PC8 – NomVIK

Lecturer: Jutta Kretzberg
Fields: Games


“Nomic is a game in which changing the rules is a move. In that respect it differs from almost every other game. The primary activity of Nomic is proposing changes in the rules, debating the wisdom of changing them in that way, voting on the changes, deciding what can and cannot be done afterwards, and doing it. Even this core of the game, of course, can be changed.“
— Peter Suber, The Paradox of Self-Amendment, 1990

Since the philosopher Peter Suber invented Nomic and published the first ruleset in 1982 (see http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/nomic.htm), many different face-to-face and online versions of Nomic were played – some just for a couple of hours, some for many years.
The VIK Nomic game will start with a simplified version of the original ruleset that regulates turn-based suggestions for rule changes and democratic votes if these suggestions are adopted or not. There is a point system for wining, but the real challenge is to win the game by creating a contradiction that prevents a player from finishing their turn.
From this starting point, the ruleset can develop in any direction: any strategy for winning the game, any political system, or any phantasy world – depending on the creativity and interaction of the group of players.

Technical hints:
– We will play in four sessions, every Tuesday 20:00 – 23:00 (CET) in the basement. It would be nice if all participants could play with camera and microphone to come as close as possible to a face-to-face group atmosphere. The number of players is limited to 20.
– Each of the three later sessions will start with the ruleset that developed in the previous session. Players can join just one or several sessions, but are asked to arrive punctually and familiarize themselves with the current ruleset prior to joining the game (the current rules will be reviewed only very briefly at the beginning of each session).


  • Wikipedia description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomic The original rule set (by Peter Suber): http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/nomic.htm Suber, Peter (1990). The Paradox of Self-Amendment: A Study of Law, Logic, Omnipotence, and Change. Peter Lang Publishing. p. 362. ISBN 0-8204-1212-0.


Jutta Kretzberg

Jutta Kretzberg studied computer science and biology at University of Bielefeld, Germany, lived for three years in San Diego, California, and is now a professor for computational neuroscience at University of Oldenburg. Some people claim that she only became the head of the master’s program neuroscience to have enough students for playing werewolves and similar group games… For her scientific CV, please refer to her talk ‘Minimal neural encoding of space’ on Friday, March 12.