1KBWC and Other Nomics

I was intrigued by the game “1000 Blank White Cards” we played in class this past Thursday – what it was like to play a game where the rules could change halfway through, how few materials it took to create a completely original, never-been-seen-before game, and whether a game like that could actually be fun. After a little bit of research, I found “1000 Blank White Cards” can be considered a nomic, or a game in which the rules of the game include mechanisms for the players to change those rules (definition from Wikipedia). The original game Nomic was created in 1982 by philosopher Peter Suber and you can read the complete rules and description here. After a little more research, I came across Jacob Davenport’s blog post on Nomic, where he talks about trying to create a nomic with his friend Elliot. After a while they start to argue about how many rules they really need to begin a nomic, which begs the larger question “how many (or few) rules do you need in order for what you’re doing to be considered a game?”

One thought on “1KBWC and Other Nomics

  1. anthony

    The idea of a nomic is, I agree, intuging, but I feel like it falls short of Koster’s definition on page 46 where he says a good game is “one that teaches everything it has to offer before the player stops playing.” 1000 Blank White cards was so limitless in its rules that I could have just made a card to exclude myself from the game. Although it was an interesting idea I personally felt like “there’s a ton of depth to the possible permutations in a game but conclude that these permutations are below their level of interest” (Koster 44).
    I am still not convinced that game where there are no rules, where by the nature of the game there is no objective isn’t just a waste of time. Anyone have thoughts on this? Is a game that has no purpose besides maybe making your friends do embarassing things a good game?

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