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Chain World — Innovative Game Design Sparks Debate 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-new-ideas-please dept.
A story at Wired charts the course of Chain World, a video game designed by Jason Rohrer to be different from any game that came before it. Quoting: "It would exist on [a USB flash drive] and nowhere else. According to a set of rules defined by Rohrer, only one person on earth could play the game at a time. The player would modify the game’s environment as they moved through it. Then, after the player died in the game, they would pass the memory stick to the next person, who would play in the digital terrain altered by their predecessor—and on and on for years, decades, generations, epochs. In Rohrer’s mind, his game would share many qualities with religion—a holy ark, a set of commandments, a sense of secrecy and mortality and mystical anticipation. This was the idea, anyway, before things started to get weird."
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Chain World — Innovative Game Design Sparks Debate

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  • Weird indeed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tftp (111690) on Monday July 18, 2011 @04:52PM (#36804586) Homepage

    People don't like games where they have only one life. They already are playing such a game, for free - why they need to learn some other universe if one mistake just voids all their effort?

    One person at a time is stupid. That's not how anyhing in this Universe is happening. We live in the world where everything happens in parallel, where events can be triggered by other players.

    Most gamers don't want to play a single sentient being in the whole universe. This game by definition doesn't permit other human players. Too bad.

    The religious stuff is fluff that is TL;DR. I only commented on obvious gaming issues. I will gladly leave the religion to priests.

  • Good luck with that (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2011 @04:55PM (#36804612)

    So, I'll take the USB drive, and put it in my computer, and then I'll
    dd if=/dev/sdj of=/dev/sdk
    And then there will be two. Oops.

    Does Chain World have some of that nasty Internet-based DRM to prevent copying?

  • Not different (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Monday July 18, 2011 @05:05PM (#36804716) Journal

    Chain World, Rohrer explained, was a mod, a customized version of Minecraft and a set of scripts that govern how it’s played. And here was the cool part: It all lived on a single USB memory stick. [...] A week after the challenge, Ji posted an eBay auction for the memory stick. “This charity auction is for the third player slot for Chain World,” [...] The winner was an anonymous entity calling itself Positional Super Ko, a reference to a rule in the board game Go. For the right to play a used videogame exactly once, Positional Super Ko agreed to pay $3,300.

    So basically he automated what the minecraft community has been doing already and people went full-on moron.

  • Hack on floppy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hsien-Ko (1090623) on Monday July 18, 2011 @05:40PM (#36805042)
    In the early '90s I used to play hot potato with a floppy loaded with just Nethack or Hack. We passed it around on a character death so we can build up that death list and laugh at each other.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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