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February 26, 2010 11:39 AM   Subscribe

A playable version of Eschaton! Inspired of course by the beloved game of the students of the Enfield Tennis Academy in Infinite Jest. [via mefi projects]

Pretend nuclear war, anyone?
posted by Lutoslawski (52 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

 
I had to, COBRA! It's just that cool.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:40 AM on February 26, 2010


awesome. If only in concept.
posted by Espoo2 at 11:41 AM on February 26, 2010


Thank you so much. I don't even know who I'm thanking for this. COBRA!, Lutoslawski. Just everybody. Thank you.
posted by penduluum at 11:51 AM on February 26, 2010


"Eschaton Lite"?

I would have called it "Eschaton Immanentized".
posted by gurple at 11:51 AM on February 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


It really depends on having an excellent game master. Pemulius had the necessary combination of freaky good math skills, lob ability, and speed.
posted by Babblesort at 11:51 AM on February 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is made of win.
posted by pombe at 11:55 AM on February 26, 2010


I remember reading this in the book and thinking how fun it would be to play. Awesome wiki too, I could have used it while reading...
posted by fiestapais at 11:58 AM on February 26, 2010


I've missed David Foster Wallace so much this week. This is just amazing! Thank you!
posted by Sfving at 12:03 PM on February 26, 2010


It's snowing on the goddamn map, not the territory!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:08 PM on February 26, 2010 [13 favorites]


Oh my god. You are my hero.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:08 PM on February 26, 2010


AND: fans of Eschaton should check out this post at Infinite Summer about a one-time stage adaptation. (DFW's blessing: "let me know how that turns out.")
posted by Sfving at 12:10 PM on February 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


The JARTS are a nice touch.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:12 PM on February 26, 2010


Happy Interdependence Day.
posted by xod at 12:15 PM on February 26, 2010


Happy Interdependence Day.

*shows curiously high-budget film directed by Mario featuring hand puppets that can, apparently, emote and make subtle hand gestures and stuff*
posted by shakespeherian at 12:18 PM on February 26, 2010


DFW was so awesome that people fleshing out his ideas in the most literal method possible are awesome by extension. Bravo to everyone involved. This is so good it makes me sad.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:18 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is gonna be the best meetup ever.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:21 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks a ton, guys. It's weird, I just sat down and started typing this up, and the whole thing just sort of emerged in one chunk. I'm aching to get people together and try it out for real... and I've really seen a weird split among my friends between people who think it's cool and people who think I'm totally insane (one friend said he'd literally rather read the Warsaw Pact treaty than my rules doc...).

Babblesort's right, I kind of worry that I've put too much on the Ump, but I figure that can be refined as people play and see what works and what doesn't.

This actually came about because of a project of Interrobang's; I don't think he's announced it yet, so I don't want to steal his thunder. But talking to him got me writing this, and when his thing is ready for the world, there'll be some more material related to this in it...
posted by COBRA! at 12:25 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've really seen a weird split among my friends between people who think it's cool and people who think I'm totally insane

There is no reason it can't be both.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:29 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


True enough.
posted by COBRA! at 12:30 PM on February 26, 2010


This is gonna be the best meetup ever.

Yes please!
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:34 PM on February 26, 2010


the rules should have more footnotes
posted by Hammond Rye at 12:37 PM on February 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Awesomeness.
posted by localhuman at 1:14 PM on February 26, 2010


Can we have a computer cart so I can push my head through the computer screen?
posted by localhuman at 1:14 PM on February 26, 2010


Fair warning: If anyone attempts to derail this thread, I will not hesitate to don the Red beanie and flick the propeller.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:21 PM on February 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


YESSSSSSSSSS

There's a tiny whirring sound as Ingersoll's mental gears grind. From the duration of the little Sierra Leone summit and the studious blankness on everybody's face it's pretty clear that SOVWAR and AMNAT are going to come to terms, and the terms are likely to involve SOVWAR agreeing not to go SACPOP against AMNAT in return for AMNAT letting SOVWAR go SACPOP against Ingersoll's IRLIBSYR, because if SOVWAR goes SACPOP against an IRLIBSYR that can't have many warheads left in the old bucket by now (Ingersoll knows they know) then SOVWAR'll get to rack up a lot of INDDIR without much SUFDDIR, while inflicting such SUFDDIR on IRLIBSYR that IRLIBSYR'll be effectively eliminated as a threat to AMNAT's commanding lead in opints, which is what has the most utility in the old game-theoretic matrix right now. The exact utility transformations are too oogly for an Ingersoll who's still grappling with fractions, but he can see clearly that this'd be the most remorselessly logical best-interest-conducive scenario for both LaMont Chu and especially the Sleepster, Peterson, who's hated Ingersoll for months now anyway without any good reason or cause of anything, Ingersoll can just somehow tell.
posted by FrauMaschine at 1:24 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is just awesome. I recently started reading Infinite Jest, having finally caved in to peer pressure.
posted by bxyldy at 1:26 PM on February 26, 2010


although I have no real desire to play this game, that you have made it is really one of the coolest things ever!!!
posted by supermedusa at 1:27 PM on February 26, 2010


I will gladly do this at a meetup as long as everyone promises not to launch a 5-megaton thermonuclear weapon at my physical person.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 1:29 PM on February 26, 2010


On a smaller scale, this would be a pretty decent drinking game involving shot glasses and quarters.

