chopsticks, card sorting, nomic, and hand games

on a crowded train tonight i saw a teenager pointing and wagging her fingers at someone – i couldn’t figure out what she was up to, and eventually realized she was playing some sort of hand game.

as i’ve been thinking a lot about hand-made, hobby, hacked ‘games’ and off-beat transactional schemes lately i was intrigued.

walking back to my apartment and trying to figure out what the game was i recalled trying to develop a hand game a few years ago as an out-of-gallery component to a project i was working on for art interactive in cambridge, ma. i wanted to create some off-site action that would reflect some of the underlying logic and intentions of the installation in a portable form. the hand game component never happened.

when i got home i started searching and found out about chopsticks – and also located an online version – i’m pretty sure that was what the teens were playing – i’d never heard of it before. i like it.

here are two girls playing chopsticks:

this reminds me of a favorite video of the wisconsin card sort, a test of frontal lobe function where subjects try to figure out the rules for placing picture cards in front of other picture cards by placing cards on the table and receiving and ‘yes’, or ‘no’ from the person administering the test. the challenge behind the wisconsin card sort is that the rules change during the test…


would be interesting to develop a hand game where one of the moves is to change the rules silently.

hand nomic? – sort of…

let me know.