Month: September 2023

Score: Making a game that isn’t fun

By Luca Sandoval

This is a game. It’s supposed to be fun. Here’s what you need to play it:

  1. A deck of face-down rule cards (provided.) 
  2. A large handful of coins (not provided, obviously.)

The rules are very simple. 

  1. There are two players. They each take turns flipping a coin, calling heads or tails before it lands.
  2. The person who guesses correctly gets a point.
  3. The first to one thousand points wins. 

If at any point during the game you decide you aren’t having fun, feel free to draw the top card from the pile of rule cards. This should help make the game more fun. 


(This section is not a part of the score.)

The rule cards provided are small pieces of paper that have the following messages, in order:

  1. New rule: Correctly calling the coin is now worth 10 points, but if you get it wrong, you lose a point instead. 
  2. New rule: Each player can recruit another player as their additional team member. Those two players also flip a coin, and the points they either win or lose belong to the team.  
  3. New rule: Each team should recruit three more players. At this point, it’s probably worth establishing some kind of team organizational structure. The original player is the ‘team captain,’ of course, but you should ask the new hires how they feel about that. They may choose to assist your cause, or not, I suppose. 
  4. New rule: Add all of the coins you have left to the game. Coins are now valuable, maybe even more valuable than points (that isn’t currently clear). After all, at the end of the day, you have to put food on the table and keep the lights on, and points aren’t going to pay those bills. As a secondary requirement for victory besides reaching one thousand points, your team should also ensure they are financially better off than the other team by the end of the game. 
  5. New rule: The team members have unionized. Team captains should have seen this coming. They all demand to be paid a fair wage in coins and won’t keep playing until those demands are met. As a new requirement for victory on top of the old ones, negotiate a fair contract with the team members. 
  6. New rule: There’s been an economic recession. Everybody is hit hard, none more so than the innocent coin-flipping industry. Inflation has skyrocketed and coins and now next to worthless. You can sell back your team’s coins to the bank for fifty points each, which seems like an okay deal. However, as a consequence of the recession, the new requirement for winning is one hundred thousand points. 
  7. New rule: There’s really no point in playing games anymore given the state of the economy. 


My score was largely inspired by some of the works we saw relating to chess, and how artists in this movement would create twists on games that made them nearly impossible to play- and in the process allowed for the players to find their own fun using a broken ruleset. One that came to mind for my design was Yoko Ono’s White Chess Set, which featured an entirely white chessboard. This seems to make the game impossible to play, but in playing it I imagined that it might be its own sort of fun to attempt to remember which pieces were your own, or maybe just forgo the original rules altogether and simply play around with the broken ruleset. My score attempts to capture this energy by starting with a simple ruleset and slowly adding mechanics that derail it more and more until players are forced to find their own fun in the chaos. I also wanted the playing experience to be funny over anything else, thus the increasing absurdity of the rules.   

I was able to test my score two separate times, so it went through several revisions before the final. I was happy with the humor element of the score, as I feel in both cases the absurdity of the rules led to players creating comical situations, such as ‘firing’ their team leader or stealing/hoarding all the coins for their team. I do think that this score could be a bit more open-ended than the version I provided, and while I like the idea of the scenarios I’m providing for players (as a vehicle to create further comedy), it might be worth exploring a version of the game with less specific steps and punchlines while still maintaining the spirit of the score.

Score: Sketch and Stretch by T

Give each player 2 markers

Tell them to draw a picture

If they draw a circle, they do 5 jumping jacks

After 30 seconds, Vote

This score was designed with Yoko Ono’s work in mind, assigning seemingly random tasks to a straightforward idea. In this piece, the first goal of the game is simple – draw a random picture within a certain amount of time. However, much like a lot of Yoko Ono’s pieces in her book Grapefruit, there is a twist within the instructions that don’t seem to have any rhyme or reason for completing. This way of presenting a score is unique in the sense that it encourages outside-the-box thinking and exercises the creative part of one’s mind. However, where my score differs from any of the pieces in Grapefruit is that there is a more active engagement with the player, as opposed to having the reader ponder the meaning of the piece itself. In my score, this happens to be a disruption of the original idea through the use of physical exercise. This addition was inspired by the book about FLuxus, using the principle that the inclusion of multiple different people provides more room for creativity. By giving an open-ended task to the players to complete, it gives them all the power to create art in any way they want. Finally, the biggest inspiration for my Score would be the children’s games I used to play with my family, like pictionary or charades. These games have a simple premise with an emphasis on player engagement, and I wanted my score to reflect similar values. The game is designed to keep players on their toes, and force them to think about their approach to the game in a more abstract way, the same way a game of charades requires players to think creatively to win. 

