Go is often considered to be the most difficult game in the world however it has now been relegated to second place! According to MIT, the card game called Magic: The Gathering in which players attempt to overcome their opponents by creating various creatures is even more difficult. This is no doubt because of the numerous rules that evolve as the game progresses!
What is Magic: The Gathering?
Magic: The Gathering is a card game, invented by the American game creator Richard Garfield in 1993, that can be played and collected. It is made up of more than 20, 000 cards from many edited series over the years. Although the game stays the same it is constantly evolving.
Players need to build their deck of 60 cards themselves. Each card is different in terms of rarity. There is also an impressive variety in each card’s capacity in terms of possible actions, power and constraints. Since the game was created, it has now got a dedicated community of players with regularly organised regional, national and global tournaments.
The hardest game in the world!
In a statement published by the MIT on the 7 May 2019, Magic: The Gathering is believed to be one of the most difficult games in the world. At least this is the opinion of three experts from the UK and the United States. These experts include Alex Churchill, an independent researcher and board game creator from Cambridge, Stella Biderman, a mathematician from the University of Georgia and Austin Herrick, a data analyst and coder from the University of Pennsylvania State.
Together these experts measured for the first time the information complexity of Magic: The Gathering. First of all, let’s remember that the game’s information complexity depends on a number of factors. The main factors include the predictability of the game’s result and the number of shots played. As part of their study, the researchers first converted the different characteristics of the maps into a set of data. Then a two player game was analysed by computer.
According to the results, Magic: The Gathering has the largest computing complexity quotient ever measured, surpassing the famous Go game. What is more the computer was unable to predict who would win the game! This is despite the fact that the computer is programmed to make many strategy and trap calculations so as to assess the probability of victory.