Games and Competition

Artle involves guessing who created a work of art using images from collections housed at the National Gallery of Art. 

This New Daily Game Is Like Wordle for Art

The National Gallery invented the guessing game to help users access its vast collections

Just as Wordle has its share of detractors today (a phenomenon only magnified by social media), a look back at newspaper reports from the 1920s shows that the crossword faced its own number of critics.

A Century Before Wordle Went Viral, Crossword Mania Swept the Country

In the 1920s, puzzling inspired a Broadway musical, built a publishing house and counted the queen of England as a fan

Photographer Jeff Schultz and painter Jon Van Zyle have co-created a series of artworks capturing Alaska and the sled dog community.

For 50 Years, Dogsled Teams Have Been Testing Their Mettle at the Iditarod

Three men who have lived and breathed the Alaskan race for much of its history recall how much has changed—and what has stayed the same

This image shows the Wordle instruction page.

Why the Online Game Wordle Went Viral, According to Psychology

Users are sharing their game grids, which show how they played without spoiling the answer for others

The stone board game featured a grid-like pattern and cup holes to hold game pieces.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Unearth 4,000-Year-Old Stone Board Game in Oman

The board resembled other artifacts that point toward a game similar to backgammon

This year's picks include Trails, Cascadia and the Initiative.

Gift Guides

The Best Board Games of 2021

These new offerings are sure to entertain, as more gatherings of families and friends are happening

Vote for the creepiest doll via the center's Facebook and Instagram pages.

Which Historical Doll Will Be Crowned the Creepiest?

A Minnesota museum's third annual contest invites the public to vote on which of nine antique toys is the most unsettling

The “Assasin’s Creed” series, famous for using real historical events as a backdrop to the games, have gone through scenarios such as the Crusades, the American Revolution and the Golden Age of Piracy.

When Playing Video Games Becomes a History Lesson

On campuses across the country, professors are putting historically based games into the classroom

Rasha Alqahtani, an 18-year-old from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, won a third award in the behavioral and social sciences category of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair for her prototype of a video game feature to assess anxiety. In addition to her STEM research, Alqahtani is a poet and artist.

Innovation for Good

This Teenager Is Developing a Video Game That Assesses Your Mental Health

Rasha Alqahtani, an 18-year-old from Saudi Arabia, is determined to help her peers learn about their anxiety—in the wildly popular setting of 'Minecraft'

Users play as Kendra Turner, an intern who uncovers the dark past—and present—of the fictional Blackhaven Hall Historical Society.

Innovation for Good

New Video Game Confronts Slavery's Legacy Through a Historical Mystery

"Blackhaven" finds a fictional intern working to uncover a colonial estate's hidden history while facing present-day racism

Detail of medieval roll showing England's Henry VIII tilting at a joust in front of his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. In the West, chariot racing died out rather quickly, but beginning in the second half of the 11th century, knightly tournaments were the spectacle of medieval Europe.

The Tokyo Olympics

What the Medieval Olympics Looked Like

The Middle Ages didn't kill the Games, as international sporting competitions thrived with chariot races and jousts

A 1996 copy of "Super Mario 64"—rated 9.8, or A++, on the Wata Scale—sold last Sunday for $1.56 million.

'Super Mario 64' Is Now the World's Most Expensive Video Game

A pristine copy of the 1996 game sold at auction for $1.56 million, breaking a record set by "The Legend of Zelda" just two days prior

Yakumo Academy High School karate team members practice a kata. Competitors are judged on such things as strength/power, deportment and interpretation.

The Tokyo Olympics

The Centuries-Old Sport of Karate Finally Gets Its Due at the Olympics

With the games set for Japan, the martial art will at last debut at next month's competition

An early episode of the rebooted "Jeopardy!," which debuted in 1984 with the legendary late Alex Trebek as its host

History of Now

From 'Jeopardy' to 'Wheel of Fortune,' Archive Will Preserve Game Show History

A new collection at the Strong National Museum of Play in New York will celebrate America's beloved prime-time competitions

Game developers consulted with historians to create accurate depictions of 19th-century Native American life. The new version features playable Native characters.

Innovation for Good

New 'Oregon Trail' Game Revisits Westward Expansion From Native Perspective

Developers hired three Indigenous historians to help revamp the iconic educational computer game

Seventeen-year-old Dasia Taylor was named one of 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

Innovation for Good

This High Schooler Invented Color-Changing Sutures to Detect Infection

After winning a state science fair and becoming a finalist in a national competition, Dasia Taylor now has her sights set on a patent

Clockwise from top left, caps worn by: Chris Lindsay of the Detroit Tigers during the 1906 season; Ila Borders, the first woman to pitch in an NCAA or NAIA game; Christy Mathewson (1880-1925), history and date unknown; Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees; Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics when he logged his 300th career save in 1995; Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves, 1972-73. (Richard Gary / National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

How the Baseball Cap Went From Athletic Gear to Fashion Statement

A tip of the cap to the nation’s crowning accessory

At the Smithsonian, educators have used the pedagogy of game-based learning to create innovative programs and activities that open the door to vast content and collections for learners of all ages.

Smithsonian Voices

Changing the Game With Game-Based Learning

Educators stress that the mechanics for learning and embracing the playful are embedded in the structure of familiar games

Italian company Beeing’s B-Box is small enough to keep on even a modest urban balcony.

Nine Attention-Grabbing Inventions Unveiled at This Year's CES

Held virtually, the Consumer Electronics Show still debuted plenty of new gadgets, from an easy-to-use beehive to a Bluetooth mask

A young girl lightly pats the backs of others with a survachka on Christmas Day in Bulgaria.

A Globe-Trotter's Guide to Holiday Games

Staying home for Christmas and New Year's? Try one of these festive traditions from around the world

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