mao and nomic: games with emergent and changing rules
I watched one of my kids play the game “Mao” (also called Mü, Maw, Chairman Mao, etc) with her friends the other day. Fascinating. In the game players develop unspoken, secret rules that others have to figure out — the rules are emergent and evolve. Fun stuff.
Interested in playing (but don’t have any friends)? Well, of course there’s a MaoBot that you can play against online.
Another game, roughly in the same family (but even more fascinating), is Nomic – developed by Peter Suber. Here’s the premise:
Nomic is a game in which changing the rules is a move. In that respect it differs from almost every other game. The primary activity of Nomic is proposing changes in the rules, debating the wisdom of changing them in that way, voting on the changes, deciding what can and cannot be done afterwards, and doing it. Even this core of the game, of course, can be changed.