The Said Symphony: Board and Gameplay

[ by Charles Cameron – extended analytic game on Israeli-Palestinian conflict — see Said Symphony: Intro ]


All the games of the HipBone family use the juxtaposition of ideas on a game-board to develop a web of associations that is larger and more complexly interwoven than the same ideas gathered in a simple list, didactic argument or sequence.


The Said Symphony board:


The simplest of these games uses the DoubleQuotes format, with which regular Zenpundit readers will already be familiar (i, ii, iii, iv). More complex games have been played on the Dart and WaterBird boards among others, some light-hearted (Movie Trivia Game), some quite serious (What Sacred Games?).

For quite a while now, I have wanted to play a solo game — something more epic in scale than a two-move DoubleQuote or even a ten-move game on the WaterBird board – that “scored” the symphony that Edward Said intuited, as mentioned in my previous post.

Not so long ago, I found the perfect board…


Board credit: Claudio Rocchini


The HipBone gameplay


Here’s how the gameplay works.

Slowly, I am going to “place” one quote (or image) after another on that board.

Each of these quotes or images (or equations, or sound-clips, or even blanks / silences) will be assigned a “position” (circle) on the board, a name or “move title“, some “move content” that features the quote or image and enough associated content to explain it, a series of “links claimed” in which I build bridges to directly adjacent moves already in play, and on occasion a “comment” which will allow me to weave in an overview of how the game is going, some footnotes, whatever seems helpful.

A board position, move title, move content, links claimed and comment, taken together, will comprise a single “move” on the board.

I hope to cover a wide range of issues here, political and religious, riparian and agrarian, Judaic and Christian and Muslim, secular and sacred, local, regional and international, disputed and agreed, in parallel and orthogonal and in opposition, violent and peaceable, ancient and modern and futuristic, social and individual… thesis and antithesis and synthesis, you get the drift.

Let me be clear: wherever the board shows two circles (‘board positions”) directly linked by a line, the ideas (“moves”) assigned to those two circles should have some form of linkage – associative, analogical, metaphorical, metonymic, causal, illustrative, oppositional, paradoxical, biographical, bibliographic… and so forth.

Putting that another way, I shall try to place my moves in such a way that moves joined by lines between them will indeed provoke thought and insight — about the facts on the ground, the myths in the air, the dreams and hopes and dashed hopes, the people…

So that the whole sorry, glorious story will hover behind the board, with pinpoint quotes and details shining through the moves on the board like constellations in the night sky.

Thus it is not the ideas themselves but their relationships – their duels and duets – which form the fabric of this work of architecture, the counterpoint of its music.


Playing and following along:


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