‘Humanity’s last game’ buried somewhere in Nevada desert

game-for-someone-humanities last game

A Game for Someone (Credit: Jason Rohrer/Polygon)


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By Mike Smith | Plugged In

Video game fans are used to hot games being delayed, sometimes for months or even years at a time.

But a board game that scooped a major award at the recent Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco presents them with a wait that even the most patient of gamers will have trouble standing: almost three thousand years.

“I wanted to make a game that is not for right now, that I will never play and nobody now living would ever play,” designer Jason Rohrer told conference attendees last week, reports Polygon. There’s only one copy of his game, dubbed “A Game for Someone,” and it lies buried somewhere in the Nevada desert.

While Rohrer was kind enough to supply a map reference for the game’s location, he was also unkind enough to mix it up with around one million similar-looking but false sets of coordinates, handed out to conference-goers in sets of around 900. Working through the wild-goose-chases would take a dedicated hunter 2,700 years, he estimates.

In order that the game will still be in one piece if/when anyone actually digs the thing up, its board and playing pieces are made from about 30 pounds of platinum titanium, and the rules are written on non-perishable paper and sealed in a metal tube. The eventual finder will be the first human to play it, although the game has nevertheless been thoroughly tested by a computer.

A Game for Someone was developed for the tenth Game Design Challenge, a regular event at GDC. This year’s theme was “Humanity’s Last Game,” and the contest attracted entries from many of gaming’s biggest names, including The Sims designer Will Wright, Dishonored’s Harvey Smith, and Journey’s Jenova Chen.

Rohrer beat them all out for an all-too-appropriate top prize: an acre of land on the Moon. Why appropriate? Because the chances of him getting his hands on his plot in his lifetime is about the same as your chances of playing his game in yours: slim to none.


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