It struck me one evening (2001) how the insight Chess offered me in my daily living was bounded in the sort of play that takes place on the game board, between the players. While each game is different in its seemingly limitless variations, the recognizable patterns and perspectives are enabled by the rigid rules of the game. This is not a negative criticism but a reckoning of the birth of certain possibilities via rules, namely rules of the game of Chess.
I wondered why so few modern games are invented with that sort of universal appeal, and with rules that might enable players to access additional perspectives on their daily living. I decided I would try to introduce something new. It would have to be fun; using rules, goals, and strategies, which were different from those espoused via confrontationally-oriented games such as Chess.
Chess rules are strict, bounded, but once we’re used to them they’re simple. In spite of rigid rules, play remains astonishingly organic. We always find different patterns growing and new ways to manipulate its strategic intricacies. Sometimes these grow in synchronicity with surges of well-being in the players, other times they decay.
In chess play, both players know the game resolves in checkmate and they organize everything they do within the game in order to bring about the checkmate. Certainly, there are strategies within strategies, and small battles within larger contexts, but ultimately these are all for the sake of the final confrontation: the checkmate. Yet obtaining a checkmate is not the most interesting thing about the game. We already know it will happen. The interesting part (and the reason we anticipate the checkmate) is the process each player affects toward the checkmate.
The checkmate is a death. It’s cessation organizing our lives in the game and we, players of the game, have the tantalizing means for constructing this organization entirely.
The players each have sixteen pieces and a world in which the pieces move (the board). Sixteen is important: we can pair the pieces. Pawns in twos, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and the reigning couple. All of these twos support conceiving in terms of polarities, opposites, or complementary parts. They define back-and-forth interplay since it’s not simply the fact that each player has couplets, but the couplets each correspond precisely to the other player’s pieces; one player’s will interacts with the other player’s will, represented by the game pieces. The players manipulate patterns, pushing their wills against each other to eventually vanquish the other.
Although I think that Chess patterns provide one of many valuable perspectives, in Adomoc I wanted to open a different perspective. With Adomoc, I’d intended to introduce a perspective that is not based on couplets, polarity, or a death principle organizing play. Find out about the principles behind Adomoc, here.
– Joshua Chalifour