Universal Paperclips

posted in: Art, Fun | 0

An existentialist game about artificial intelligence and, yes, paperclips.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine who read my post about the web-based game, Seedship told me about this fascinating and strangely compelling game, Universal Paperclips. If you follow that link, click on the box in the center to start. There’s no on-site help. There’s no explanation. Just a simple web interface that, if anything, suggests you may want to click a button labeled “Make a paperclip”. That’s it. That’s all.
But, if you are bold enough to start clicking, you’ll quickly find yourself drawn into the strangest game I think I’ve ever played. Initially, you’ll invest a few minutes, to get things rolling, but at a certain point, you’ll find that everything seems to roll along by itself with only a little intervention on your part periodically.

I don’t want to give away anything but I did let my simulation run for more than a week while only playing a few minutes a day. Though, it’s hard to tell, because it did get strangely consuming. I assume that if I let the simulation keep running, it would eventually end only with the heat-death of the simulated universe of the game.
And, if you decide to play, and get stuck, there is a Universal Paperclips WIKI, to help you. I admit, near the end of my time playing, I used it to confirm a few things.
If you have some time, and some patience, try this game. You won’t be disappointed!