Let's start today:
Aside from endless coverage of snow, the most important item of news on the BBC this lunchtime is the English bid for the FIFA World Cup, due to take place in 2018. The Prime Minister, the Prince of Wales, David Beckham, the Mayor of London and a whole retinue of folks from the FA are in Zurich to bid to be allowed to host a sporting event. Millions of pounds have been spent on the British bid, including a ton of research, agreements with Premiership clubs that they will host international teams, and a promise to create a charitable fund to help bring football to the world to unite all the peoples of the Earth. A slick presentation, a video, and testimonies from people about how football has changed their lives and taught them to be better people have been woven together in an attempt to win this most coveted prize.
The English bid is but one of ten. FIFA are voting to select who gets to host the competition in 2018 and also 2022, and many of the other bids are equally as slick and well represented. At 3:10 GMT today, the result will be announced, crowds will assemble in city squares in the bidding countries, people will cheer and party, or commiserate for what might have been. Years from now, the tournament will take place in two of the ten countries, and their media and populations - and those from all around the world - will explode in a frenzy of excitement. Billions of people will watch matches on television, millions of people will buy tickets, hundreds of thousands of people will flock from far and wide, paying thousands - or even tens of thousands - of dollars to follow their team.
Football is not alone in this enthusiasm. The Olympics are happening on my doorstep in London next year and will have cost billions to stage. The Rugby World Cup has taken on a symbolism for South Africa's emergence from apartheid. Muhammad Ali's story of how he came to beat George Foreman is not just a story of two fighters, it's a story of conflict, heroism and overcoming. The English football team won the World Cup once in 1966, and the entire male culture of the country yearns to achieve such greatness once more as a matter of vast emotional catharsis for a generation.
All because of games.
If you are a game designer, developer or fan, are you paying attention to what's going on in Zurich today? Why not?
What transpires in the world of sport is important, and even if you do not personally like the sport in question, there are lessons to be learned here. Not just lessons of game design and rules, but of game culture, meaning, significance, metaphor and even art.
Sport is a part of what games are. Sport shows a lot about how people play, why they are engaged, why they become so passionate about games, and what games can teach. Sport also shows that games have a unique ability to bind people and culture together in a way that no other human activity does. Whether it's the story of Muhammad Ali or the woes of the English national football team, sport matters.
Are you going to tune in at 3:10? I am.