Amidakuji, a lottery from Japan
December 24, 2010 6:11 PM Subscribe
posted by JHarris (18 comments total)
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, or "Ghost Leg," is a lottery party game from Japan. At the top of a sheet there are a number of spaces for people to write their names. At the bottom there are prizes. There are an equal number of each. Between them is a map obscured behind a sheet. The map is made of straight vertical lines connecting the names and prizes. Connecting those lines at random intervals are horizontal lines. When it's time to pick winners, the sheet is removed and players can follow the lines to find their prize. You follow the line from your name down until you encounter any horizontal line, which you must follow, then continue down, continuing to follow all horizontal lines you encounter, until you reach your prize. No two horizontal lines can touch. Provided that, the process is perfectly deterministic and reversable. The same ends are reached whether you follow from the top down or the bottom up. If you have difficulty visualizing this, check the Wikipedia page
It makes a great lottery setup for gatherings or parties. Many video games use a setup like this, with a visible map but a limited time to study the board, as a bonus, party, or mini-game. Bonus rounds in both Super Mario Land games
use amidakuji, it's a staple of the Mario Party series, and Konami released an classic arcade game, a pretty good one too, called Amidar
in which the board is a big amidakuji that the enemies move along.