Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] A Zendo variant

  • FromCarl Worth <cworth@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 13 Feb 2007 00:27:51 -0800
On Mon, 12 Feb 2007 23:58:04 -0800, Kory Heath wrote:
> When someone calls Mondo, you may answer with a black or white stone, or
> secretly abstain by putting neither stone in your fist. When you
> abstain, you get nothing either way. If you answer correctly, you get
> one guessing stone. If you answer incorrectly, you lose all your
> guessing stones.

Oh, that sounds great! I can't wait to try this out. I'll definitely
let you know how it goes with my group(s) here.


PS. Thanks so much for inventing Zendo. I hadn't realized how
compelling I find inductive games, (nor even considered them as a
class) until I read about Eleusis, Bongard problems, and finally Zendo
and felt compelled to go get some pyramids.

For me, the childhood encounter I had with an inductive game that left
a lifelong impression was a game we played as a family on long car
trips. The keeper of the secret rule would begin with "I'm taking a
trip to the moon and I'm going to take <some item>". Rule guessers
would in turn say "I'd like to go to the moon, and I'm going to take
<another item>. Can I go?". The rule keeper would permit people to
travel to the moon or keep them earthbound, and the rule keeper would
continue to pronounce acceptable items whenever his/her turn came

Players would generally not pronounce the rule when they guessed it,
but just demonstrate their expertise by successfully traveling to the
moon each turn. And the game would continue until everyone figured out
the rule or just gave up.

The game is rather primitive compared to Jewels in the Sand or Zendo,
(no disproofs were offered by the rule keeper), and it was quite
biased to rules with a small subset of "affirmative" items. But I
think it still planted a seed in me which Zendo really brought to

So, thanks again!

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