I've never read any David Foster Wallace so this suggestion may be entirely heretical.
posted by muddgirl at 1:36 PM on February 26, 2010


On a smaller scale, this would be a pretty decent drinking game involving shot glasses and quarters.

I know that when I can get a full-scale game together*, I fully expect drinking to be integrated...

And a friend of mine also suggested ping-pong balls for a small-scale version, if you didn't want to be chucking quarters around...


*Mpls folks, mefimail me if you're interested... very tentatively thinking of 3/6, depending on weather and a bunch of other stuff...
posted by COBRA! at 1:41 PM on February 26, 2010


On a smaller scale, this would be a pretty decent drinking game involving shot glasses and quarters.

Well, the Enfield Halfway House is just across the way, in case it gets too out of control.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:50 PM on February 26, 2010


I think you mean The Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House [sic].
posted by shakespeherian at 1:52 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone who drinks during Eschaton is likely to lose it and go SACPOP1 resulting in global escalation, retaliation from REDCHI2 and AMNAT3 (assuming it wasn't one of them), and some out of control calculus of scoring for the game master. Nuclear war on this scale could result in donning of the red beanie. The first of only two occasions of donning the red beanie occurred under similar circumstances.4


1. [deliberate] Strike Against Civilian Population
2. Red China
3. American Nations
4. The first was when the total megatonnnage of weapons detonated ignited the earth's atmosphere.

posted by Babblesort at 1:56 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not sure you should really be drinking during Eschaton; surely a little Bob Hope would be more traditional?
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:02 PM on February 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would love love love to play this.
posted by xbonesgt at 2:12 PM on February 26, 2010


Bob's for the spectators. But now that you mention it, I suppose any drinking should involve suspiciously-bracing Gatorade...
posted by COBRA! at 2:12 PM on February 26, 2010


I kind of worry that I've put too much on the Ump, but I figure that can be refined as people play and see what works and what doesn't.

After reading it through, I would recommend a head Ump and some assistants to help with running messages, taking notes, etc. I base that solely on my experiences with the AD&D Wizard Duels that used to be run a con I used to attend...I often acted as runner/note passer/supervisor of rolls while the head Ump had time to read over spell descriptions and keep track of what exactly was going on with whom so that he could describe the rounds.

Yes, I was/still am a huge geek.

I would love to see a video of a game being played, since I'm unlikely to have a chance to participate in one.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:22 PM on February 26, 2010


I wonder how long it would take to play through a game. In other words, if playing in the sunshine, should we apply a few coats of Lemon Pledge?
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:22 PM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


*shows curiously high-budget film directed by Mario featuring hand puppets that can, apparently, emote and make subtle hand gestures and stuff*

Actually last year in Austin I helped produce a DFW tribute that included a portion of Mario's puppet show (performed by Trouble Puppet Company). I still haven't converted the mini-DV footage to mpg, but this is a good reminder that I need to upload that sucker.
Awesome work, COBRA!
posted by mattbucher at 2:24 PM on February 26, 2010


I think you mean The Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House [sic].

Oops. Yes, that's what I mean. Joke Fail.

it's been a long time
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:24 PM on February 26, 2010


I love this place so fucking much! *sniff*
posted by Pronoiac at 2:37 PM on February 26, 2010


I love this place so fucking much! *sniff*

Seconded. The only thing better than DFW still being among the living is having this level of involvement with IJ. Fekkin brilliant.
posted by nevercalm at 2:50 PM on February 26, 2010


Jeez. Bunch of adults playing Eschaton. Folks, everyone knows that game is for the 12-14 year olds.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:04 PM on February 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


i would totally drive or fly to wherever someone plays this, so i could also play or be a drunken spectator.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 4:58 PM on February 26, 2010


Oh, my god, COBRA! you've made me hyperventilate with glee.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 6:01 PM on February 26, 2010


I'll bring my Nasa cup.

Not that I have one, but I would happily obtain one.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:10 PM on February 26, 2010


so awesome
posted by auralcoral at 6:16 PM on February 26, 2010


Love.
posted by silby at 7:12 PM on February 26, 2010


looks up COBRA!'s coords


I'll host a montreal game if anyone's interested, worst case scenario we can play ping-pong balls on my roof. I like the idea of a miniature-eschaton-event.
posted by cmyr at 8:12 PM on February 26, 2010


Fair warning: If anyone attempts to derail this thread,

This shit pales in comparison to 43 Man Squamish.
posted by philip-random at 11:30 PM on February 26, 2010


This project makes me smile and laugh.

The level of dedication and love in this thread make me want to cry. Thank you MeFi.
posted by waxbanks at 12:22 PM on February 28, 2010


FWIW, here's an organizational spot for the Mpls Eschaton; since Spring seems to be bringing its mud-bogs to us early, it looks like we might be doing it in April now.
posted by COBRA! at 11:52 AM on March 1, 2010


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