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4:30pm on Monday, 1st September, 2008:

A Place in History


Oh. Geoffrey Perkins has died.

Geoffrey Perkins is one of the few non-games people to get a name check in my lectures, on account of how he invented that most sublime example of what Huizinga's "magic circle" really means, Mornington Crescent. This is the game where people take it in turns to name London Underground stations, and the first to say "Mornington Crescent" wins.

Or, put another way, the players have fun until one of them decides to stop. The only thing that keeps the game going is that the players are willing to continue playing it. That's true of all games, of course but it's all there is to Mornington Crescent. It's the magic circle incarnate.

Perkins may not have been a games person, but for Mornington Crescent he deserves a place in the canon.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).