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Jun 25, 2018

While listening to Melting Morning by Solar Ocean and reading Breaking up with James Joyce I’m reminded of my relationship with LISP the Lisp family of languages — but far less dire.

I’m fascinated by the idea of regional or “cultural” games. By that I mean “tabletop” or card games that are popular in, and often exclusive to, specific regions, countries, or even cities. Here’s a list of some regional games that I’ve explored to some degree:

  • Fanorona – Madagascar
  • Pasang – Brunei
  • Konane – Hawai
  • Shogi – Japan
  • Toguz Kumalak – Central Asia
  • Rek – Cambodia
  • Morabaraba – South Africa
  • Shashki – Russia
  • Bashni – Russia
  • Singapore Checkers
  • Turkish Draughts
  • Polish Draughts – Eastern Europe
  • Spanish Checkers
  • Italian Checkers
  • Ming Mang – Tibet
  • Oware – Africa, West Indies
  • Tafl – Scandinavia
  • The Royal Game of Ur – Mesopotamia
  • Senet – Ancient Egypt
  • Tab – Egypt
  • Pachisi – India
  • Yut Nori – Korea
  • Makruk – Thailand
  • Xiangqi – China
  • Bagh-Chal – Nepal
  • Bao – East Africa
  • Puluc – Beliz
  • Awithlaknannai – Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico
  • Mu Torere – New Zealand
  • Hoyito – Dominican Republic
  • Choko – Gambia Valley, West Africa
  • Achi – Ghana
  • Queah – Liberia
  • Gabata – Ethiopia
  • Hus – Namibia
  • Morabaraba – Southern Africa

This list only scratches the surface, and may in some cases be incorrect. The games in italics are those that I’ve explored.

I’ve been cutting way back on conference attendance and may only go to one this year. Over the years the constant barrage of common-room affectations have worn my desire down to the nub. That, and I truly hate those 4:00AM, bolt-upright, where-the-hell-am-I moments.

I’m of the opinion that debugging a complex system is an ability that can be improved with practice. One of the skills inherent in debugging is that of identifying connections. There are many different kinds of connective activities, but one that’s especially relevant for debugging is the act of connecting apparently unconnected events with each other. This particular skill can be exercised independent to actual debugging activities thankfully via the use of various games and activities. A couple of my favorites in this realm are the games Exquisite Corpse and Rory’s Story Cubes.


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