< Request Weblog Thread #2
Science Fiction Magazine Reviews: F&SF 09/1999 >

Make Your Own Markov Chain: As per Fafner's request, here's a Surrealist-style word game I made up, the textual equivalent of the Exquisite Corpse. It probably already exists but you get what you pay for.

This is a game for at least 2 players, though 3 is probably the realistic minimum. The rules for n players are as follows.

  1. Pick an ordering of the players.
  2. Start with an empty string. Going in turn, each player adds a word to the string, possibly including punctuation.
  3. Now continue looping around the players, adding one word each time, but now each player can only see the last n-1 words of the string.
  4. Stop after a while.

Now you've got a manually-created text with some Markov chain-like properties (because people have imperfect memory, and the text has many authors) and some human-written text properties. To bump up the Markov chain quality, reduce how many words of the string each player is allowed to see.

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