Monday, November 13, 2006

1000 Cards and 1000 Journals

I mentioned several months ago, that I was designing a card game. Well, one of the games that inspired me to create my game was the game 1000 Blank White Cards. Basically, 1000 Blank White Cards is an infinitely expandable card game where there are no set rules, and the players design the cards (and rules) as they go by drawing on, as you might expect, blank white cards.

Well, in reading up on 1000 Blank White Cards again (something I find myself compulsively doing every 6 months or so), and discovered the existence of another similar game: Nomic. Nomic is a dice game, where the goal is to reach 100 points first, but taking turns rolling a dice. But, in addition to rolling the dice, each player, on their turn, also creates a rule which the other players then vote on. The rules can pretty much do anything, including changing conditions of victory, so the game is actually perpetually evolving as game play continues. It's not surprising that the creator of Nomic also wrote a paper entitled The Paradox of Self Amendment.

I'm not sure why games like these appeal to me, but I have to admit that I find myself perpetually fascinated with open-ended games like 1000 Blank White Cards and Nomic which actually evolve as they are played. Something about the potential complexity hidden under simple rules just click for me. I've never actually been able to trick my friends into playing either, but still hope to someday.

Changing gears a little, I also thought I'd mention that I finished reading Drawing From Life: The Journal As Art, a book detailing a number of journals created and maintained by artists and creators ranging from David Byrne to Mike Figgis.

Not my hands.

It was a quick read (even by my slow-reading standards), but one that was very inspiring to me. In fact, after completing it, I've decided to keep my own "art journal." Something which, I'm guessing, can only end in tears. But... heck, why not do it anyway.

It was endlessly fascinating though to get a look inside of the creative process of 30 odd individuals. Often I find that journals and sketchbooks can be more interesting and insightful then the artist’s final works. This is probably a clich├ęd observation, but I'm sticking to it.

One thing I read about which you all might want to check out is the 1000 Journals Project, where a man created 1000 blank journals and sent them out into the world to be passed around and slowly filled up by anyone who came across them. The only condition was that he asked people to check in with the site to keep him updated as to where they were at, and that they (hopefully) return them to him when they were done. And interesting site to browse, and a great little art project.

No comments: