Friday July 6, 2012
Go makes an appearance in Allegra Goodman ’s 2006 novel Intuition, reports Debbie Siemon. “After the author introduces a couple of secondary characters as ‘geniuses,’ they show up at a picnic (at Walden Pond, no less),” says Siemon. The reference, on page 164, reads “Next to the drinks cooler, Jacob and Aaron sat playing Go on towels in the sand.” The novel is “an intricate mystery and a rich human drama set in the high-stakes atmosphere of a prestigious research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”
Spotted go somewhere? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Monday April 2, 2012
The second International Children’s Go Art Contest is now accepting submissions, and will culminate in an exhibit of the pieces at the U.S. Go Congress in North Carolina this summer. The event is sponsored by the Mexican Youth Go Community and the AGA, in honor of the International Go Symposium. Organizer Siddhartha Avila says “the contest will feature children’s artwork, in which they will be free to express their visions, emotions and ideas about go through painting. Its purpose is to make go culture flourish among children, and promote it through a creative exchange.” Last year’s contest drew submissions from Japan, the Phillipines, India, the US and Mexico. Submissions must be received in Mexico City by July 13th. Complete information, including the submission forms and event details, can be found on the Go Symposium site. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
Sunday January 15, 2012
Reader Rich Newman sent this along, from the January 11 edition of XKCD, “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”
Monday December 26, 2011
A scene featuring 3-dimensional go was spotted in Andromeda, the Canadian-American science fiction television series based on unused material by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, which ran from 2000 to 2005. “In the Double Helix episode there’s a scene where the captain is playing (starting at 5:27), not tri-level chess like Spock and Kirk, but rather tri-level go and they even refer to it as ‘go,’” reports Fr. Mark Lichtenstein of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill, PA. “The game (portrayed) doesn’t look like a real game though. Not that tri-level go is a normal variant like 9×9 or 13×13.” There’s a last glimpse of the game in the first seconds of this clip as well.
Monday October 24, 2011
The American Go Association is sponsoring the 2012 International Go Symposium, a scholarly conference to explore go’s rich educational, cultural, historical, literary, artistic and scientific dimensions. Papers are now being accepted for presentation during next year’s U.S. Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC. Selected papers will be presented by their authors in 30-minute presentations, followed by interaction with the audience. The organizers are working on a way for authors to present remotely via Skype. Anyone can submit a paper for consideration. If you are interested in submitting a paper, contact Peter Shotwell, the well-known go author who is organizing this event, at email@example.com. Financial sponsorship is limited, although the organizers would welcome support for this effort to improve the understanding of go through study and discourse. The 2012 IGS joins an academic tradition of go study that began in 2001, with the First International Conference on Baduk, organized by the Department of Baduk Studies at Myong-ji University. To get an idea of what’s been presented at other conferences — and perhaps be inspired to submit your own paper — the 3rd ICOB,and the 2008 Symposium on the History of Go and the Representation of Go in Art and Literature have listed their programs online, although the presentations themselves are not available. For further information contact Shotwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Roy Laird
Sunday September 25, 2011
E-Journal reader Michael Albert spotted go in Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection), the 1972 Hong Kong martial arts film starring Bruce Lee in his second major film. “When a scene came up with a go board in it, I was a little skeptical at first,” says Albert, “but then after reviewing the scene a couple times — and watching to go board get thrown at someone’s face — I realized that I was seeing the real deal. A previous scene shows to people placing stones on the board. I can’t tell you if they were playing a real game or just placing random stones on the board.”
Sunday September 4, 2011
“The 1st International Children’s Go is Art Painting Contest received submissions from the US, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines and India,” reports Alma G. Juarez, of Mexico City. “We wanted to make go culture flourish among children, and promote it through a creative exchange with the painting contest,” Juarez told the Journal, “there were three categories A, B and C from 6 to 15 years old, and kids were free to use any technique they wanted for their artworks. All the paintings we received were amazing and we could see the creativity and love that these children have for go.” The submissions are all online, and can be seen here. “The decision about the finalists was hard for the panel of judges,” said Juarez, “but we can say that the experience was great for everyone. We included a Special Mention for Takumi Shimada, a four-year-old Japanese boy. Even though his age wasn’t under any category, he submitted a painting showing his love for go and his will to learn. Also we had the finalist submission of Aaron Ye 4d, who recently represented the US at the World Youth Go Championship, he’s not just a strong go player but also a great artist! For all the children that didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the ‘Go is Art’ Painting Contest, it will be an annual event, so don’t hesitate to send your submissions next year!” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Quotes translated from the Spanish by Siddhartha Avila. Photo: Jamia Mei Tolentino’s “Happiness with Go” An entry from the Philippines.
