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GAME PRAXIS

I love playing and thinking about games, and hope this blog spreads the love!

While the Baroque rules of chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go.

Edward Lasker, chess grandmaster

Chess is the perfect paradigm for both the glory and the bloodiness of the human mind. On the one hand, an exercise in pure imagination happily married to logic, staged as a ballet of symbolic figures on a mosaic of sixty-four squares; on the other hand, a gladiatorial contest . . .

. . .each chessman, whether bishop, rook, knight or queen, embodies a dynamic threat, as if it were alive and animated by the desire to inflict maximum damage (by attack or defence) on the opponent’s men. When a chess-player looks at the board, he does not see a static mosaic, a “still-life”, but a magnetic field of forces, charged with energy – as Faraday saw the stresses surrounding magnets and currents as curves in space, or as Van Gogh saw vortices in the skies of Provence.

Arthur Koestler, from his commentary on the 1972 world chess championship

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Abalone

Abalone is a two-player abstract strategy board game designed by Michel Lalet and Laurent Lévi in 1987. To win a player must push 6 of their opponent’s marbles off of the board. My Abalone set arrived in the mail yesterday, and the first thing I noticed were the amazing aesthetics of the game. Lalet and […]

Turning Conway’s “Life” into a Game (Part 1)

This post takes up the project described in the previous one, so it makes sense to start there if you haven’t already seen it. I take it that the essence of Conway’s Game of Life is that cells can die for two reasons. Isolation Overcrowding And that conditions must be in between these two extremes […]

Turning Cellular Automata into Multiplayer Games

A cellular automaton consists of a regular grid of cells, each in one of a finite number of states such as on and off. The grid can be in any finite number of dimensions. For each cell, a set of cells called its neighborhood is defined relative to the specified cell. An initial state (time t = 0) is selected by assigning a state […]

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