Playtesting Sembl, the game of analogy


Since 2012 I have been working on Sembl, a game of resemblance, where players make analogical connections between images of (openly-licensed) cultural heritage material and then rate other players’ connections on a sliding scale of interestingness. When you draw together things that are not normally associated, you can create beautiful insights into how the world works. It’s like conceptual parkour.

Sembl is being built by Icelab and the alpha version will be released as soon as I can test all the basics – and for some things I need a group to test… that’s where I hope you THATCampers will help.

The games are playable on a board for three, four, five, six or twelve players. I’ve played a lot with the smaller boards, but the bigger ones are tricky to test – especially the 12-player board, not for the fainthearted.

12-semblersTo be honest I’m *not at all* sure we can play a whole game in an hour, or whether this board will even function (it’s crowded; there might or might not be catastrophic visual and functional overlaps). For sure, we will have to be swift and happy to stumble.

If it feels too much for a short session, or if it fails, we can revert to a 6-player board and play in teams. (Of course anyone, once registered, can play around as they like.)

I will have up a Google doc for issue and bug reporting. It will be very, very good to have your feedback. And you will have early access to this fabulous new way to access and interpret cultural heritage material 🙂 🙂 🙂

And hopefully, Michael will join us.

Please comment to express interest!

PS I ticked the category called ‘Linked data’ because even though it’s not about logical links, Sembl is an engine of handcrafted, analogical and dialogic i.e. two-way mutual simultaneous links. They are very *human* links, and foreign to computers, which I believe is what makes them important – as I said a while ago.



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