Score of a Cooking Game


The players draw a dish card from the dish deck.

Carefully analyze the ingredients and picture of the dish on the Card

based on those materials, try to figure out the steps of making that dish

go through the “Score Guide”, one correct step for one point

the player with the most points wins!


The reason why I made this game is because I thought it would be interesting to combine culinary recipes with board games. Theoretically, since everyone is on their own team, this game can be played with an infinite amount of people as long as you have enough cards for them. But because we only have two cards available, I would say at this moment, it is a game for 1 -2 people.

This game invites players to explore their culinary intuition by analyzing pictures of dishes and a list of ingredients. These elements serve as a canvas for players to envision the steps necessary to bring these dishes to life. As players must come up with their own recipes based on the materials, it’s just like painting on an empty canvas.

Score #1 – Board Game Constructor


  • Designed to be played with at least 3 or 4 players
  • The score is separated into two phases: construction and play
  • During construction each player takes turn to add to the game – by drawing on the board, adding rules, pieces or other elements of the game
  • During play each player takes turn to play the game
  • Each construction phase lasts one round and play phase lasts two
  • Existing rules cannot be overridden or removed, but can be appended
  • The score begins with a blank piece of paper, during the construction phase

Materials recommended:

Pen, paper, RPG dice, cards and anything that can be used as pawns

The aftermath of a play session:

Author’s statement:

My personal inspirations for a game about making games traces back to my elementary school days: with us being obsessed with computer games but unable to play during the day, we spent launch breaks after lunch breaks turning our notebooks into interactive games with only pencils and imagination.

In relation to our class reading, I think my score is mostly inspired by the Fluxus’s focus of delivering the performance over the final product, and its collaborative but loose nature during the process of creation. Additionally, the score can also be seen as an exquisite corpse, since each participator contributes to the game in turn as the game progress forward.

While I originally intended for there to be a clear instruction about needing to have a winner or an end state of the game, I decided to remove the rule so the players can decide what happens at the end, or if there needs to be an end at all. I believe that sometimes, having the goal of a game to be perpetuating said game can be just as interesting as having an outcome. In addition, as the rule stated, players can only add to a game, not to remove them. as I view the game to be like a big canvas, where things cannot be erased even though newer additions would eventually overwrite older ones – even if they are no longer visible, they still make up the work. Finally, as the playtesting shows, there is an endless amount of possible product of this score, and I think this fits nicely to the themes of Fluxus and some of Yoko Ono’s scores, where the process of creation is constant, yet the same starting condition can turn into a chaotic amount of products.

Dinner Piece

Dinner Piece

Find a good afternoon
Walk to your favorite grocery market
Ask someone for their favorite course
Thank them for sharing
Get ingredients for that course
Hum and walk home
Appropriate that course in your favorite way
Enjoy it in the way you like

This score was designed to give the player a chance to have some simple time and just enjoy oneself. It does nothing difficult or aloof, which is something I want to erase from my artworks. It could be beautiful while serving a “purpose” that could aid a daily procedure. But again, I took my inspiration from Yoko Ono, and her artwork specialized in giving brief and elegant experiences. I didn’t aim to go as brief but there also was an element of trust that I took from her works, a bit of interaction with the world. It’s very important to feel not alone and content, I hope that this score could do something to help my audience understand this.

Score: Boundary Piece

Boundary Piece

Play tag with no boundaries.

Play tag with a reasonable boundary.

Play tag with an unreasonable boundary.

You may play hide-and-seek instead of tag.



Author’s Note:

This piece was heavily inspired by the work of Yoko Ono and the Fluxus artists. Yoko Ono’s elegant, poetic scores inspired the simple, repetitive style of this score. The alternative way to perform the score presented at the end is also something Yoko Ono does frequently in her book Grapefruit. Much of the Fluxus movement was interested in procedure and play. Tag (or hide-and-seek) is a very physical game. Playing it, especially with no boundaries, gets players moving through space, and actively experiencing life. The Fluxus artists were also concerned with modifying existing games, which I call back to here.

My score requests its performers to “play tag,” following whatever rules they understand that to mean. The rules of tag may vary wildly between different people, who grew up playing it in different environments. One thing tag does not have is a set end point. I recommend playing each step of this score with a short timer, but it could be played on a longer timer or even with some alternate win condition, if one understands tag to be played that way. Just like playing “proper” tag, this score is best performed outside, in an open space. Obstacles may or may not be present, and may or may not factor in to the performers’ conception of a (un)reasonable boundary.

