The Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 02011 by Austin Brown
link Categories: Long Term Thinking   chat 0 Comments

Game Designer Daniel Solis has issued a challenge and he’s backing it up with a cash bounty. $1,000 will go to whomever can come up with a thousand-year game:

Create a game. The game can be of any theme or genre you desire, but there is one restriction: You’re creating a “new classic,” like Chess, Tag or card games. So, create a game to be enjoyed by generations of players for a thousand years.

He’s published 8 entries so far and will continue accepting them until July 31st August 31st 02011.

The winner will be announced January 1st 02012.

Entries so far derive inspiration from Go, Taboo, the myth of Pandora’s Box, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and plenty of other stories and concepts. You can browse the published entrants by month:

  • At first I was intrigued by the thought of a game that would take a thousand years to play, but upon seeing that this is simply a short-term game, and especially that the judging and award will be made within a single year (hardly sufficient to judge it a “classic”), I moved back to thinking about a game that would require multiple generations of players…

  • Many thanks for blogging about the challenge! I hope more, and more varied, entries come through in the next few months. :)

  • Judging the contest, in any kind of meaningful way, will be as challenging as designing an entry. I hope someone has serious credentials.

  • The idea of a game that people will still be playing a 1000
    years from now isn’t that interesting to me (sorry). For all we know our
    great-great-grandchildren could be playing “Angry Birds” on the holodeck or
    taking the vows for the MMORPG cloistered monastery. I am confident there will
    be evolved descendants of card games like poker and board games like chess. But
    I am fascinated by the idea of a multi-generational game that isn’t played out
    until 1000 years have passed. We have all been playing the genetic game of
    “Survivor” for a few millennia now but it would be nice to come up with
    something better than a fecundity scoring system. Maybe something along the
    lines of Monty Python’s global “Hide & Seek” game where the scale of the
    game extends the timeline. Or interplanetary “marbles” with little nudges to
    asteroid orbits. A Tontine system could be adapted to a multi-generational game
    but it would be best to avoid the lethal incentives. This merits further

  • Seven new entries in last month! http://danielsolisblog.blogspo

  • Several new entries in June, including one from veteran game designer James Ernest of Cheapass Games! Check out the new contenders: http://danielsolisblog.blogspo

  • UPDATE: Here are the finalists for the Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge!

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