Re: virus: Virian Tarot

Jason McVean (
Sat, 28 Sep 96 11:24:05 MDT

Reed Konsler said:

> Another game we might learn from is "Magic" published by Wizards of the
> Coast. It's a card game with fairly complicated rules (which we might wish
> Another characteristic of "Magic" is that some cards have the same effect
> but use different artwork. I think this is a neat idea...we could have a
> number of different pictures of "chaos" for instance.

I think this is an excellent idea. I don't think it would be wise
to stick too close to the concept of Tarot. As I've said before,
the whole point of Tarot seems pretty anti-virian (except perhaps
as a means of self exploration). Laying out the cards in a
particular arrangement and considering which way the card faces
and so on can only generate David's random signal, unless one is
willing to give some credence to the supernatural aspects of the
new Virian tarot.

A game would be much more appealing to most people. How many
people do you know who like to sit down every once in a while and
do a few hours of introspection? Also, as Reed(?) pointed out, to
play a game, one must allow the games rules (memes) to inhabit
one's mind for the duration of the game. If those memes are
strong, there is a very good chance they won't completely
relinquish their hold once the game is over.

Also, the open-ended nature of the Magic game structure (and all
of the games that copy it) allows for new memes to be added as
they occur. It seems to me that this is exactly what happens on
the real-life meme battlefield.

Another point: the complicated rules were mentioned as a drawback
but they may actually be a boon. Virian ideas are not perfectly
simple so to have a forum wherein a player carefully reads each
card he gets to see how he can use it in the next game is about
as optimal as we can hope.

The important Viran concepts could be the equivalent of spells
("confusion" and "protection from confusion" for instance) and
artifacts ("library" "internet" "television"). Particutar memes
could take the place of the creatures that do the grunt work. If
the memes could be grouped into broad categories, they would form
the colours of Magic (red-fire, blue-water, green-earth...)

Ummm... er... not that I'm ever played the game :-)


Dept. of Physics and Astronomy            University of Calgary

"All my life I've been waiting, and watching, and waiting for flesh that smells familiar." Sara Craig - Thank You (Very Much) ---------------------------------------------------------------