The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Now all I need is a spacesuit …

I spent pretty much the entire day reading Atomic Rocketships of the Space Patrol (otherwise known as “So You Wanna Build A Rocket?”) and it was time well spent. Just about everything you ever wanted to know about rocket and spaceship design, from staffing (crewing?) to space warfare to holding on to the reigns of a galactic empire. There's even a section on futuristic games, a bunch of which I would love to try (any Trekkers for Fizzbin?).


The one future game I read about that really leapt out at me just for the sheer beauty of the board and pieces was Paradice.


It's a very beautiful game to look at—almost a work of art.

Paradice is interactive art, a game of give and take. Players explore decisions made in response to changing circumstances and engage with the contradictions of competing needs.


Oh, well, I guess it is art. Hard to come by, and the only version that seems to be available these days is not the above resin board (which at first I thought was glass) but a wooden version which just doesn't look as good (and while cheaper, is still about $50).

The game play—eh, but I haven't played it. I did read the rules though, and the design behind the game play is unique, such that only one side can win (it's in the rules) but there's a one in six chance each turn that the players swap sides, and in a certain circumstance the game starts over (and the players switch sides).

As an art piece, it's a statement about the dichotomy of man's desire to consume (one player) vs. that of preserving the environment and becoming one with nature (the other player), which is why I'm pretty much “eh” on the game play (it's not that I don't believe in nature conservation, but the game is so one sided—it's the “being one with nature” side that can win, that the moralistic viewpoint of the game design is being forced down my throat—that I find the game play off-putting).

But man, it certainly is a beautiful looking game …

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[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

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