The Watch List: The Game Theorists

By Joe Strange

I spend way too much time on Youtube, that’s just a fact I’ve grown to accept, I figure that’s an inevitability akin to how a Goomba feels when it sees that smug, red clad, Italian blundering towards it, smashing bricks willy nilly.

Did I just side with a henchman? Blimey.

But because I find myself in Youtube holes more often than I’d like to admit, I’ve started trying to use my time and subscriptions for the good of expanding my mind and not the evil of procrastination inducing kittens.

Now I’m insulting kittens, what is wrong with me today?

Of course, by ‘expanding my mind’ I mean ‘reading way too much into topics that don’t need reading into’, by which I mean I’ve been watching a lot of videos by the Game Theorists. As you may have seen by our recent nostalgia article, we love games at Axby, they’re a way to escape reality, to forget about your problems, and experience the impossible. Well the fellows over at the Game Theorists ask whether or not the little things that we take for granted in video games are actually impossible, or if there’s actually some science behind it all.

I found them originally through a video on whether or not the Hookshot from the Legend of Zelda is physically possible, I expected a light hearted approach to a game convention that’s so iconic that it’s just become the norm. What I didn’t expect was some serious research into the science behind the hookshot, as a realistic device, as well as a heap of further mathmatics that proved that, while it is feasible, the hookshot wouldn’t leave Link in any shape to fight the forces of evil.

The lengths that the team over there go to in order to take real world laws of the sciences is astounding, and very commendable. They’ve tackled things like the previously mentioned Hookshot, to the Assassins Creed leap into haycarts, and even looked at the feasibility of both Rapture and Columbia, the cities in Bioshock.

For anyone who likes to indulge in 10 – 15 minutes of scientific conjecture and theory as well as a light hearted, sometimes cheesey approach, the channel of the Game Theorists really is a must watch. The topics they’ve covered are so broad that you’ll almost definitely find a video that piques your interest.

While the narration is a little too cornball-y sometimes, it never detracts from the actual science and the crux of the matter; taking all the magic out of your favourite franchises.

But the real marvel of this channel isn’t that it’s made hard mathmatics a part of my day now, but it goes to show that game developers do often put some real thought into the plausibility of their worlds, often basing the most ridiculous of concepts on real world science. Sometimes.

You can check out the Game Theorists on youtube.

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