Olympics Shinzo Abe
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You shouldn’t be surprised that the Japanese PM dressed up as Mario

So at this point you likely saw what happened during the Olympics closing event. Yeah, I know. At first glance, it seems like an unnecessary commercial incursion in an already saturated Olympic event. Nintendo, a $42 billion-dollar videogame company, needs no additional exposure, especially of the heels of the success of Pokémon Go. This is an opportunity for Japan to shine a light on any number of different cultural contributions and instead, we get Shinzō Abe emerging from a warp pipe with Mario’s plumber cap. Don’t get me wrong—videogames are important, but truly important enough to be the key signifier for…

Armchair Olympian
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Try to outdo Olympian athletes from the comfort of your armchair

With the majority of the 2016 Rio Olympics now behind us, it’s easy to feel a little inadequate. Michael Phelps has now won more Olympic gold medals than anyone in 2,000 years; Simone Manuel made history on Thursday when she became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming; and 19-year-old Simone Biles won three-for-three gold medals in the first week and won her fourth on Tuesday, making her the first U.S. gymnast to ever win four Olympic gold medals. As Olympians prove their supreme athletic prowess, you prove just how many hours you can sit…

dive_another_day_1
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Dive Another Way is the most fun way to break your phone

When it comes to the summer olympic sports, diving might not be the first event that gets your heart pumping. After all, those incredible gymnasts have all those fancy, flashy costumes and the competitors in the 100 meter sprint appear to pull of super human feats. All in all, other events can simply dwarf how awesome and how much skill is required to pull off a perfect dive. But fear not olympic divers, because videogames are here to rescue your image. In the game jam entry Dive Another Way (by Max Wrighton, Gian Dbeis, and Remy Stuurworld), two players attempt to synchronize…

800px-USA_I_in_heat_1_of_2_man_bobsleigh_at_2010_Winter_Olympics_2010-02-20
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Bobsledding is officially the worst Olympic sport, because math

We don’t often analyze the design of sports as closely as other types of games, but taking a closer look at some of the games at the Olympics suggests that maybe we should. Ben Blatt over at Slate looked at the statistics for Bobsledding kept by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation back through 2005 and found that for all four-man, two-man, and two-woman bobsled competitions, the leading team after the third of four runs has won 100% of the time. These odds are up from 70% after the first run, and 85% after the second. This means that the game is pretty…