Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

[Icehouse] Zendo, another way to play

  • From"Elliott C. Evans" <eeyore@xxxxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 24 Aug 2007 07:39:34 -0400

Here's a quote from the article Andy linked to from this week's news:
> The first time playing Zendo I really felt like I was getting a good
> mental workout in that I was thinking in manner I don’t often use.
> When I sat some kids down to the game for the first time it was
> wonderful to see the light go on when each individual slowly “got it.”

There are a number of party-type games that are played until all the
players "get it". One that springs to mind is "Crossed and Uncrossed"
where a circle of players hand a pair of sticks around saying either,
"I hand these to you crossed," or, "I hand these to you uncrossed."
Only one of those two is appropriate for any given pass, and the
deciding factor has nothing to do with whether or not the sticks
themselves are crossed. The game continues until the sticks can go
all the way around without even a single error.

Has anybody tried playing Zendo this way? Players who figure out the
Master's rule would start building koans that hopefully illustrate
the rule more and more clearly until all players "get it". Obviously,
players should refrain from asking indicative questions ("Master,
would you say all these white-marked koans contain one red piece?")
but helping the other players "get it" would make Zendo a bit less
competitive and more collaborative.

If the players are of different skill levels this might get annoying
for some of them, but for a group of experienced players this might
be a fun variant. Of course, some players might *think* they have it
and be wrong, but trying to eliminate this risk is part of the
challenge for the players.

Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans

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