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24 April 2009

Go Ing Nowhere

Click image to enlarge.

I think you'll have a surprisingly Fun Experience when you look at this recent Go game, on a very nifty move-by-move player.

White: Zarf Vantongerloo
Black: Lil Linden

... played it at the Go Center of Second Life on Tuesday 21 April 2009, and the game lasted an hour.

Note that the game began with 5 black stones already on the board. This is Black's handicap, earned from a player's previous performance. The biggest handicap a player can have is 9 stones. Handicap stones must be placed on specific grid intersections marked by dots.

You can watch the game unfold without knowing the game's simple rules or even the object of the game. (Crudely: The player with the most stones at the end won.)

Go players not only try to win -- it's widely considered the most difficult of all board games -- but also celebrate the beautiful patterns that blossom, one stone at a time, on the board. Some players claim they prefer cooperating with their opponent to create a beautiful pattern to winning.

Players also love the feel and the click sound of placing each stone (polished stone and mother-of-pearl) on the wooden board. This is the only aspect of Go which may be difficult to experience when you play Go in Virtual Reality.

The Korean word for Go is baduk.

Please forgive the pun in this post's title.

[Maybe it is not a bad pun, maybe it is a substantive koan.]

"Ing" was the Taiwanese businessman who offered U$1,000,000 to the first computer program which could defeat a human Go master, and the Ing Prize became a much-sought-after grail in Artificial Intelligence.


The Go Center of Second Life

The Go Center is a community of people that get together in the virtual world of Second Life to play, learn and discuss Go. Whether you're a newcomer, beginner, or old hand, we have members of all different levels.

The Go Center is located in Vineland and is always open, but the Club meets on Thursdays:


Other times, use the group chat channel and ask for a game.

In world, please join the group The Game of Go aka Wei'qi aka Baduk for notices and chat about Go.

Graciously, hosts a Go Center forum. We also have a wiki page at Sensei's Library.

Contact Zarf Vantongerloo (zarf[at]notabene-sl[d0t]com) if you have any questions.

* How to use the gobans ...
* How our ranking system works ...
* About owning land here ...

Go is a fascinating board game that originated in China thousands of years ago. It is played the world over, and extensively throughout Asia. Learn more at Sensei's Library, a great Go resource, or try The Interactive Way to Go.

New to Second Life?

If you don't have an account on Second Life already, head on over to the Second Life web site to learn more about the virtual work and create an account. Plan on spending about an hour or so getting use to moving and communicating in the virtual world, then head on over to the Go Center. Best day to try this is Thursday, our club day. See the times listed above for when people are most likely to be there.

Second Life, and SL are trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.
Go Center - SL is not affiliated with or sponsored by Linden Research.


patfromch said...

I wonder what William Campbell would have said if Robert Heinlein or Asimov or one of the other classic SF writers of the 40s or 50s would have come up with a manuscript of a short story where artificial intelligence beats a human Go player in a virtual reality for Astounding Magazine. I really do. Cant decide if he would have embraced the idea or sent out a rejecton slip though. For the kids nowdays this is almost normal, for us who can still remember when computers used tapes and command lines this is almost magic. Or SF come true.

Hell, maybe I should try this Second Life thingy, maybe I bump into a virtual William Gibson or Bruce Sterling. I bet they are p.o.for not coming up with a concept like that in one of their stories.

Vleeptron Dude said...

See Next Post

hanayeol said...

Hi, invite to baduk blog

Vleeptron Dude said...

Hi hi (hai hai) hanayeol --

Thanks for showing me your Baduk / Go / Weiqei website! I'm enjoying it very much.

I hope you feel honored to have met The Worst Baduk Player in the Milky Way Galaxy -- that's me!

But I love the game and feel a sense of inner beauty and peace -- and excitement -- when I play!

So who are you where are you what are you? How did you find my silly Vleeptron blog?

What is your Baduk handicap?

Will you play Baduk in Second Life?

Oh just tell me Anything you want. Here in the USA it is soooo rare to meet a Baduk/Go/Weiqei player!