Tuesday November 4, 2014
This oil painting depicting a go game between a young Korean girl and an older western man is featured in an October 31 ArtNet News report about North Korea’s Mansudae Art Studio. Perhaps the world’s biggest art factory, “It employs around 4,000 laborers of which under a quarter are artists who mostly graduated from the Pyongyang University of Fine Arts. The studio churns out propaganda for the Kim family leadership, producing everything from trinkets to murals and gigantic Soviet-style monuments.” This piece, entitled “Confrontation” is by Kim Hyon Myong.
Thanks to David Fruchtenicht for passing this along.
Monday November 3, 2014
In the game Destiny once you hit Level 5 you can buy “Snakeline 4.5 gauntlets,” which are “tough, menacing, and I swear- make you unbeatable at Go.” Thanks to Michael Albert for passing this along, though he doesn’t say whether the gauntlets have actually made his go invincible.
Sunday November 2, 2014
Once again, go is providing insights into US/China diplomacy. In the recent US policy of “rebalancing toward Asia,” Michael Spangler, writing in the Summer 2014 issue of Parameters, the US Army War College quarterly, suggests that “Another way to look at this is to imagine a Chinese game of weiqi, the popular Asian game of black-and-white pieces in which two opposing players strive to surround the other. China’s July 2012 establishment of Sansha City on Paracel Island seized by force from Vietnam in 1974 was the precursor of its new weiqi games with the Philippines and Japan.” In “Rebalancing the Rebalance,” Spangler, a visiting fellow at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, adds that “It is key that Manila’s talks not give Beijing any preponderant advantage by isolating or leveraging the Philippines against other disputants. In other words, this weiqi-like diplomatic negotiation can be completed as China’s future negotiation partners consult with each other.”
Thanks to Don Travis, a historian at the War College, and a new go player at the Carlisle Go Club.
Saturday November 1, 2014
Cartography is a new map-making, territory claiming, strategy game based on the game of go. Developed by Jon Adams, the game’s map is made up of interlocking triangular tiles, with walls that divide the map, allowing territory to be defended or captured. Players create and claim territory, and capture opponents, in an effort to control the map, which, like go, changes as you play. “Strategy is key and chance doesn’t determine the winner,” says Adams. Like go, “Cartography is easy to learn and challenging to master!” Adams has already raised over $14,000 of his $15,000 Kickstarter campaign to launch the game.
Thanks to Jeff Diamond for passing this along.
Thursday October 9, 2014
The CW Network’s The Originals, a spin off from the popular Vampire Diaries, featured a go game between two characters in a key scene this week. Perhaps after MTV’s stylish use of go in repeated episodes of Teen Wolf last year, the CW thought they would get in on the action as well. Original vampire Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan), the vampire who made almost all other vampires, is seen playing go with Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), a vampire he sired in the 1800′s who then became his enemy in later years. The game represents a kind of detente between the two characters, in their ongoing fight to control New Orleans, and prevent the witches, the werewolves, and the humans from getting the upper hand. E-J reader Xinming Simon Guo says the game featured is a famous one, and challenges readers to see if they can identify it. The entire episode can be streamed on the CW website here, the go game is about 21 minutes in. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the CW website: Charles Michael Davis playing go.
UPDATE: “Although it’s hard to see the rest of the board at this angle, that shape in the close corner looked strangely familiar, so I took a close look,” writes Michael Redmond 9P. “The famous Red Ear game, of course.”
Friday October 3, 2014
Two French scientists have decided to apply network science to the game of go, according to a 2012 report on the Wired blog we just came across. “They constructed their networks in a simple way,” Samuel Arbesman reported in Network Science of the Game of Go (4/20/2012). “If one board position can lead to another, they are connected. Using a dataset of about 1,000 professional games and 4,000 amateur games, they began to construct these networks.” Arbesman says the network analyses in the paper “are a bit odd, though they find many classic graph structures, such as a heavy-tailed link distribution and high amounts of clustering.” And though the networks constructed from amateur and professional games were distinct, Arbesman said that “while I know that network pictures are usually inscrutable hairballs, I was disappointed that networks weren’t visualized at all.” Still, he concluded, “this a fun little network analysis and I recommend checking it out.” photo courtesy Wired blog
Saturday September 27, 2014
“Recently I was watching the movie 13 Assassins,” writes Cylis Dreamer. “Around the 42 minute mark the two main characters mention playing go together. There might have been more times it was mentioned, but I missed them. I didn’t see a board or stones either.” The 2010 Japanese film was directed by Takashi Miike.
Saturday September 6, 2014
Few charts deserve a page one feature article in The New York Times Arts and Leisure section, but pop sociologist Russell Lymes’ classic 1949 delineation of “highbrow,” “middlebrow” and “lowbrow” tastes has been “reproduced and imitated countless times,” the Times reports (see Go Spotting: The “High-Brow” Game and An Unlikely Place 6/19/2014 EJ). Russell suggest typical preferences for each group in various categories, such as clothing, reading, favorite causes — and games. To see how go placed, click here.
- Roy Laird
Friday September 5, 2014
Syracuse go organizer Richard Moseson’s cousin Bill Flarsheim saw this go-themed mosaic at a temple in Zhuhai, China, where he’s living and working.
Wednesday September 3, 2014
A video podcast about esports that recently discussed randomness mentions go. “Randomness in Esports – How Chance Affects Competitive Play” discusses (at 1:03) how the selection of the first player in go has long been debated as a huge competitive advantage. “Just a passing reference, but definitely nice to see,” says Brad Edwards of the Wauconda Go Club, who passed this along.
Update: The Extra Credits team just did a follow-up to last week’s episode, First Move Advantage – How to Balance Turn-Based Games, “and mention go much more often in this week’s episode, commenting on how game designers should deal with first-turn advantage,” reports Edwards. “They also categorize chess as a ‘static resource game’ while go is a ‘developed resource game’. It’s just a short, but worthy of another look.”