Really Bad Chess

Really Bad Chess is bad in all the right ways

You’re taking a walk in Central Park. The sun is shining down on you, a stark contrast to the cool autumn wind that tickles the back of your neck. It’s a reminder that change is coming. As you stroll past the row of chess tables, you see two elderly men hunched over and glaring at each other with an intensity that startles you. As you approach, you notice that there are chess pieces sprawled everywhere. The two men look exhausted. You walk closer to see that the board is full of Queens. Nothing but Queens. One of the old men shakes…


A game about pretending to play chess is all about performance

It really is as if you were playing chess, except Pippin Barr’s newest game It is as if you were playing chess doesn’t include a chess board. There are no pawns, Kings, or Queens. No pieces at all, really—just instructions. Move this dot here. Look here. Now here. Tilt your head and cringe. Move again. It is as if you were playing chess makes a game of pretending to play a game. “To the observer, it should look as though the player is genuinely playing some kind of game,” Pippin Barr writes. “In this case, the idea is for them to…


Ancient India: The Birthplace of Modern Game Design

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel Ancient India produced some of the oldest and longest surviving games in history, and though the country’s videogame creators face modern day challenges, its contributions to game design are undeniable. They’ve gone by many different names and variations, but games like Chess, Chutes and Ladders, Parcheesi, and even the six-sided die are all believed to have originated in ancient India. Mostly created during a turbulent and formative time in the country’s history, the nature of these games gives a better understanding of the ideas, values, and social climate surrounding them.…


Tinder matchmaking is more like Warcraft than you might think

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game,” says the pick-up artist. “I’ve just got more game than you,” says your roommate who wears too much cologne. Comparisons between dating and gaming are commonplace in our web-obsessed culture, and thanks to a recent profile on Tinder from Fast Company, it turns out this connection is less superficial than you might think. We’ve all been there. You spend hours in matchmaking waiting to get picked for a quick game of Halo, but see no results. You’re swiping right all day on Tinder, but nobody swipes back. In this context, browsing for dates…


Chesh reinvents Chess for the people

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Chesh (iOS) Damian Sommer It seems nothing is safe from the dubstep-happy clutches of remix culture, not even the ancient and tried game of chess. Damian Sommer’s new iOS game Chesh can be thought of as chess if chess was a person who went to Firefly, took MDMA, and had a “life changing experience” while listening to DEADMAU5. Like many remixes, Chesh is pretty selective about what it borrows from the original. There’s still a heavy turn-based strategy element to the board. But instead of…


Chesh is the drunken, rule-breaking sister of Chess

What would happen if Chess could get drunk? Would the knight fall off their horse? Would the queen take a fancy to one of the pawns? Would the rook go diagonally? This is what the slur-titled Chesh looks to explore. It’s the next game from Damian Sommer, who has already mixed up the choose-your-own-adventure game with the IGF-nominated The Yawhg, and now we find him throwing grog down the dusty throat of a classic board game. The hooligan! But no, Sommer’s idea is pretty smart, potentially opening up Chess to new players by ditching all of its centuries-old rules. All of them?…