The world tuned in this weekend as the 2012 Summer Olympic Games kicked off with a lavish ceremony in London. The ceremonies featured a protracted musical number retracing the history of English contributions to world culture written and choreographed by native film director Danny Boyle. Though the whole thing started strong, about two hours into the musical number, I couldn’t help but wish the piece were a little more 28 Days Later and a little less Slumdog Millionaire. In fact, the Olympics as a whole could probably do with a little re-vamping. The entire event could be jazzed up to make it more appealing to the Geek generation. That decided, I put on my thinking cap and came up with changes Geeks would make to the Summer Olympics.
Olympic Torch Lighting – Light the torch with a Rube Goldberg machine.
Opening Ceremony – Kick things off with a LARP re-enactment of 300.
Athletes – All Olympic athletes should have a full set of RPG player stats displayed next to their names at all times.
Medals Ceremony – Turn in three gold medals for a set of epic armor.
Events – Begin calling all events “quests.” Explain each one with a brief cut-scene.
Audience – Introduce audience participation. Events would include blogosphere story relays, video-to-gif-to-Tumblr triathalons, and Twitter marathons (140, 300, and 500 character lengths).
Sidelines – Coaches and trainers are all well and good, but what the Olympics really needs is some more colorful NPC’s. How about an adventurer who took an arrow to the knee standing on the sidelines of the archery competition?
Benchmarks – So now we know Michael Phelps is the greatest swimmer in the world. So what? What we really want to know is how he stacks up against our favorite DC Universe characters! (Mainly because the Marvel Universe would eat him alive.) Now that we have the technology, it’s time to begin digitally inserting our favorite characters into events as benchmarks!
Performance-enhancers – No drugs? Fine. But how about some robotic prosthetic?
Encore – Once the Gold Medalists have been names and it’s clear who the greatest athletes in the world are, it’s time to move on to the events we really want to see – a massive real-world Warsong Gulch!