This score was made with the specific purpose to make the performers think about boundaries in games. The score first asks you to play without boundaries, which, in my experience, does not work well. Players can just run away forever, never getting cornered by an impassable wall. Many playground disputes have arose from games of tag started with no established boundaries, over what is fair and reasonable. The score next asks you to create a reasonable boundary, making the performers consider what borders do facilitate a well-played game of tag. It concludes by asking the performers to play tag in an unreasonable boundary. This asks them to get creative. In both times performing this score, the performers went for an unreasonably small boundary, following the pattern established by the other two steps, but an unreasonable boundary could also be one with too many obstacles, or one of reasonable size but an over-specific, confusing shape.

My original conception of this score asked performers to play tag in an enclosed space, and then decrease the space until nobody can run, and play tag in the new enclosed space. I thought this was interesting, but did not leave room for interpretation and player expression, traits I admired in Yoko Ono’s work and wanted to include in my own score.

Compliment Cascades

Each morning, take a single die and cast it.

Memorize the number revealed.

Throughout the day, bestow compliments equal to that number.

Observe the faces you touch.

Witness the transformation in their spirits.

Take note of the reverberations.

A simple act, a profound impact.


“Compliment Cascades” is a call to embrace everyday kindness. Inspired by Yoko Ono and my mother’s unwavering insistence on me being a gentleman and treating others with respect, this artscore invites you to roll the dice of positivity.


Every morning, roll a die, and let the number guide you to compliment that many people throughout your day. It’s a simple gesture with a profound impact. In a world where small acts of kindness can make a big difference, this score empowers us all to brighten someone’s day with a genuine compliment.


Yoko Ono’s piece called Grapefruit had a major impact on my work as well as Allen Kaprow, who were both a part of the Fluxus movement. I took Yoko Ono’s collection of conceptual art and poetry and created these sets of instructions. I wanted the vibe of it to be similar to how she is commanding, while having a deeper meaning. I wanted people to realize our world is tense and divided because we do not treat each other like human beings with respect. I want people to put their differences aside and be genuine to each other. I wanted to show how easy it is to do so by simply taking a die and rolling it. Effortless and not complicated. Something that just… happens. 

Kaprow advocated the elimination or at least reduction of the conventional boundaries between art and daily life. He thought art should be easily incorporated into our everyday experiences and environments rather than being restricted to certain places or items. He led the happenings movement, a type of art event that blurred the lines between art and life. This piece is supposed to do so, and just happen naturally.


Documentation: After implementing this into my every day routine for the last week, I respectfully decided to not take any pictures or video of me doing this, because I felt it is personal and should not be shared with others. However, I will say that seeing all of the smiles and lit up faces really makes my day. Just try it out for yourself and you’ll see 🙂

Score: Go Fish ?


  • Looked around my room for an idea
  • Saw deck of cards on my desk
  • Thought about what game to play with those cards
  • Then thought , “What if you can’t see your cards”
  • Immediately go fish came to mind


Go fish?


Get a standard deck of cards

Shuffle deck of cards

Give each player 5 cards

*They can not look at their cards

Instead pick up your cards and have them face your opponent 

The youngest goes first

Take a card from your opponent 

You can either ask if you have a card or 

You can ask if you have a pair in your hand



After testing the game, we realized how you can easily get a pair but not even know it. 

Let’s say you steal an opponent’s card to make a pair, but they also have a pair of that card in their hand. What do you do? 

How far does your integrity go?

Making roommate play my game.


Artists Statement:

My goal from the beginning was to create a game that was simple yet had an interesting twist on an already existing playable game. I was inspired by all of the chess scores and some of the readings. I was especially inspired by Essential Questions of Life Chapter 3, when they showed artwork of objects that already existed but made it useless. I really liked the concept of re-inventing an existing idea but with an interesting spin. That’s when I looked at my deck of cards and thought “How can I introduce an interesting twist to a well known card game?” One of the first games that I thought of was Go Fish because it is a very simple game to play, and it is very important to know what cards you have to get the sets that you need. White chess was a big inspiration to me because it took a very well known game and added one simple change that completely altered the way the game was played.. Everything was white. Similarly, I wanted to change Go Fish. That’s when I had the idea; What if you were not able to see your own cards? I have to admit I thought that it was going to be impossible or extremely difficult to play, but my roommate and I were able to have fun playing the game. Although Go Fish? is a relatively straightforward game, there is still room for interpretation between players. Players are able to decide how they want to play the game and can even add their own rules or playstyles if they want. In creating Go Fish? My goal was to create a game that was both enjoyable and easy to learn and play. I really hope that my game was able to accomplish those goals, and will allow people to see more games in new ways, and create ways to change the game by adding or changing the fundamental rules.