On the felicities of graph-based game-board design: nine

[ by Charles Cameron — if the territory is graphical, so’s the map ]


Terrain, with its named places and transportation links between them, is graphical, as illustrated in this map:

#IS info graph claims 53 suicide attacks for Sept 2016 in #Syria and #Iraq pic.twitter.com/niCVar6ArW

— Jasmine Opperman (@Jasminechic00) October 6, 2016

It makes me wonder how often graph theory (of the sort that gives us the Königsberg Bridge Problem, see the first post in this series) is applied to troop movements — as it often is to public transportation (see the upcoming tenth post).


My next example of the use of a node-and-edge graphical design both puzzles and intrigues me:

Development Directions is out! https://t.co/R4I9mSZaQE #FB Stories via @mamaphlls @PublicSphereWB @clarissa_panama #poverty #aid

— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) October 6, 2016

It puzzles me, because I can’t quitec grasp what Raza Rumi — a very bright fellow — is up to in choosing this particular illustration. And it intrigues me, because once on a vision quest I glimpsed an outstretched eagle’s or hawk’s wing, with a similar graphical overlay of its structural essence. It’s a sight I’ve never forgotten, an exquisite linking of the real and abstract worlds, and one that I’m sadly ill-equipped to reproduce visually myself. Words don’t do it justice.


My third example, as you can see, is taken from a learned paper describing the use of graphs to illustrate musical compositions according to a strictly defined protocol:

"On the Modeling of Musical Solos as Complex Networks” #facemelter #rockon https://t.co/RhMQR8I1vD pic.twitter.com/swnHg4XPq8

— Chris Danforth (@ChrisDanforth) October 4, 2016

What interests me here — aside from the fact that any of these digrams could be used as a board in a sufficiently complex HipBone or Sembl game — is that I ran across this particular paper within 24 hours of reading m’friend Bill Benzon‘s account of his friend Michael Bérubé and his son Jamie, introduced in this tweet:

#downssyndrome Aesthetic investigations of a young man with Down syndrome. https://t.co/CqTg88arVV

— Bill Benzon (@bbenzon) October 6, 2016

Bill’s post Jamie’s Investigations, Part 1: Emergence to which his tweet refers us — is illustrated thus:


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