The only game worth playing

Photo by Riho Kroll on Unsplash.
Each dice is random, but some rolls are much more likely than others.

The most boring game in the world

The most boring game in the world.
How likely you are to land on each square on your first roll of two 6-sided dice.
How likely you are to land on each square in a 2-dice, 28-space game, playing a billion times.
The probabilities of landing on each square.

Randomness is the opposite of agency

Snakes and ladders just delay the inevitable randomness. There’s no real choice.

Games with a known stalemate

Tic-tac-toe is actually a game of knowing whether your opponent knows the trick.
  • Unenlightened: Competitive placement of circles and squares, when you don’t know the trick;
  • Enlightened: Discovering whether your opponent also knows how to always tie a game, when you know the trick.

Unknowable games

  1. Every game between two perfect players would end in a tie, like tic tac toe does; or
  2. A certain player (the one who went first, or the one who went last) would always lose (in other words, there is a series of moves that, once known, can never be countered.)
Photo of Claude Shannon in front of computer equipment. — https://opc.mfo.de/detail?photo_id=3807, CC BY-SA 2.0 de, https://c
Claude Shannon, by Konrad Jacobs

Combining randomness and complexity

The Royal Game of Ur

(Go watch it. It’s amazing.)
I never understood the appeal of Backgammon. Some folks do, apparently. Photo by Josh Pepper on Unsplash

Make of your life true games

  • A fun battle of wits.
  • A rigged game preying upon those who don’t know the trick.
  • Or a complete waste of time for which you may as well flip a coin.
John Conway, the mathematician who devised the cellular automata model behind The Game Of Life, died this month from Coronavirus. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/04/14/john_conway_obit/

--

--

--

Writer, speaker, accelerant. Intersection of tech & society. Strata, Startupfest, Bitnorth, FWD50. Lean Analytics, Tilt the Windmill, HBS, Just Evil Enough.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Teaching VS Providing an Opportunity to Learn

NLP & NLP Libraries in Python

Model Tree Classifier for large scale classification

Can Machine Learning Accurately Predict The Stock Market?

NLP-based book recommendation

Amazon Employee Access Challenge

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alistair Croll

Alistair Croll

Writer, speaker, accelerant. Intersection of tech & society. Strata, Startupfest, Bitnorth, FWD50. Lean Analytics, Tilt the Windmill, HBS, Just Evil Enough.

More from Medium

A Brief History of My

The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett is a Very Tasty Treat!

Why the necessity to bring together African and Afro descendant youths ?

The 3rd Condition: Creative vs. Analytical