Podcast Episode 101: Sports as Game Design

Sports are games too, you know. In this episode, Marc, Matt, and Bubba sit down to talk about various sports rules and controversies and analyze them as game design. What are they optimizing for? Whose interests do they serve? What’s the role of randomness or human judgement in making a sport great? What even makes sports great?

0:34 – Intro
1:32 – What’s the goal when “designing” sports rules?
2:45 – What’s the most viewer-friendly board game?
7:12 – Gold Drafting
13:24 – Playoff size
16:18 – Promotion/relegation
21:45 – Eliminating the kick return
24:39 – Conservative play in the NFL and elsewhere
29:18 – The designated hitter
31:50 – Changes to the actual baseball ball
36:03 – 3-point line
42:56 – Dunking on basketball
45:44 – Soccer’s relatively simple rules
48:27 – Punishments and penalties in different sports
50:35 – Robots and video
54:22 – Disc golf penalty culture
1:03:10 – The 2 meter rule
1:11:41 – Back to robots
1:26:39 – The shift

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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