Glass Bead Game I: How to Play

Core Wave's Glass Bead Game I is largely based on the book The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse, which won the Nobel prize for literature in 1946. Don't worry, you don't have to have read the book to play. Hesse did not fully explain rules for the Game and our decisions about how to play are based on many influences.

What You Need to Know

  • All visitor's to the site are Players. The purpose of the Game is to discover and create connections. Connections are the heart of the Game. Glass Bead Games foster connections in many ways but a good example can be seen in one of our Connection Tunnels. A description of a connection is printed within each connection tunnel. Here is a Connection Tunnel describing the connection between the films Blade Runner and Brazil.
  • In playing a Glass Bead Game, the word "play" is used with two meanings. Play is both in the creation of the Game and in watching this play unfold as in a theater.
  • Our Game integrates an Inner Game and an Outer Game. The Outer Game is created by all Players in the Submissions forum, where you can submit ideas for connections or content. Content can be any element of human experience. Connections link all the Game content. These submissions of content and connections are the moves in our Game. The Inner Game is created by taking selected Submissions and organizing them into a "symphony of ideas." There is no scoring. The goal of the game is for everyone to work together to create the most eloquent composition of content and connections possible. The Inner Game can be navigated through either the Main Map or accessed through the Randomizer.
  • An additional 3D map of the Inner Game will be added after sufficient Game play (approximately half way into a Game). This map will allow all Players to see how the Game content has been arranged and navigate the site as in a virtual space or a Game board. The space will contain all of the Game moves as Glass Beads arranged as in a musical or geometric pattern. Here you will be able to see and move around all the Game moves and connections. Eventually, as technology allows, the map will allow Players to automatically rearrange Game content into patterns and dimensions of their choice.
  • The Inner and Outer Games are of equal importance and support each other. All Players (that's you) submit content through the Outer Game.
  • A Glass Bead Game has a central theme which unites all of that Game's content. We call that central theme the core wave. The core wave for Game I is: "The primary distinction between inside and outside." All submissions must be related to the core wave. Players should endeavor to submit content that is solidly related to a Game's core wave.
  • The Game Master is a Player, the Editor-In-Chief and Director of the Game. The Game Master selects the core wave and reviews all submissions for their resonance with the core wave. Only the Game Master may move content from the Submissions forum (the Outer Game) to the Inner Game. The Game Master's penultimate purpose is to serve the Game and the Players.
  • The Master Players are selected by the Game Master as additional creative directors. The Master Players work with the Game Master making submissions, editing, doing research and organizing the Inner Game content to make the best Game possible. The Master Player's penultimate purpose is to serve the Game and the other Players.
  • Guest Players are any Players who have "full" submissions moved from the Submissions forum (the Outer Game) to the Inner Game. They function as "Master Players" on their own submissions only.
  • Content can come from any part of human experience. It can be an object or an image; a feeling or a philosophy. It can be a representation or a primary experience.
  • The game master also reviews all submissions for resonance with at least 70% of the Criteria List. The Game Master's criteria for Game I:


These criteria are described in greater detail in the Instructions for Master Players. There are some additional editorial guidelines for "full submissions" on the Submissions page.

  • Game content will sometimes consist of fragments or selections from a whole. Sometimes Game content consists of symbolic representations of some whole system or "primary experience." A Glass Bead Game should always direct a Player back to his or her own primary experience. The CoreWave Catalog is intended to direct Players to whole content as much as possible. Information about sources and accessing Game content directly is listed in the catalog. The catalog may also have the potential to be used as a means to financially support Players (in the real world) when they start their own Games.
  • Game I contains a randomly generated quote on almost every page, and many other elements intended to cultivate connections.
  • Descriptions of the relationship of Game content to the core wave are phrased as questions. This is intended to foster a receptive (feminine) balance in the Game.
  • Game elements like the spinning symbol and the randomizer are intended to suggest opportunities for contemplation. Each player is encouraged to end any interaction with the Game with a period of contemplation or meditation.
  • Inner Game content is placed into categories. There are 27 Recommendation Categories for Game content not created by the Submitting Player. There are four Production Categories for Game content created by submitting Players.
  • Recommendations in the Inner Game must include personal experience and subjective descriptions. (see additional guidelines for Submissions.)
  • Any Game will be heavily influenced by the interests and experience of the current Game Master and Master Players. You may find that you respond to certain Players and their ideas more than others and are encouraged to follow the connections that resonate with you the most.

Become the master of your own game.

Duration of the Game

  • Game I begins on January 23, 1997 and will end at midnight on January 17, 1998.
  • The period from January 17th - 23rd 1998 will be a public festival celebrating the passing of one Game into the beginning of another. B.Y.O.B.
  • Game II begins January 23, 1998.
  • Individual Games are played within specific time periods set by The Game Master.
  • The Game itself continues infinitely from Game to Game.
  • Previous Games are archived for further exploration and access.

What You Don't Need To Know

42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything. 117 is the cosmic number of Xerac.
(13, 23, and 37 are also pretty cool.) :-)

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