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Tokyo Olympics get a taste of esports, sort of

Washington Post - Technology News

Since at least 2017, there have been discussions about esports becoming part of the Olympics, even as sports aimed at younger audiences joined the Games, including skateboarding and surfing in Tokyo. This year, those conversations led to esports gaining a more significant presence in professional competition. In April, the IOC announced it would hold virtual auto racing, baseball, cycling, rowing and sailing competitions, ahead of the Summer Games. However, those competitions omitted the most popular game titles in esports, such as "League of Legends" and "Dota 2," and focused instead on games that replicated traditional sports with limited player bases.


The music for the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremonies? It comes from video games.

Washington Post - Technology News

Music in gaming is written to motivate players all the while not distracting them from the tasks at hand. It's why Popular Science wrote in 2018, "You should be listening to video game soundtracks at work." As the article states, there's little research on the effects of video game music while working, but it checks a lot of boxes when it comes to low roars of noise boosting productivity, including having no lyrics and maintaining a steady rhythm. If video games really are esports, the medium's music has provided our brains with workout playlists for years.


The 9 most addictive Google Doodle games to waste an afternoon at work

Mashable

Nope, the best new gaming comes courtesy of your good friend Google. Yes, you heard it here first. If you're in need of a new hobby, or some amusement to pass the time between work meetings, or let's be honest during work meetings, there are a ton of interactive Google Doodle games to cure spells of boredom. They don't require a controller or fancy Blu-Ray disks, they're simple and the best kind of fun for an undercover gaming session right at your desk. Sometimes you can't make the math on spreadsheets equal "F U N." Maybe you just want to play some Pac-Man.


Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony included a light display with 1,800 drones

Engadget

There may not have been any fans in the Olympic Stadium, but Japan still found a way to put on a show for the opening of the 2020 Summer Games. The host country charmed early with the parade of nations, which featured an orchestrated video game soundtrack, and then showed off the type of creativity it's known for with a performance involving the Olympic pictograms. But Tokyo saved the biggest spectacle for last. Towards the end of the ceremony, a fleet of 1,824 drones took to the skies above the Olympic Stadium. Initially arrayed in the symbol of the 2020 Games, they then took on the shape of the Earth before a rendition of John Lenon's "Imagine," which was reworked by Hans Zimmer for the Olympics, played across the stadium.


Amazon rolls out male voice for its smart speakers

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Amazon has started to roll out a male version of its smart assistant, called Ziggy, as an alternative to Alexa. Users of Amazon smart speakers in the US now have the option to choose from either Alexa or Ziggy when they're saying a vocal command. They can simply say'Alexa, change your voice' to hear the male voice coming out of their speaker, or go to settings in the Alexa app. There's a short snippet of Ziggy's voice – which has a generic but robotic-sounding American accent – to listen to here. Amazon's smart assistant powers the Echo speakers, including the spherical fourth generation Echo released last autumn (pictured) Note that this option is only available for US users for now.


Women's soccer is coming to 'Football Manager,' but it will take a while

Engadget

Football Manager developer Sports Interactive has a history of inclusive gameplay, and that now extends to women. The company has revealed that it's adding women's soccer (aka football) to its management sim. This will likely be a "multi-year" project, SI warned, but this also isn't a simple character model swap. The studio wants to offer the same kind of depth it has for men's sport while accounting for the differences between players and leagues. There will be new models and databases, of course.


Amazon's Alexa can now answer questions about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The moment that sports fans around the world have been waiting for is almost here, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics finally kicking off today. With over 200 countries and regions competing across 33 sports and 46 disciplines, it can be hard to keep up with all the latest news. Thankfully, Amazon has your back, and has equipped its smart assistant, Alexa, with facts to give users quick and easy access to the latest news and successes throughout the games. 'Alexa, what's Team GB's Olympics update?' 'Alexa, what's Team Ireland's Olympics update?' 'Alexa, which country has the most gold meals?' 'Alexa, who is the athlete of the day?' Users of Alexa-enabled devices can ask the smart assistant a range of questions, including'Alexa, which country has the most gold medals?', and receive answers almost immediately. Amazon explained: 'Following the Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday 23rd July, Alexa will give customers the low down on Team GB, Team Ireland, ParalympicsGB and Paralympics Ireland athletes competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games this year.


Video game 'FIFA 22' gets more realism thanks to 22-player motion capture matches

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

To bring more realism to "FIFA 22," EA Sports went to extremes on the pitch – and brought inclusivity to its announcing team. The video game publisher had 22 players put on Xsens motion capture suits and then play competitive matches in Spain. All that data – more than 8.7 million frames of advanced match capture, EA Sports says – will be used to create real-time soccer gameplay animations as players mash controller buttons. And the game maker also is bringing its first female announcer to the game: Alex Scott, who played for the English national team and Arsenal of the Women's Super League. "This is a big moment for FIFA, for football and women and girls across the world," she said on Twitter and Instagram.


Technology Play at Tokyo Olympics 2020 - Express Computer

#artificialintelligence

The global pandemic has created havoc around the world. But the world has to move on and the show must go on with all the precautions. Tokyo Olympics 2020 is finally happening in 2021, with a grand opening ceremony on this Friday, 23rd July. Under these circumstances, there are undoubtedly many thoughts and opinions surrounding the event. While actual sporting games are played at various arenas of Olympic stadiums, technology is playing a leading role, making Tokyo 2020 the most innovative Olympic Games in the history.


23% of elite rugby players have brain structure abnormalities, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A highly concerning new study lays bare the danger of repeated head impacts for rugby players. After performing scans of 44 elite adult rugby players, experts found 23 per cent had abnormalities in brain structure, specifically in white matter and blood vessels of the brain. White matter mainly comprises the neural pathways, the long extensions of the nerve cells, and is crucial to our cognitive ability. The study also found 50 per cent of the rugby players had an unexpected reduction in brain volume. Non-profit the Drake Foundation, which backed the study, is now calling for immediate changes in rugby protocols to ensure long-term welfare of elite players.