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You exist somewhere on a blurred spectrum between biology and circuitry. It’s only a matter of time before you dive one way or the other, into the messy wonderland of personhood or the cold and calculating perfection of artificial intelligence. This game uses chess to celebrate, dissect, and complicate the last moments of a relationship between a human being and an automaton—a sentient AI. The actions our players take will determine their fates and, perhaps, the future of humanity. The game tells the story of their relationship, and the final moment—checkmate, or a draw—is the final confrontation. 

This game takes place on and around a chess board. The board is a symbol of your connection to each other, but it is also a map of the final moments of that connection. Each set of turns (i.e., every time both of you have made one move) will provide you with a prompt that moves the story forward. During the game, the players will tell their story while competing for victory—on and off the board. 

This game is inspired by Raymond Bernard's 1927 film Le joueur d'échecs (The Chess Player). In this clip from the film, Baron von Kempelen, played by Charles Dullin, presents his chess-playing automaton to the Russian court:

All illustrations were created based on open-source chess piece designs for CAD renderings and CNC lathes.

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(1 total ratings)
AuthorNora Katz
Tagsartificial-intelligence, Chess, duet, GM-Less, Narrative, Sci-fi, storygame, Story Rich, Two Player


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The Chess Player - Nora Katz (2023).pdf 1 MB

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