game of i

(etymology disputed), a chess-inspired formalism where pieces represent individuals with their desires, fears, interrelations, including rules for state changes and interactions; the goal is maximizing happiness for all pieces, with solutions rated by nontriviality and beyond~b open-endedness. Most game variants are un-brute-forcible: a solution can be verified automatically but can only be found by a lifemaking insight — by proteing yourself into the pieces, “recasting your I” into each (hence one etymology of the name). ■    Invented, legendarily, by a wizard to untangle a real-life conundrum, the game, in all probability, was an abstract game-theoretic find only later reinterpreted in terms of a basic (and historically old) lifemaking axiomatics. At some point it exploded in popularity, went through a period of volatility and intense speciation — but has since stabilized, with just a few variants actively played; though still associated with the wizarding class, for most it is a pastime entirely orthogonal to in-person streamwork. ■    GoI provides for competitive play but is best suited for problems — which may carry, on top of the standard ruleset, their own add-on laws, limitations, value functions. Nontrivial problems are rarely realistic — GoI “is not a life simulator any more than chess is a war simulator”; yet amateurs like to problematize a lifepoint (not necessarily perceived as a “problem” by those involved) to apply known solver algorithms or publish it for others to try: like lending your lifes steering wheel, anonymously, to a keen mind delightfully rich in not-from-hereness. A reverse also happens when an elegant solution gets relived by copyediting a close-enough life situation; some GoI problems have been fictionalized in art.

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