GIFs to show for it. But the potential seems, well, endless. “Its [sic] basically everything what FIFA street…


What the NFL could learn about colorblindness from videogames

One might reasonably suspect that the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and New York Jets (which fans reliably inform me is spelled J-E-T-S) are fundamentally interchangeable, but last Thursday the league took this theory a bit too far.  The Jets played in their customary green while the Bills wore red—or, as colorblind viewers saw it, both teams wore indistinguishable shades. To those suffering from red-green colorblindness, a population the National Eye Institute estimates as “8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women with Northern European ancestry,” the whole thing was a vision in brown. If you are not red-green colorblind, Deadspin…


Fantasy esport Dota 2 gets fantasy leagues; fantasy to ensue

Fantasy football has the natural ability to turn even the most casual of pigskin fans into rabid stat-obsessed fanatics, and soon that tenacity will be rubbing off on DOTA 2. With the newest patch, fantasy DOTA leagues are now a thing. They work pretty much like their somewhat-distant football cousin, with a pool of friends drafting rosters of professional DOTA mid-laners, carries, and supports, and then waiting for the fallout. Also, plenty of bragging.  A big draw in fantasy football is a cornucopia of stat-porn, giving you all the more reason to care about Cam Newton’s QB rating, and fantasy DOTA…