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Joga Bonito

Much of our work at GAMBIT focuses on digital games. This is not unreasonable given the long history of digital game innovation at MIT, and it is important for us to stay on the leading edge of this rapidly emerging mode of communication.

However, we would be remiss in not pausing for a moment today to reflect on the event that will put a stranglehold on the collective conscious of the entire world for the next four weeks.


As the world's greatest footballers, and greatest football fans descend on South Africa, I am reminded of the power of elegant game design to unite people - under the banners of nationalist pride, and in equal measure, by showing and sharing their (com)passion for a truly beautiful game.

There is some irony in the world's most popular sport being one that forsakes the use of the evolutionary tool that helps set us apart as a species. The simplicity of the rule has enabled the sport's dominance as the world's most popular game. You don't need much to play. A simple ball can be found or fashioned from many things. You don't need official goals, or uniforms, or bats, or pads. You don't need bases, or uprights, or wickets, or even a stadium. You only need some space, and the most abundant available resource, some people. No wonder the sport thrives.

jozy-altidore.jpgThis simplicity, I think too, serves as a reminder of our unity as global citizens. No amount of dollars, or ready-made suburban homes, or skyscrapers, or cable television rights can be divisive enough. Some of the best players' skills are honed barefoot in the sand. Everyone can play, and many millions do.

So my spirit is invigorated this morning as the first ball is kicked-off. Amazing that a simple game can stir so much passion in so many, and can serve as a reminder of the basic humanity we all share. Joga bonito everyone, and enjoy the momentary pause in the earth's rotation as we all hold our breath in expectant pause before the exhale of triumphant jubilation - goal.

And I can't leave this without declaring my support, blood orange since my youth:
Hup Holland Hup!


On June 15, 2010 at 4:17 PM, cris vidal Author Profile Page said:

(as I try to say before) Great post, Abe!

just for fun:


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