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  • One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games -- and it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive values. (Carl Jung)

  • A couple of 'game' related films: David Fincher's 'The Game' and David Cronenberg's 'eXistenZ'.


    Carse, James

    Finite and Infinite Games; a vision of life as play and possibility.

    See notes to Finite and Infinite Games.

    Callois, Roger

    Man, Play and Games.

    "For a "taxonomy of fun" one place to look is anthropologist Roger Callois' _Man, Play and Games_. Callois suggests four categories of play: Competition, Chance, Make-Believe, and Vertigo. Callois lays a second axis across these four categories - a range from rule-bound, predictable play to exuberant, chaotic play. The end result is a two-by-four grid within which he maps all kinds of play and games." (Erik Zimmerman)

    Gooding, Mel and Brotchie, Alistair ed.

    A Book of Surrealist Games. Shambhala. 1995.

    Hesse, Hermann

    Magister Ludi or the Glass Bead Game. 1943.

    Michael Heim on the Glass Bead Game in 'The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality':

    A fictional game described in Hermann Hesse's novel Das Glasperlenspiel (1943), translated in English as Magister Ludi (the game master). Discussions of VR often evoke references to the glass-bead game because the game's players combine all the symbols of world cultures so as to devise surprising configurations that convey novel insights. Each player organizes the cultural symbols somewhat like a musician improvising on an organ that can mimic any instrument. The glass-bead game's synthetic, non-linear information play is a forerunner of hypertext and of virtual worlds. Hesse's fiction also touches on some of the human problems underlying the advent of cyberspace and virtual reality, such as the role of the body and of disciplines for deepening the human spirit.


    Bernie DeKoven's virtual play community (read: good clean fun and therapy). Site done in Frontier.

    HipBone Games

    Charles Cameron's (once educated as a theologian at Christ Church Oxford) excellent site over Hesse's 'Glass Bead Game' and his own variant the 'hipbone' game (a game played with ideas and concepts). The 'hipbone' game shows great potential as a solo or two-person brainstorming tool. The link above is for the new site, the link for the old site is here.

    Besides his own boards and sample 'hipbone' games, Cameron's site contains plenty of background information to the GBG. Here is an overview page of other people's ideas and variants.

    Cameron says he was once educated as a theologian at Christ Church Oxford and is currently writing a book on 'games and spirituality'. Games Lamas Play is a rough draft of a chapter of that book.

    By which I mean, life works like a game: it offers us a dazzling array of choices, which could in fact be represented by a logic tree -- but making those choices defines a singular path through life which thus becomes our story. So that in retrospect, "looking back from the high hill of my old age" as Black Elk says, narrative is what makes sense of the whole thing, while in prospect, looking forward from the almost infinite potentialities of youth, making choices is the thing to understand.


    Nomic is so cool. Nomic is a law-making game in which the rules can be ammended. It was invented by Peter Suber in 1982 and was, as he puts it:

    ...intended to illustrate and embody the thesis of my book, The Paradox of Self-Amendment, that a legal 'rule of change' such as a constitutional amendment clause may apply to itself and authorize its own amendment. (Nomic is the third appendix of the book.)

    Dr. Suber maintains a list of Nomic sites and background information here.

    Where was Nomic when I was thinking about the constitution of Amsterdam 2.0?

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