Yes. I guess a robot would have to be crazy to want to be a folk singer.

Wed, 31 Jul 2002

[20:43] Semantics, and the 1000 Blank White Cards

I think I've finally found a worthy art project to take to Burning Man. At OSCon, Aron Wall hosted a New Card Game BOF. Never one to miss a new card game, I skipped both the Jam BOF and the Something Interesting Dominus Is Working On BOF to attend. The game bore a passing resemblance to 1000 Blank White Cards, in which the object is not merely to play cards but also invent new and entertaining ones. Perhaps more a direct inspiration for Aron's game may be found in Nomic, a game in which each move consists of adding a new rule to the game. No surprise, of course, that Aron is an avid Nomic player.

In Aron's game, which I recommended he call "Semantics", a player may each turn play a card or draw one, and a player wins either by playing a card that says "Win" on it, or by being the last player to not lose. Cards may be played at any time that alter the effects of other cards, modify them outright, remove them from the game entirely, introduce new cards, and so on. I figure it's a natural for Burning Man. I'm planning on making larger cards to start with, perhaps 6" x 9", made of oaktag or posterboard, and ideally with the sorts of illustrations that make 1000 Blank White Cards so charming. As a classic Black Rock twist, I'm hoping to invite the winner of each game to take their favorite card home with them, in exchange for a new and fun card of their own devise. I'm still waiting to hear from Aron about his recommended starting deck, but in the meantime, anybody got any other ideas?

On that note, I leave you with a thought from 1KBWC's author, Nathan McQuillen:

In the end, though, I think BWC's real appeal may lie in its similarity to the way in which many of us initially conceive our thoughts: fast, sketchy, often black and white; full of lewd desires and snappy retorts. The card structure provides four walls beyond which one generally does not color, but within which anything goes. So, I think, would we all like to live our lives.

The Book

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