Now, pretend for a minute that you don't know what game this is. You're told that this is the final position of a game. Can you work out what the rules of this game must be?

You see black and white pieces on a wooden board. So it looks like a game for two players.

You notice that most areas of the board are surrounded by pieces of one colour. They look like countries on a map; areas of territory.

You notice that in three places this rule is broken, and there are islands of one colour trapped in the sea of the other colour. Are these traitors, playing for the other side? Or maybe they have been captured.

What about that black area at the bottom in the middle. Is it captured, or is it OK? It's kind of connected to other black groups, more or less. Perhaps supplies can get through, sort of thing. It's not completely surrounded, at any rate.

Your mind starts to wander. Why is your grandad trying to show you this game anyway? Sometimes he says strange things and everyone ignores him. You wish he'd bought you that new homestation game instead, so you can play at being a sniper. You wonder whether you should teach him how to play your racing game, but he didn't seem interested last time, and was only being polite. Old people just don't get it when it comes to having fun.

And they didn't have perceptive connection training when grandad was your age. But your mum said you shouldn't talk about it in front of old people. You let your brain relax and look at the board. Suddenly the board starts to look like balloons of colour inflating. You can picture the balloons squeezing each other, being squashed into strange shapes, trying to push through the competing balloons and divide them into small dots that they can swallow.

But you look at grandad and he's fallen asleep. Your mum says that when you have lived for two hundred years, you'll want to sleep too.

This post was originally on LiveJournal.