I can’t stop watching the 2018 PyongChang Winter Olympic Games. I do not know anything about most of the competition, but the race to win gold keeps drawing me in. It makes me think of the first time I watched League of Legends, I started looking up all of the rules in order to build my game spectator knowledge. And now I am looking up the rules for the Mass Start event in Speed Skating, and I still do not understand the nuance present within the competition. I especially do not understand how the scoring works for Snowboard Halfpipe, but Shawn White killed it. The whole time I can not stop wondering which video games would be the best for the Olympic Games?
Maybe this one is an obvious choice, but the top down real time strategy game certainly features top athletic talent. Matches can last around 30 minutes and tournaments could be structured similarly to ice hockey. The game is already played at a high level competitively around the world, with top players representing many of the major areas. South Korea has historically been the favorites when playing StarCraft 2, but a recent global tournament featured a Canadian women, Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn as the top finisher. The professional scene surrounding StarCraft 2 could easily be adapted towards Olympic competition and the rule sets could be adjusted for a new stage. However, because the game has three different races, each with tens of unique units, the minute to minute nuance would be difficult for the average viewer to follow.
Track & Field
An easy way to transition video games for an Olympic audience would be to use sports games. We could choose FIFA or Madden Football, but the original Olympic sport would display video gaming at its best: button mashing. Track & Field‘s essential components are speed of button presses and timing. Both of which are also essential components within many Olympic sports. Luckily the game also features a variety of events to keep spectators interested including; the 100m Dash, Long Jump, Javelin Throw, 110m Hurdles, Hammer Throw, and High Jump. Maybe the future downloadable content would include Pole Vault and the 10,000m. We could take this a step further and use Kinect Sports, but the tactile input represents the history of video gaming better.
The granddaddy of video games would be a perfect fit for the Olympics. Tetris is much more complicated and exciting than you might realize. Tetris competitions do occur frequently between top players on the internet. Most of them race the clock for the highest score and the title of Grandmaster. Developers could create a new mode specifically for the Olympics, which could force players to endure an ever increasing gauntlet of faster and faster speeds. Top players would be forced to use their puzzle solving skills and dexterity in order to achieve success. Tetris is a great fit because it represent raw video gaming. The entire game boils down to finger movements, adaptability, and high risk high reward action. As an added bonus Tetris does not feature violence, it represents video gaming for the sake of playing games and having fun. The brand is instantly recognizable and could help redefine the image of video games on a national stage.
Also just take a look at this Tetris 8-way race from SGDQ 2017:
What do you think? Which game (s) should be featured in the Olympics? Other games that I thought of included Pokémon, Overwatch, or Civilization.
Jake “prettyboyplaid” Fredericks