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Jason Rohrer buries a board game, wins Game Design Challenge


Game designer Jason Rohrer designed a board game, built it out of 30 pounds of titanium, then buried it in the Nevada desert. A Game for Someone was his entry in the last GDC Game Design Challenge, which carried a theme of "Humanity's Last Game," and it won.

Rohrer has never played his game, and he doesn't expect anyone else to for 2,000 years, when future humans discover the mysterious artifact in the desert. Instead, he designed it first as a computer game, using repeated AI playthroughs to automatically refine its rules.

Rohrer then handed out sheets of paper loaded with GPS coordinates. One coordinate, on one of the papers, leads to the game; Rohrer estimates that if one person tried one coordinate per day, it would take 2,700 years to find the game. Imagine hundreds of game designers, programmers, artists, academics, students, and journalists dragging metal detectors through the desert. Now that's a game idea.

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