Game meant to be played in 2,000 years gets buried in desert

Jason Rohrer's A Game for Someone is meant to be played in the distant future. But you could be the first to play it if you can dig it up in Nevada.

Rohrer's A Game for Someone is buried somewhere in Nevada. Jason Rohrer

The cathedrals of Europe took centuries to build, surviving political upheavals for the benefit of future generations. Can a board game created today also last that long?

That's what game designer Jason Rohrer was shooting for when he unveiled A Game for Someone, winner of the Game Design Challenge at the recent Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

Rohrer, who has created titles such as The Castle Doctrine, designed A Game for Someone for a challenge titled "Humanity's Last Game," which it won.

Rohrer's new board game is meant to be played not by anyone alive today, but by people some 2,000 years in the future, assuming our species survives that long. To that end it has been buried somewhere in the Nevada desert, Polygon tells us.

"I wanted to make a game that is not for right now, that I will never play," the website quoted Rohrer as saying, "and nobody now living would ever play."

Inspired by the Mancala group of board games, A Game for Someone was tested in video game form by AI algorithms, and apparently Rohrer did not even play it himself.

It was designed to last through the ages, with the 18x18-inch board and silver cylindrical pieces machined from about 30 pounds of titanium.

The rules, which Rohrer has kept secret, were printed as diagrams on acid-free paper, sealed in a Pyrex tube, and housed in more titanium.

Rohrer then buried the game at a secret location in the Nevada desert, but kept the GPS location.

With dramatic panache, after describing the game he had GDC attendees open envelopes he had distributed. They contained a total of 1 million GPS coordinates.

"He estimates that if one person visits a GPS location each day with a metal detector, the game will be unearthed sometime within the next million days--a little over 2,700 years," Polygon noted.

Anyone up for some game hunting? Who knows what else you'll find buried out there.

A Game for Someone is played with titanium pieces. Jason Rohrer

 

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