10 – 40 minutes
- Have everyone start at a completely random Wikipedia article. This can be done through this link
- Choose a category in Wikipedia’s list of unusual articles
- Have everyone choose an article within the category. This a your goal page. This is the page you want to move towards. This is to be kept secret.
- Whoever got to the random page gets to be the first leader
- Everyone else chooses a link they want to go through and offers it to the leader
- The leader chooses a link from those offered by the other players
- Everyone goes through the chosen link and whoever offered the link becomes the new leader
How to Win:
- If you come to a page that links to your goal page, you win!
Optionally Tabletop-RPGesque Elements (for fun and profit):
Begin the game by having each player choose a person and place. (They must have a Wikipedia page) They will role play as that person and be from that place. The players should use this role as a way of backing up their link decisions. (Example: As Barbra Streisand from the isle of Jersey I think it would be smart if everyone else learned about my role in the film Funny Girl.)
So far 3 playtests have been run of this game. Here is the link history for the three of them:
|Hendricks County Flyer
|North Salem, Indiana
|20th Century in literature
|Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
|Post World War II Economic Boom
|No Land! No House! No Vote!
|List of Video Game collector and limited items
|2004 Summer Olympics
|PlayStation 4 System Software
|Internet Censorship in China
|(ran out of time)
|For Official Use Only
|Freedom of Information Act
The first play test didn’t use the category rule, so it took a bit longer. On the last playtest we ran out of time so we just saw who could get to their page first.
The initial conception of this game came from a normal visit to Wikipedia. Knowing I had to make an appropriation game (and in some bout of desperation) I established Wikipedia as the medium of choice. A few games have used Wikipedia, the most famous being the almost poetic Wiki Game. That has simple rules: Start on page A, go to page B using links fastest. I adore the wiki game both as a concept and as an actual experience. Any game that uses the internet as its play space like the Wiki Game or GeoGuesser continues to inspire me. It’s from the basic concept of the Wiki Game that this game was appropriated from.
So that’s where the “materials” come from. The conceptual basis of the game is the Exquisite Corpse. The wiki game is an individual race; it can be done alone with no inherit difference in experience. I wanted to make that experience collaborative. Having everyone follow the same links that the group decides to go through changes the dynamics of moving from A to B in Wikipedia. The mechanic of having every link decision decided by two people is another example of adding collaboration into the game. The effect of this is that the group creates a path instead of an individual. The path through links on Wikipedia might have less artistic merit then a drawing or poem that the Exquisite Corpse used but it’s a creation none the less.
The path that is created playing this game is something of a collaborative montage. Not in the sense of film but in the broader definition that the Berlin Dadaist worked in. A path is a collection of disparate ideas that miraculously have defined connection to each-other by the inherent fact that they are found within a path. The individual articles are just stepping stones to the next one, bereft of meaning beyond a name and a link. That same feeling is remarkably close to Hannah Hoch’s photo-montages that take letters and headlines from newspapers without regard for the totality of the articles. Cut with the kitchen knife is the first piece that came to mind when I though of the game’s product in this way. 3D montages like Grosz’s and Heartfield’s Elektro-mechan or much of the work of Raoul Hausmann is also conceptual similar.
Finally, this work is simple enough to be considered a score. I would be lying if I said that had an effect on the creation of the original game, but when I was simplifying the rules for quicker games the rules became more and more like a score. The game has shocking similarities with Ono’s Map Piece, something about the openness and use of preexisting mediums used in unintended ways lends itself to similarities with Ono’s and Fluxus as a whole… although it was not consciously made.