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This Week's Waste of Time

Cooperation isn't a team sport anymore

By James Renovitch, 11:52AM, Thu. May. 7, 2009

Another cursor bites the dust.
Another cursor bites the dust.

Call them what you will – browser games, flash games, time sucks, marriage destroyers – the popularity of simple games for nongamers is a huge market. In an attempt to save you time searching for a way to waste your time, I've started a weekly series of web-based games that, god willing, won't get you fired from your job.

First off, Cursor*10. Created by Yoshio Ishii – who made a name for himself with the beautiful and repeatedly surprising Hoshi Saga (write me if you can figure out how to finish stage 21, I'm stumped) – Cursor*10 blends stark simplicity with true innovation.

Cursor*10 offers few instructions but claims that you will "Cooperate by oneself?!" (the interrobang is his, not mine). What starts as a simple race up stairs halts when you come to a spot where another player is necessary to proceed. Frantically looking for another option, your cursor's painfully short life span ticks away. Upon dying, cursor 2 springs to life, accompanied by the ghost of cursor 1 doing everything you did on your last turn the same way. The trick is not necessarily to survive but to die in the most advantageous way to ensure that the next cursor in line can ascend more staircases. By the end things get a bit frantic as 10 cursors are flying around all trying to help lucky number 10 get to the top. The controls couldn't be simpler, and the "game over" model of play couldn't be more upended.

Click here to play.

Ishii created a second session of Cursor*10 for the people who can't stop playing with themselves.


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