The Game of Domino

Domino is an old game requiring fast observational skills and strategic planning. The tiles can be arranged in many different ways and the fun comes from knocking one down into another, creating a chain reaction known as the domino effect. It’s a great way to demonstrate cause and effect, as well as a popular activity for children. More recently, the concept of the domino has been used as an analogy for certain societal events and behaviors.

A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block with a raised surface on one side, bearing a pattern of dots resembling those on dice. The other side is blank or identically patterned. The dominoes are usually 28 in number, but they can be larger or smaller. The term can also refer to a set of these blocks or to the rules of the game.

When a player starts playing a domino game, the first thing they must do is choose a tile from their boneyard. Then, they must place it so that its matching end is touching another end of the same color or matching pips. The matching ends may be adjacent, perpendicular, or diagonal to each other. After the player has placed a domino, they must continue to play until all of their tiles have been played or until the game reaches a point that no players can proceed any further.

A game of domino is most often played between two players. Each player takes turns choosing a domino from the boneyard and placing it so that its matching end touches the end of an existing domino or matching pips. The players then pass play to the next person until all of the dominoes have been played or they reach a point that they can no longer play. The winner is the person who has the most points at the end of the game.

Lily Hevesh started collecting dominoes as a 9-year-old and would set them up in straight or curved lines before flicking the first one over. She loved the satisfying sound of the dominoes tumbling down, one after the other. She has since grown to be a professional domino artist, and creates spectacular sets for movies, television shows, and events (including an album launch for Katy Perry).

Hevesh says that the key to making her setups work is physics. When a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy, which PhysOrg describes as the amount of energy that a domino has stored up because of its position. As soon as you touch a domino with your hand, the force of gravity pulls on it and converts that potential energy into kinetic energy, the kind that makes a domino fall.

This same principle applies to the construction of stories, whether they are written on the fly or with a detailed outline. The scenes that make up a story must be well spaced so they don’t feel too long or too short, and the hero’s progress must be clear. A great writer will use the domino effect to keep the reader engaged.