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Welcome to HipBone's site.
The HipBone Games are so simple a child can play them: if you've ever thought, "and that reminds me", or "isn't that like such and such", you've already got the basic idea.
We call them "HipBone Games" because of the old song, "the hip-bone connected to the thigh-bone", and because they are games of connection, of the links between ideas. The HipBone Games site offers you a variety of simple boards, and playing our games is as easy -- and as subtle -- as mapping your ideas onto the board positions. It's pretty much like using one of those "clustering" devices you find in creativity seminars and problem-solving workshops -- one idea goes in a little balloon over here, and it's linked to another idea in a little balloon over there...
The trick comes when you have to link your next move, your next idea, not just to your own previous moves, but to your opponent's... which is why we call them "mind to mind" games.
Here's what you'll find in the rest of our site:
Here we let you in on the secret of our games -- that like conversations, our games are pretty direct communications from one mind to another. This means you don't have to worry that our games will be too highbrow -- or too trivial -- to hold your attention. Anyone from a child to a PhD in astrophysics can play our games: like a conversation between friends, a HipBone game quickly finds its own level.
Invitation to play
This page will give you everything you need to begin playing the HipBone Games -- (i) a selection of HipBone game boards, (ii) the basic rules for competitive, cooperative and solo play, and (iii) a few sample games. But we're not big on the sample games -- because frankly those are other people's games, not yours...
Educatorscan use our games in the classroom to convey facts and generate new creative insights in an exciting and playful atmosphere of cooperation and competition, therapists find them helpful in conflict resolution and dream interpretation, businesspeople can use them in problem solving... and AI researchers may find them a challenging and insight-provoking "pocket universe" in which to study the basic, fascinating human thought processes at the heart of creativity. There are any number of possible applications of our games: this is where you'll find them discussed.
HipBone believes the computer games industry is one of the most exciting things to come down the pike in years -- but we also think many of the current games lack a depth dimension which keeps many people from playing them, and we would like to see the industry headed in a direction which is more friendly to intelligence and feeling. Here you will find our writings about the back-history and future possibilities of computer games...
Hermann Hesse, the Swiss-German novelist who wrote Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, Demian, and Narcissus and Goldmund, won the Nobel for his final novel and masterpiece, Magister Ludi. This is the book in which he describes the fabulous game known as the "Glass Bead Game" -- describes it clearly enough that you can almost taste the excitement of playing it, but somehow manages not to tell you exactly how it is played. This section of HipBone's site contains materials about Hesse himself and his novel.
This section focuses on the challenge of designing playable variants on Hesse's great game, and contains materials on other "GBG variants" such as Mark Line's Waldzell Glass Bead Game and William Horden's Intrachange.
HipBone offers us a glimpse over the horizon at the future of games -- where we are going, or could go. I think we're headed for "emergent entertainment" -- games in which the gameplay emerges out of the interactions of two or more people. HipBone Games are an almost pure distillation of that idea, because you're dealing directly, mind to mind.
Mike Sellers, Archetype Interactive
More about our games and where we're going with them...
HipBone is also interested in the arts in general and poetry in particular. Here you will find our non-game-related writings on the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, the nature of hypertext, the curious logic of myths and dreams, and so forth.
There's a new millennium rising, and another of HipBone's interests is the fascinating variety of millennial ideas and movements out there in the wide world and on the web. Here you will find HipBone's reviews of millennial sites and sightings, our articles on the Y2K computer problem and other such things.
Contact addresses and information -- and a bio for Charles Cameron, the designer of the HipBone Games.
HipBone Games rules, boards, sample games and other materials are copyright (c) Charles Cameron 1995, 96, 97. See Concerning Copyright for full copyright details.