Computer programs that can beat human chess masters is old news. Programs that can beat humans at checkers is super old news. We’ve even had IBM build a computer that can beat humans at Jeopardy, but the quest to write a program that can be a grand master of the Chinese strategy game Go is still a long ways away. As far as strategy board games go, Go makes chess look as intellectual as a kick in the balls. In chess, there are only a relatively small number of moves per turn, and the more advanced players are, the more predictable their strategy becomes. Go on the other hand, has hundreds of thousands of possible moves per turn, but that’s not the hard part. The hard part is that with Go, player predictability increases until you get to the professional level, and then all predictability goes out the window— go masters basically reach a Jedi-like state where even after a lifetime of intensive study, they can’t explain why they make moves they do, they just “feel it in their gut”, and that’s something that’s really difficult to turn into code.
There are still many months to go before Day of the Dead celebrations kick off across Central and South America, but playing card maker Bicycle is nearly to its $10,000 goal of creating a gorgeous Day of the Dead themed deck. And I mean it is fucking gorgeous. Follow the Kickstarter link through to see all of the cool Dia de los Muertos extras you get if you’re a backer.
Since Cards Againgst Humanity is under a Creative Commons license, it means anyone is free to make and distribute new cards, as long as you’re not selling them and/or blatently trying to rip off CAH. So with that in mind, a group of Doctor Who über nerds have created Cards Against Gallifrey, a set of CAH cards based on 50 years of Doctor Who. They’re not all side-splitting hilarious, but the beauty is that you can always make your own. Go ahead and print em out and get all wibbly wobbly timey wimey.
Currently vying for funding on Kickstarter is a set of beautifully drawn Edgar Allen Poe playing cards. 25 days to go and it’s around 40% of its funding goal, so if you’re a Poe fan, feel the Christmas spirit and chip in a few bucks.
If you’ve played Magic: The Gathering, you know that it’s a hell of a lot of fun until it’s not. And you know exactly when it stops being fun— when it becomes too expensive to build better decks, too expensive to keep up with friends and locals who spend way too much money on the game, and when it becomes too much of a pain in the ass to keep up with new releases. With the release of five new Commander decks, you might want to pick the game up again, since the recently introduced Commander model is meant for fun, equal, casual play. Don’t worry about whether your opponent has some rare should-have-been-banned card that will wipe you out in one move, just sit down, pour the Mountain Dew and play.