Thursday July 28, 2011
“Episode 49 of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple said a little about go,” reports EJ reader Asa Euster. “Not much,” Euster adds, “the show was just using go as an example of a game of territory.” Kenichi is an anime based on the Japanese manga by Syun Matsuena.
Night Train is “a low-budget thriller about how greed can drive a person to do terrible things, and it features go!” writes Will Lockhart. “The film (starring Danny Glover, Leelee Sobieski and Steve Zahn and available on Netflix) takes place on an overnight train somewhere in Northern Europe. A man commits suicide by overdosing on pills, and when two other passengers and the conductor discover that he has a box containing precious jewels, they hatch a plan to dispose of a dead man’s body and take the box. The film periodically cuts back to two Asian men on the train, playing go, though the game looks like a fairly weak kyu game. Not only is there go in the movie, but its presence actually may be symbolic of the greed that overtakes the train passengers.”
Sunday July 10, 2011
When Frank Lantz thinks about games, he doesn’t play around. Lantz teaches game design at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, the School of Visual Arts, and the New School. He created games for Cartoon Network, Lifetime TV, and VH1 before becoming becoming the co-founder and creative director of Area/Code. His writings on games, technology and culture have appeared in a variety of publications. In a recent lecture on “Go, Poker and the Sublime” at a game developers’ conference (click here to view online), Lantz declared that games are an art form on a par with music, literature and film, perhaps even “the most important art form of the 21st century. Describing go to his mostly non-playing audience, Lantz comes up with some remarkably well-turned phrases, explaining how “Go is good at teaching itself to you,” “. . . at the border of the discrete and the continuous,” “. . . thought made visible to itself.” I especially enjoyed his riff explaining why “light” is better than “heavy,” yet “thick” is better than “thin.” Lantz goes on with a similarly eloquent description of poker, which he finds to be about “the alchemical transformative power of greed.” Looking at both games together, Lantz sees a contrast with video games that dominate today’s market. Go, poker and similar pastimes are more abstract, less reliant on make-believe – in short, they are games that grownups also play. They are infinite – players do not reach an end point as in narrative-based adventure and role-playing games. He exhorts the game developers in the audience to think big: “I want a game that I can play my whole life, that I can teach my son, and he will play his whole life.” Mostly known for the iPhone app “Drop7,” Area/Code has pursued other innovative “social gaming” ideas such as Macon Money, an alternative currency “game” conducted in “RL” (real life) in Macon, GA; and Budgetball, a physical sport that also requires a certain degree of fiscal planning. In January, Area/Code was acquired by Zynga, the social gaming giant behind Facebook megahits such as Farmville and Mafia Wars, giving Lantz an even bigger arena in which to realize his dream. With its emphasis on building, cooperation and balance, go has much in common with social media games like Farmville and Cafe World (another Zynga biggie) with the added spice of life-and-death struggle. If Zynga’s next games have bit more of a competitive edge, perhaps we’ll know why . . .
- Roy Laird
Saturday June 25, 2011
Yojiro Takita’s next film has an interesting historical connection to the game of go. Takita (r) – who won an Oscar in 2009 for Okuribito (Departures) – is adapting the novel ‘Tenchi Meisastsu,’ about a 17th century astronomer and mathematician. The film is an adaptation of To Ubukata’s novel of the same name, based on the life of Shibukawa, who later took on the name of his father, champion go player Yasui Santetsu, first head of the Yasui house. The novel has won literary awards in Japan on its way to selling 380,000 copies. It was published by Kadokawa, which is collaborating with Shochiku on the movie. Tenchi Meisastsu — which roughly translates as “insights into the universe” — is being shot at Shochiku’s Kyoto studio until the middle of August, and is slated for an autumn 2012 release.
- based on Gavin J. Blair’s story in The Hollywood Reporter, with thanks to Ramon Mercado for spotting the reference.